Today it is my pleasure to share the thoughts of both me and Mandie on Dead Perfect, the latest Maggie Jamieson novel from Noelle Holten which is released on Kindle today. Happy publication day Noelle. We’ve really enjoyed the series so far and getting to know Maggie and the team she works with. My thanks to Sarah Hardy of Book on the Bright Side Publicity and publishers One More Chapter for inviting us to be on the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
A murdered woman…
When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer. The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else. Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.
A determined detective…
Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger. Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls?
Can Maggie find the depraved killer? Or will Kate become his next living doll?
If you ever wondered what Maggie Jamieson would be like when she is angry and under pressure, read Dead Perfect. You will then understand why it’s not a good idea to cross her or to threaten the people she cares about either. At the end of book two Kate was hit with a very startling bit of information, the very thing that kicks off the action in this latest offering.
There is a stalker loose on the streets of Staffordshire and they have a very distinct and rather troublesome M.O. Abducting young women and then altering their appearance, before leaving their bodies in what can only be described as a very macabre manner, this is someone that the team need to find an quickly. But the case has a very personal edge for Maggie which makes her very volatile and possibly even a risk to the integrity of the investigation. Why? Because her good friend, Dr Kate Moloney, is just the stalker’s type and the signs are all there that she is their next intended victim.
The story is full of tension, the pacing quite quick as the team strive to find any links between the women that might lead them to the suspect. They are all feeling the pressure, particularly as it is one of their own who is clearly being targeted, but that sense of the slow moving cogs of the investigation rang true, as did the many dead ends they encountered as they ruled out suspects one by one. I’m not going to lie, Maggie’s behaviour in this book really did irk me after a while and, although I understood the mixture of anxiety and passion she felt for the case, for obvious reasons, her lack of professionalism at times was too much to take and if I’d been in charge of her, I’d have kicked her off the case in a heartbeat. It was fun watching the back and forth between her and journalist, Julie Noble, perhaps set to be the best of frenemies, although Maggie would be loathe to admit to the spark between them. I can definitely see that developing as the series continues. It should keep things lively!
I did peg the right suspect in the book quite early on, but their motivations remained a secret right until the end, quite probably not what most readers will have suspected. The whole truth of the matter is gradually revealed, with surprising links to Kate’s past emerging, something which gives us greater insight into her as a character too. It has been clear from the start that she was concealing something about her past, something that she hid behind a wall of fake confidence and reticence that doesn’t quite see her through this ordeal. She is a character I like, and seeing the cracks appearing in her friendship with Maggie as they both struggle to cope with what is happening felt very true to character.
It’s another exciting, tension filled read but one which is perhaps best read after book two rather than as a standalone. And be warned! There is another tense cliffhanger ahead so you’re just going to have to tune into book four too now, aren’t you?
After Dead Wrong leaving me wanting to dive straight into book 3, I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of the book that let me do just that and I wasn’t disappointed. This time the main focus is on Maggie’s close friend Kate Maloney. Maggie is called to a crime scene, but with the description of the victim resembling that of Kate she is not sure that she really wants to be there. As more bodies turn up, all resembling Kate, the hunt is on to find out who the killer is and what the connection between them is.
Kate is as stubborn as Maggie so you can see why they get along and there are certainly some do as I say not as I do moments when Maggie is desperately trying to keep Kate safe but all Kate wants to do is keep her life as normal as possible. She refuses to let the possibility that she has a stalker stop her from doing her job, even using her friendship with Maggie to insert herself into the investigations which for her own sanity was probably not the smartest decision she makes and has an impact on some of her actions going forward.
I have to say that this is my favourite book out of the three so far. I am loving the fact that we are slowly getting to know more about Maggie, both as a police officer and also in her personal life which is by no means straightforward but does not distract from the main action in anyway. The author is certainly getting in her stride now with the characters and her knowledge of the justice system clearly shows throughout. The tension builds up quite slowly at first, but I found that I was unable to put the book down and raced through it in 2 days. Although Maggie is the link between all the books making them more police procedural, there is also the focus on different elements within the system so the reader gets a different perspective with each new book.
The only thing I will say is that with the action in book 3 starting almost straight after the conclusion in book 2 this is probably the only time I would recommend you read the previous book to really get the full impact of the story. All that is left to say is that with the series going from strength to strength roll on book number 4.
About the Author
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. 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 book love via her blog.
Dead Inside is her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.
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