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Dead Secret: A gripping crime thriller with shocking twists you won’t see coming (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 4) Kindle Edition
‘Enthralling from the first page to the last. Devoured in one sitting. Noelle Holten has become one of my must-read authors’ Angela Marsons, bestselling author of the Detective Kim Stone series
Psychopaths can take root in the unlikeliest soil…
DC Maggie Jamieson crosses paths once again with Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood when a domestic violence survivor stumbles into her new refuge, unable to speak, desperate for help.
Then another case hits Maggie’s desk. A young man has been murdered, and a curious constellation of black dots has been inked onto his cheek.
That’s when DCI Hastings goes missing and Maggie uncovers a shocking connection that turns the case on its head.
Every family may hide secrets, but not every family buries them…
- ASIN : B08J9JDVYZ
- Publisher : One More Chapter (April 23, 2021)
- Publication date : April 23, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3604 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 391 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #896,132 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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An extended version of this originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
I'm a fan of this series—so obviously, I went into this book expecting to like it. But any reader knows that sometimes those expectations aren't met. Thankfully, it wasn't long at all before I knew Holten had, once again, provided her readers with a great read.
You've got a pretty grizzly beating death to start off with and then you the police's natural inclination to focus all resources on the missing DCI—and them not necessarily wanting to follow all the evidence that points to the DCI not being the kind of man they all thought. Just those two storylines would be enough. But then Holten throws in that third storyline—here's a person in desperate need of help, a survivor of (as far as anyone can tell) of domestic violence—a reminder that policing isn't about arrests, it isn't about only maintain social disorder—it's about people like this woman who showed at Lucy's front door, it's protecting and serving the public. This is the kind of thing that both (fictional and real) civilians and the (fictional and real) police need to be reminded of, and here it elevates the rest of the novel by its presence.
I'd largely figured out who the killer was and how it was happening pretty early on. I wasn't prepared for the motive behind the killing until it was clear. Holten also did a good job of revealing enough for readers who wanted to identify the killer early while at the same time writing things clearly enough that even people who didn't want that revelation would be able to enjoy the novel.
This is Holten at her best—I also see this having better commercial appeal than the previous novels in the series and I hope I'm right. Can you read this without having read the previous three novels? Yes. I think you'd be better off starting with the first book, but the important thing is that you start somewhere with this series.
Top reviews from other countries
In Dead Secret, Maggie, and the team in Major Crime team at Staffordshire Police, are faced with a series of disturbing murders which see the case take a very personal turn. Alongside this, Lucy Sherwood has her very first client at her women's refuge, a young women who is very badly hurt but also very evasive about her past. Two, soon to be three very perplexing mysteries which will keep you guessing throughout.
I must admit, I never trust evasive people in fiction, and Ronnie, the young woman who turns up at Lucy's refuge, is as evasive as they come. But is she hiding from someone, or from herself? She is a very complex character, but. difficult to get to know, the author playing on the idea that she is keeping secrets, as the title of the book suggests, but taking her time in slowly revealing them to the reader. Nervous, on edge - all classic hallmarks of an abuse victim, but how do you help someone who won't tell you what they are scared of? It was nice being back in the company of Lucy in this book, and her personal experience plays well to this element of the story. Sadly, discovering more about her mysterious new client will not be easy, with her former police colleagues otherwise distracted by their various cases. The mystery adds tension and also informs the pacing of the story, distracting readers at just the crucial times.
In terms of Maggie's cases, not only is she investigating a brutal murder in which the victim is left with ritualistic seeming marks on their body, the team is faced with the disappearance of one of their own and this becomes an increasingly urgent case, resulting in an increasingly pressured situation for the whole team. Despite having great instincts and being a determined investigator, Maggie is a character who is prone to emotional outbursts and frustration, and this time around it is not just the complex investigations that are getting to her. There is the added complication of her growing relationship, however it can be characterised, with reporter, Julie Noble. They wind each other up, Noble knowing exactly how to press Maggie's buttons, but there is a definite chemistry there, even if Maggie is too cautious and doubting to give into it.
Dead Secret is a clever and complex mystery that keep readers on their toes, casting doubt over many a character in turn. There were parts to the story that I had kind of guessed, largely because I am an untrusting soul, but there are many twists and turns in the book and parts of the story really do cause you to question what is happening and who is guilty. The characters are as sharp and well rounded as ever, and really pull you into the story, their relationships and character flaws as engrossing as the murder investigation. The pace is fast, the tension rising and falling as the story needs, and all powering readers to a very unexpected and emotional finale.
And yes ... it will leave you wanting more. I'm coming to think that Noelle is becoming the queen of the cliffhanger ending, as what you read will leave you reeling and desperate to get hold of book five.
DC Maggie Jamieson is back, in the latest instalment in this series by Noelle Holten. Maggie is still reeling from the last case where her friend and colleague, Dr Kate Maloney came up against the 'Living Doll Killer' and she is desperate for a break from it all, but there's no such luck when two cases are dropped in her lap, first is the discovery of a young man who has been murdered, and a strange pattern of black dots inked on his cheek, the second is the disappearance of one of their own, DCI Hastings, but Maggie and the team soon discover there is a link between the two and it's a race against time to find Hastings before someone else ends up dead.
