Digital Reads Reviews

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I honestly do not know how to review this book.

Having never undergone physical abuse, I don’t claim to understand what the women in this book went through. But having survived abuse from childhood, I can empathize with them as I do understand pain.

This book was a hard core, dark gritty read which dealt in great detail with domestic abuse, the way men hit women, the scars which the women carried, both physical and mental. It told me how the cops and other disciplinary services were sometimes so helpless, the scrap of paper which was the restraining order was basically useless.

Though this was the cop Maggie Jamieson series, the book described the Probation Officer Lucy’s life in great detail and what she went through in her personal and professional life. Her life was nothing but a series of IRONY.

Author Noelle Holten in her debut has written a realistic novel using all her experiences as a Probation Officer for 18 years. The story showed me how every agency tried to keep the women safe, sometimes successful, often times not so much. But they all tried.

The effects of abuse along pain, fear, desperation, helplessness, and the impotent anger of the victims played on my mind completely and had me in shivers. I had to keep closing my kindle to shake off the feeling of suffocation. All the emotions that leapt off the pages overwhelmed me. Ms. Holten was honest in her portrayal of the realities of such a life. The team of cops working with Maggie in the investigation were great; they were relentless in their work. I wanted to see more of Maggie in the book.

Then came my niggles slowly creeping in. What the blurb promised me was only a minor part of the story. I wanted more of the suspense and mystery and the murder investigation. Abuse filled the majority of the book which depressed me completely. The book had so many characters right from the beginning that keeping them straight in my mind took me more than half the book.

The multidisciplinary police investigation and the mystery surrounding the murders were great, and that made it a fun read. And the killer was a surprise, not in my list of suspects.

I suspected Sarah Hardy, she knows what I am talking about. Sorry!! 😂 😂

I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Harper Impulse & Killer Reads, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!!

All my reviews can be read here


The story triggered my nightmares, I spent the night either restless or awake.

I hate men

I am too scared now to think about being in a relationship with a man after reading the abuse. I think I want someone whom I can overpower so that he can never think about hitting me.

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?

Publication Date: 31st May 2019

Publisher: Harper Impulse & Killer Reads

43 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for your review. I’m speechless!
    But know this – not all men are #Patricks or #Micks 😉 I can say that 100%

    1. I know but lately I have come across only users… That’s also an abuse… Ah well.. Need to shift to a new planet. The good ones are gay or married. Turning lesbian is sure tempting now 😂😂

    1. I couldn’t too at some parts. I have been depressed since the past 2 days. It triggered memories and nightmares. 😔

    1. Awww… Very sweet darling. At the moment, sleep is restless. Maybe I should go back to cozy and zombie… See how well they go together 💕

  2. This is a moving review, Shalini. No woman should ever have to go through this and unfortunately too many do. The name of the book is so appropriate as abused women numb themselves and “dead inside” is what they become.

    1. Did you just comment on my blog asking me to read someone else’s book instead of reading my hard work in writing this review? Do you think that is polite?

  3. Great review, Shalini. Just started reading this one yesterday but I agree with all that you said. The story is interesting but I am still trying to keep track of all the characters/different POVs. The investigation is also taking a backseat so fa. Still, I am captivated despite the difficult themes.

  4. I’m dying to read it, but I keep it for a later time… Loving the review! It definitely must be a heavy read. Abuse is a tough subject and I believe our Noelle to have written about it in a realistic way x

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