‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside
A brutal murder…
When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.
A dark history…
As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.
A terrible secret…
In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.
I haven’t been as excited to write a blog post for a very long time and my only worry is that I won’t be able to accurately convey just how much I enjoyed this book in words. When you read a lot, it’s hard to pick your favourites as there are so many books clamouring for your attention.
If you haven’t met DC Maggie Jamieson yet, then you are about to be introduced to your next favourite crime series and if like me you’ve been waiting on Book 5 coming out then you’ll absolutely understand why I couldn’t resist reading it straight away – and even though my TBR is looking very tempting right now, this book skipped its way to the top of the pile and I have absolutely zero regrets about that…
Although I was totally absorbed in the plot of Dead Mercy, and with that stunning opening, how could I fail to be? It is undoubtedly the deft and gritty characterisation in Noelle Holton’s writing that makes it such a stand-out series Maggie herself jumps off the page as a fully-realised human being that I 100% believed in from the get-go and five books in, I can safely say that I could not put this book down as I got entirely caught up in this tale that pulled me right into her latest investigation and didn’t let me go.
Maggie is one of those rare characters that you instantly connect with, despite her life experiences being almost diametrically opposed to my own as an English teacher in a boarding school that has definitely never had to cope with a brutal murder where the victim has been tortured and burned alive. The tale was so well drawn that I could wholly imagine myself there and it definitely felt like a slice of true crime that I was reading rather than a fictional rendition. It’s definitely one of those books that you feel like googling the events of it to see the news story behind it and I love the fact that we get the whole multi-agency approach to an investigation through the whole team of Maggie, Kate, Nathan, Kat and the rest of the team
Maggie is definitely one of those protagonists that you will be rooting for as you read. I think that it’s a testament to the strength of the writing that we absolutely believe in her and her ability to get to the bottom of this brutal crime throughout the novel. Her relationship with the characters around her are convincingly and vividly depicted. I love the fact that she’s a real team player and her perspective on the case and her conversations with her team ring true throughout this story as it unfolds bringing a credibility to the narrative that’s often lacking in crime fiction.
If you are looking for a fabulous new series in crime fiction then look no further and you’ll be delighted that this is the fifth installment. I guarantee that like me, you’ll be up unto the wee small hours, desperate to find out how this pageturner ends. Its pace is just perfect – it’s engrossing without ever feeling rushed or too hectic and really gives you time to try and navigate the case for yourself alongside Maggie and her team. I was absolutely blown away once again, and can’t wait to see what Noelle does next.
You will definitely find it hard to put this book down as you’ll be so wrapped up in this psychologically convincing and intelligently constructed case that you’ll need to keep reading and find out how it all ends. Neither Maggie nor Dr Kate Moloney are characters to give up easily, no matter the circumstances, so it’s safe to say that there were parts of this novel that I read with a thudding heart and sweaty palms as I was not sure how it was all going to end. Needless to say, I was not disappointed and I’m really jealous of anyone who’s yet to start reading this fantastically written series, as they are definitely in for an absolute treat.
I heartily recommend it to people who really like to get their teeth into a story that feels resolutely real and never lets you forget that even though this is fiction, there are plenty of teams like Maggie’s out there doing their best for the lost, the missing and the murdered all over the world. I love Noelle Holton’s skilful characterisation as much as I enjoyed her plots in this series, and I will definitely keep recommending it to friends of mine who enjoy crime novels that stand out head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
You need to buy this book, that is my Autumn reading advice for you – get comfortable on these cosy nights and treat yourself to an absolutely amazing read. All I can do now is count down to Noelle’s next book – but I can say one thing for sure, Dead Mercy will take some beating…
Writer On The Shelf
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 worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting.
She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.