Dead Secret is packed with mystery and intrigue, especially around the elusive 'Ronnie', what is her story? It was great to see the return of Lucy Sherwood who we first met in book one, she is herself a victim of domestic violence and has just opened up a safe haven for people like herself, when Ronnie appears at her door, battered and bruised and seeking help, also we get to witness the growing relationship between Maggie and Julie Noble, the full on reporter for the local paper, who likes nothing more than to get under Maggie's skin at every opportunity, sparks are definitely beginning to fly there! Once again this author delivers with Dead Secret, providing many twists to the tale and the usual cliffhanger that we've come to expect from Holten, which had me pressing maniacally for the next page on my kindle, because that couldn't be the end, could it?? This, like the others in the series, can be read as standalone but I would recommend you start from the beginning, so you capture the background of all the characters and gain a better understanding of them and where they are at now.
Dead Secret is book 4 in Noelle Holten’s Maggie Jamieson thriller series. It is an awesome series! I have loved all four books so far and I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck into Dead Mercy.
In this book Maggie, and the team, are faced with the murder of a young man with mysterious black dots on his cheek. At the same time her colleague, Lucy, is dealing with a domestic violence survivor with familiar, but worrying, behaviour. As if that isn’t enough to deal with, they discover one of their own is missing. Each case seemingly unconnected until evidence begins to suggest otherwise. It’s a race against time and I certainly felt the urgency throughout the police procedural aspects of this story. It must be so frustrating for police officers when nothing makes any sense. I wouldn’t be able to do their job for all the money in the world!
I love the characters throughout this book. Maggie is such a likeable character. I enjoy getting to know her a little bit more with each book. I don’t really understand what she sees in that reporter, if I’m honest, other than the obvious physical attraction. It would be nice to see her find happiness, or at least a bit of fun, with someone though.
The professional relationships the team share feel so genuine. I do always feel like I’m reading about real people. This is one of the many things I love about a series.
One character in this story is particularly terrifying. Wow! Hats off to Noelle Holten for this creation. It felt like my blood ran cold on more than one occasion. It also raises the question again of nature versus nurture.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is fast-paced, full of suspense, and horrifying at times. I loved it!
I was sad when Maggie’s friend and colleague Dr Kate Maloney returned to Ireland with her parents. Not surprised considering what she had gone through. It was great to know that Maggie and Kate continued to speak throughout the book, I think their relationship added a lot to the previous books, they just bounced off one another.
The whole team were shocked by the disappearance of DCI Hastings and his family. I loved how Noelle dealt with the team’s changes of view as their story unfolded. At first, DCI Hastings seems to be involved in the killing of a young man who is left brutally murdered. The team are unable to view him as a killer, but as the case moves on, the evidence against the DCI stacks up.
Maggie has had a difficult relationship with a journalist who always seems to have an insider’s perspective on the case. She likes Julie Noble on one level but is scared of getting involved on a more personal level as she is a journalist at heart and Maggie doesn’t want to compromise herself in an way. Faithful readers will understand why I was shouting “NO” when the two seemed to get closer and closer.
Lucy Sherwood also plays a larger role in this book than in previous books. She comes across as a placid, caring person, who in my view needs to gets a firmer grip on reality if she wants to make a success out of her new refuge. The people she wants to help have difficult lives that have taught them what to do in order to survive. Lucy’s refuge won’t survive if she doesn’t take a tougher stance. Lucy wants to provide a sanctuary, but those locked gates won’t keep out all evil.
This was a great book, well plotted and including a range of interesting characters. Good versus evil certainly played its part in a thrilling tale that reached a great conclusion. I’m looking forward to Maggie’s next adventure, although I’m sure she needs a long break first!
It didn’t take me long at all to get into this story. In fact the synopsis was enough to draw me in and the story within the book’s cover just sealed the deal as they say. As soon as I started reading, I just knew that there was no point planning to do anything else for the rest of the day because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put the book down. I must be psychic (or psychopathic?) because once I started reading the book, I just couldn’t stop. I became so wrapped up in the story that I lost all track of time and just how quickly I was getting through the story. All too quickly I reached the end of ‘Dead Secret’ and I had to bid a temporary farewell to DC Maggie Jamieson. I found ‘Dead Secret’ to be an unputdownable, page turner of a read, which kept me guessing and which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
‘Dead Secret’ is superbly written but then I have thought that to be true of all of Noelle’s books to date. She certainly knows how to draw you into the story and take you on one hell of a journey. For me, the story hit the ground running and maintained a fast pace throughout. Reading ‘Dead Secret’ felt like being on a rather scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with lots of twists and turns along the way. Just when you thought that you could take a minute to catch your breath then off the action would go again. I felt as though I was part of the story and that’s thanks to Noelle’s very vivid and realistic storytelling.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of ‘Dead Secret’ and I would recommend it to other readers. This is a series that just keeps getting better and better and goes from strength to strength. I will certainly be reading more of Noelle’s work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.