Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on book five in the Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten, Dead Mercy. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Maggie over the course of these books and my thanks go to publisher, One More Chapter for providing an early copy for review and to Sarah Hardy of Book On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to join the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
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.
Dead Mercy is book five in the Maggie Jamieson crime series by Noelle Holten. If you have read any of the other books you will know that the author doesn’t shy away from the shocks or surprises and this book is no exception. Book four, Dead Secret, ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger and a shocking revelation for one of the extended multi-agency team, but that’s not to say that the book can’t be read as a standalone. It is a case in it’s own right, wrapped up very neatly within the book, but we’ve certainly been kept on tenterhooks waiting for the latest instalment to land.
And what a case this is. Maggie and the team are called in to investigate a rather grizzly murder, some of which we, as readers are privy to. It’s not overly graphic or gory, but it doesn’t leave much to the imagination either and, while I’m not sure there is a nice way to be murdered, this particular method of dispatch would not be high on my list. But was this really the killer’s target or were they a victim of mistaken identity. Well … we’ll know, but for Maggie, things aren’t quite so clear and when a second victim is discovered, things are even more uncertain.
I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Maggie, Kate, Nathan, Kat and the team over the course of the series. They gel well and the use of the multi-agency teams to support the investigation, and the series, really gives an insight to the other areas of policing, probation, social work etc, that don’t always get put in the spotlight. Probation is very much front and centre this time around and the author uses her personal knowledge of the job to great effect, not overloading with detail, but making clear that not everything is as black and white as Joe Public might like it to be.
Maggie is a really intriguing character. I can’t lie – I don’t always like her approach – she is very determined and passionate about the justice side and sometimes that can tip over into the impetuous, leading both her and her partner, Kat, into danger. Her frustrations come to the fore quite easily and I feel like I just want to yell ‘chill’ at her which, coming from a highly strung (argumentative) person such as I am, is quite the statement. But her heart is in the right place, and for every one character trait that drives me nuts, there are many more that make her endearing and often fun to spend an investigation with. Seeing her reluctant chemistry with reporter Julie Noble explored further this book was really interesting. They are chalk and cheese but there is no denying the spark. Whether their opposing methods of getting to the truth can ever lead to an amicable friendship – or more – well … you’ll have to read the book for yourself.
Noelle Holten has once again tackled a very difficult subject in a careful manner. All of the stories link back to human behaviour, with a psychology thread provided by Dr Kate Moloney, and explore some very emotive topics. This book does exactly that, creating a range of emotions both in the characters and me as the reader. It’s one of those tales where you can feel a touch of sympathy for the perpetrator of the heinous crimes, even if their methods of gaining restitution leave a lot to be desired. But with a whole host of possible suspects to hand, the story is laced with misdirection, keeping the killer pretty well hidden until the end of the book.
The ending – high stakes as always – and the energy, pace and tension ramps up as we charge towards a startling conclusion that sees Maggie in her greatest peril yet. Fans of Maggie, and of the series, won’t be disappointed. This is one hot to trot novel that will keep you powering to the final page.
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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