Dead Inside by Noelle Holten #bookreview @nholten40 @KillerReads

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Noelle Holten’s Dead Inside which is published this week. This is a book I was hugely excited about reading and it didn’t disappoint.

Dead Inside: A totally gripping and terrifying serial killer thriller (Maggie Jamieson Crime Thriller, Book 1) by [Holten, Noelle]


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?


When I first heard that Noelle Holten was bringing out her debut crime novel, I was very excited, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Needless to say, it went straight to the top of my TBR pile, and after the chilling and powerful opening, I was hooked. Being an avid crime fiction reader and reviewer herself, I was very interested to see what Noelle would come up with.

Dead Inside is a well-crafted debut; I just know that I’m going to be reading every book that follows on in this series. Noelle draws on her own experience of working as a probation officer, and this adds a ring of authenticity to her book. The fact that one of her main characters is a probation officer really interested me, and it caught my attention. It’s not often that stories are told from their point of view, so it was exciting to read a crime novel from a different viewpoint and to learn about another side of the world of law and order.

This is Lucy Sherwood’s story, a probation officer who is currently handling cases of domestic abuse. Lucy speaks to men daily who abuse their partners, and for her, this begins to hit far too close to home.

Then we have DC Maggie Jamieson who has just been handed the toughest case of her career when the body of a man connected to a case of domestic abuse is discovered. As the book progresses, two more bodies are found. And soon everything draws back to Lucy. But what is really going on?

Dead Inside can be quite a tough read at times; you can see where Noelle’s own personal experience from her line of work has fed into her novel, and the emotion in her writing comes through so strongly, particularly in the first chapter. The emotions of the team working on the cases of the murdered victims come through very well, particularly as none of the victims are likeable, and many of the police officers feel they have got their just deserves. It must be so hard to try and not let your mind be clouded by judgement. When you look at similar cases that have happened in the news, such as when vigilantes take action into their own hands, you hear many people talk about how these people are doing the public a favour.

The pace in this novel never drops, and Noelle kept me on my toes as I tried to work out what was going on and who was behind the murders that were taking place. When everything started to come together towards the end, I thought I could see everything clearly, but Noelle still had one clever twist up her sleeve which threw me, and it was one I didn’t expect.

Noelle sets the scene perfectly for book two in the series, and I for one can’t wait to find out what happens next, and it looks as though there is going to be a tough case to come. If you’re a crime fiction lover, you have to give this a try. Dead Inside wins a very easy five stars from me. Excellent from start to finish.

Publisher: Killer Reads

Publication date: 31st May 2019 (kindle) 22nd August 2019 (paperback)

Print length: 293 pages

If you would like to purchase, Dead Inside you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

The Good Teacher by Rachel Sargeant blog tour #extract @RachelSargeant3 @KillerReads

I’m delighted to be sharing an extract with you today from The Good Teacher by Rachel Sargeant as part of the blog tour. But before I share the extract with you, let’s have a look at what the book is about.

The Good Teacher: A gripping thriller from the Kindle top ten bestselling author of ‘The Perfect Neighbours’ by [Sargeant, Rachel]


Some people deserve to be taught a lesson…

A gripping thriller with a shocking twist, from the Top Ten Kindle bestselling author of The Perfect Neighbours. This riveting story about a murdered teacher is perfect for fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR.

Even the good have to die.
A beloved teacher is murdered and left in a ditch beside a country lane. His wife is found beaten and gagged in their suburban home.

Even the best schools have secrets.
New detective Pippa Adams learns that the teacher ran a homework club for vulnerable pupils. But what did he really teach them?

Even the perfect family has something to hide.
When Pippa scratches the surface of the school community, she meets families who’ve learned a shattering lesson. And finally uncovers the good teacher’s darkest secrets…


Hello, everyone. Thank you, Jacob, for inviting me on your blog. I’d like to share the opening pages of chapter two of my new book The Good Teacher where I introduce my lead detective, DC Pippa Adams.

I scramble up the metal staircase inside the south entrance to Penbury Police HQ. Late. Should have taken the car instead of waiting for the bus, but I was flustered enough without getting behind a hot, sticky steering wheel. I try taking the steps two at a time, but the thick woollen tights drag on my knees. Unseasonal legs, and slow, but ladder-free at least. I tried my best with my mother’s honey blush tights, but the minute I tore open the packet and the two bits of beige nylon flopped down, I knew they were designed for an underfed ten‑year‑old. And that was before their accident.

I up my pace and clamp my shoulder bag to my side – my one act of rebellion against Mum’s restyling efforts.

“Now all you need is a briefcase,” she trilled at the end of our shopping session.

“But I have to be approachable, Mum – a friendly face serving the whole community.”

“Really, Pippa, darling, you sound like that rather grand lady officer they keep interviewing on the local news.”

I swelled with pride when Mum made that comparison. I haven’t met Superintendent Chattan yet, but I’ll settle for having half the poise the woman exudes in her television appearances.

At the top of the stairs I slow down, trying to get my breathing under control. My bag’s heavy, too much fodder inside. Pink lipstick from Mum, change for the bus home, tissues, sweets, apples, the Penbury CID Induction Pack and a small handmade card in joined-up writing: Good Luck, Sis. Love Jamie.

Rushing along the narrow corridor past the glass-panelled general office, I tell myself I’m not all that late, but I catch sight of four heads already barricaded behind high in-trays and jumbles of phone consoles and computer screens. I break into a trot and wonder which workstation mine will be. What if my new colleagues don’t rate me? Being late on day one isn’t the best way to win them over. They might not speak to me – I hate silences. Hopefully I’ll be out on the road most of the time.

I touch the buttons on my jacket. Too formal? Another idea of my mother’s. Now you don’t have to wear that ghastly uniform anymore. After trouble with toothpaste spatters, I had to change out of her pink lace blouse selection into a royal blue T-shirt, an old favourite. It looks good with the jacket – so long as I don’t undo the buttons to reveal its full glory. If the weather forecast is anything to go by, I’ll have to boil.

Through the chipped double doors, across the stairwell and into the corridor beyond, I reach a line of varnished wooden doors, each bearing a nameplate. I stop before the first one: Detective Inspector Liz Bagley. I re-check my jacket buttons.

I’m about to knock when the door flies open and two unsmiling figures appear. One I recognize as Mike Matthews, the sergeant from my interview panel. But it’s the woman with him who seems more familiar. A mass of dark hair, toned face and full red lips. DI Bagley or Cher?

“You’re late, DC Adams,” she says. A small woman, she has to tilt her head to meet my eye. Her black curls quiver. The fierce northern accent is pure Rottweiler.

“I’m sorry, I …” I wrack my brain for a plausible explanation that doesn’t involve Colgate or laddered tights. “I, ma’am, well, I …”

Bagley steps through the door and forces me aside, barking her orders at high speed. “There’s been a murder and an assault. Almost certainly connected. You go with DS Matthews. He’s your supervising officer. He’s meeting Forensics at the assault scene.”

She breezes past, short strides, high boots, dancing gingham skirt, and stops at the far end of the corridor to lob Matthews an afterthought. “I’ll be on Martle Top, but try and manage without me.”


Thank you Rachel for inviting me to join the tour and for providing the extract of the book to share.

Publisher: Killer Reads

Publication date: 14th December 2018

Print length: 221 pages

If you would like to purchase The Good Teacher you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo