I was initially attracted to The Liar’s House by the cover, which posed an immediate question: whose house is it? I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the contents. What a brilliant story! Faultless police procedural and questions you are desperate to find answers to in every chapter. The card one of the characters received containing a certain part of human anatomy (or is it human?) was a masterstroke. It sent shivers down my spine. I have to say here that Carla Kovach’s characterisation is excellent. I felt this woman’s isolation, also the frustration of the possible owner of the certain part of anatomy, Samantha. The characters within the relationships are all totally relatable to – though there are some you perhaps wouldn’t want to relate to. As well as telling a gripping story, looking for the link between Samantha, a girl who liked to party and sadly disappeared on the way home from one seven years ago, and the current day brutal murder of Jade, who seems to be her exact opposite, the author delves beneath the surface couples present to reveal what goes on behind closed doors: sexual predilections that wouldn’t be considered the ‘norm’, controlling relationships. Insecurities. All are real flesh and blood characters and that always holds my attention.
I love the way the author weaves Harte’s backstory seamlessly into the story, skilfully linking her ghosts from the past and making them a pertinent part of the present. This also makes the book easily readable as a standalone story. If you like your crime with lots of twists and characters that come complete with all their foibles, this is a must-read, one I would highly recommend.
Knowing Noelle Holten is a crime book junkie, reading and breathing crime thrillers, I was anticipating Dead Inside eagerly. I read the blurb a while back and was impressed by the unique premise. The book did not disappoint, ticking all the crime thriller boxes, and some, and the characterisation was excellent. The subject matter, domestic abuse, which also looks at the psychological aspect of abuse – important for me because that is often overlooked, or excused, sometimes by the sufferer, so insidious and manipulative is the abuser.
Noelle Holten brings her own experience working as a probation officer to the story, and she does it superbly, allowing the reader to immediately empathise with central character, Lucy Sherwood, whose job as a probation officer brings her into daily contact with domestic abusers. Even when it seems these criminals are itching to vent their frustrations regarding the system, Lucy handles herself. She’s competent. Behind closed doors, though, Lucy’s life has direct parallels with the victims of the people whose cases she handles. She lives each day of her life on tenterhooks, her overriding aim to protect ten-year-old Siobhan, her abuser’s daughter who she loves as her own.
Enter DC Maggie Jamieson. Dealing with her own family issues, she’s newly transferred to the Domestic Abuse and Homicide Unit and still haunted by the gruesome memories of her previous case. Her first new case is the grisly murder of a man linked to domestic abuse, which appears to be a vengeance killing. When more bodies are found, it’s soon apparent that the perpetrators of domestic abuse are being targeted. Maggie Jamieson and the DAHU team have a serial killer to track down. I have to say here, that I loved Maggie’s first day on the job. She is wrongfooted, but soon proves her worth. Again the characterisation shone through for me, each character having his own unique voice.
Our probation officer, Lucy, plays a key part as the investigation proceeds and the reader’s suspicion is aroused. The author has some clever twists, however, to keep you guessing – there’s a fabulous one at the end. No spoilers.
Dead Inside is a gritty, emotional, hard-hitting book that deals with delicate subjects. Bringing her own expertise to bear, the author writes frankly, assuredly and sensitively. If you love crime thrillers with a powerful story and strong characters you want to root for, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dead Inside. Highly.
Want the pertinent facts about facial recognition? Insight into the life of a detective? If you are writing crime thriller, psychological thriller – anything with a crime element – BEING A DETECTIVE is an accurate guide to all things police procedural. Providing easily indexed, expert information about everything from the ABC principle through to Z-cars and zombie knives, this book, along with THE CRIME WRITER’S CASEBOOK, really is as essential as your laptop. Having completed a forensics course myself, I can honestly say that you will learn everything you need to include in your manuscript from these two books. For instance, have you ever wondered what the object used by police to force open doors is? Not a lot of point having your DI yelling for it, if he/she doesn’t know. As a crime writer, you will need to get your facts right. I cannot recommend these two excellent guides enough.
I have used one of the author’s services as a writing consultant in the past (Stuart Gibbon. You can find him at GIB Consultancy). A former Met Police detective with 30 years’ experience in crime investigation, a DCI on murder cases and also an SIO on the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, he’s definitely a leading expert in his field.
I know I will be! Meanwhile, I would like to say a massive THANKS to readers and bloggers who have reviewed Deadly Intent and posted on Amazon. We’re now standing at forty-eight reviews. Only two more needed to push it to that all-important fifty! If anyone fancies grabbing it, it’s STILL on sale at 99p on Amazon and iBooks.
I can’t resist a little share of one or two snippets from readers so far. I’m absolutely ‘thrilled’ to bits with the feedback, though I’m not so sure Charlie is loving being hated.
That’s it! Back soon with some exciting BOOK NEWS! Meanwhile …
Life is frenetic nowadays. We know we should slow down occasionally and just breathe, but do we? Sometimes we need a wake up call. And so it was with me. I hadn’t realised whilst pushing myself on, blinking tiredly at my screen, why I was blinking so tiredly. Scarily, I had a sudden onset eye disease, which meant I couldn’t really see the screen. Emergency surgery fixed me, and it can be controlled, but … I am aware that if I’d left it … I’m sharing this because I’m also very aware of how many people kept right on supporting me even though I’d apparently fallen off the face of the earth. This is just to say a HUGE thank you. I’m back! Working hard, but pausing along the way. Those flowers keep calling.
So, enough with the troubles. We all have those, don’t we? The fabulous news is that my latest book is coming soon! DEADLY INTENT, Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams thriller series, due to be published on September 5th, is currently on pre-order at just 99p! Sneaking a cheeky link in here: http://viewbook.at/Deadly-Intent
Can you indulge me while I show off the video? The voiceover is awesome! Gritty, gravelly and scary (I’d have been hard-pushed to do that myself), it totally makes it. Definitely worth a listen.
Massive thanks to Alan Bainbridge at voxjunction.co.uk for your excellent, professional service – and also again to all those people who read and reviewed Books 1 & 2 in the DI Matthew Adams series (those reviews are pretty awesome too). I really do mean it when I say I could not have done this without you.
Please do feel free to browse my books on my ‘Books’ page or to contact me anytime! I’d love to hear from you.