Have you ever heard of CrimeBookJunkie? The name sure sounds familiar doesn’t it. I just can’t place where I have heard it before!
Jokes. Everyone has heard of CrimeBookJunkie, and if you haven’t heard the news already, where the hell have you been – she’s only gone and written a book! I have the pleasure of closing Noelle’s blog tour for her debut novel, ‘Dead Inside’. Thank you to Sarah for the blog tour invite, I am delighted to be involved. Also, many thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Here is my review:
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?
What does TWG think?
That’s the million dollar question, what DOES TWG think? I’d be lying if I said that ‘Dead Inside’ took me ages to read, because it didn’t. Far from it actually. I think I demolished the entire story in a couple of hours! One minute I was at 18%, and then the next I was updating my Goodreads to show that I had completed it! What a read! I have never, ever read anything like it before.
If you’ve been following this authors blog before she became an author, you’d know that she used to work in Probation. Her knowledge in that topic is extremely evident throughout the entire storyline, and I thought that that gave the story the edge that maybe some other books in this genre would be missing out on.
‘Dead Inside’ is entered around domestic abuse, a topic which is very hard-hitting to read on its own, let alone being the main premise of a crime novel. Noelle Holten hasn’t just dumped the topic in her book and went on her merry way, she pulled the topic to shreds and highlighted the impact that domestic abuse has on the victim, as well as the people around them. She has also laid it bare as to how manipulative abusers can be, and how they can get what they want at the click of their fingers. On a personal level, Holten nailed the emotional devastation and, whilst it took me back to a dark time in my past, I appreciated the realism. There’s nothing worse than reading about a topic in a book, only to find it isn’t realistic at all, and unfortunately or fortunately, whichever way you want to look at it, in this instance it is highly realistic and brilliantly done.
Now, I like a jam-packed novel as much as the next person, but for me, I felt that there was too much going on at times. Not only did the storyline cover abuse, it also covered murder, psychological issues, coercive control, blended families, drugs and alcohol abuse. I couldn’t keep up at times with the to-ing and fro-ing between each situation, as well as the snippets from different points of view, and so forth. I can appreciate that all of the topics were related to the storyline and what the author was trying to achieve, but I think I would have been less dizzy if there were a few less things to focus on, instead putting more detail into the other sections. But that’s just me.
Overall, I was very impressed by the strength of Noelle Holten’s debut novel – she clearly has the talent there to hook her readers and leave them wanting more, and I think that her background has helped to put her novel a cut above the rest. ‘Dead Inside’ is such an intense, fast paced, gripping read which left me really annoyed when it had finished – I wanted more! Looks like Noelle Holten is now an author to watch!!
About the author.
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and 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 book love 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.
Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten