Dead Inside by Noelle Holton (Book Review)

Dead Inside by Noelle Holton

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

Dead Inside

Amazon UK Purchase Link

Amazon US Purchase Link

My Thoughts

This is the first of the DC Maggie Jamieson series and we are introduced to Maggie on her first day at the newly formed Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit. She has been transferred from the murder team but is soon investigating another suspicious death. Maggie is haunted by a previous case and I predict that we have only seen a tiny sample of Maggie’s character.

The bodies of three males are found in succession, and they all seem to have one thing in common. The victims have all been accused of domestic abuse in the past. The team must investigate quickly before the serial killer acts again, but no other direct links are apparent.

The story mainly involves probation officer, Lucy Sherwood whose work links directly to the DAHU team. By day, Lucy is totally professional, her career as a probation officer means that she interviews ex-offenders on a daily basis. When she returns home, however, Lucy’s life takes a far different turn. Shockingly there are bizarre parallels between her home and work life, but Lucy is determined to keep the two separate.

Lucy’s husband Patrick is a sinister character, sending cold chills one minute then transforming into a charismatic partner and devoted father the next. The image of Patrick reeking of beer and listening around corners was truly disturbing, yet I was utterly compelled to carry on reading. The subject of domestic violence is complex with many silent sufferers and I was struck by how it affects not just the victims, but also the children in these toxic relationships.

Dead Inside portrays the subject of domestic abuse from every angle, at times it is a harrowing read but so honest and insightful. The plot keeps up a steady pace throughout, there are many characters and separate storylines but the writing flows seamlessly. The author knows the probation service inside and out and her expertise shows because the story has an authentic feel. An astounding debut from a talented author and I hope we will be hearing much more from DC Maggie Jamieson and her team in the future.

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin

‘Kept me hooked’ Angela Marsons

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘Gritty, dark and chilling’ Mel Sherratt

About The Author

dead Inside

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and was a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Thank you, NetGalley for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.


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