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Dead Mercy

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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 s 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.


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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 s 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.

30 review for Dead Mercy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sumit RK

    Dead Mercy is the fifth book in the DC Maggie Jamieson Series. Though the fifth book in the series, each book deals with a separate case and can be read as a standalone. Having said that there is a parallel track of Maggie’s personal life and the way she deals with office politics which you will miss out on a lot of backstories. So it is advisable to read it right from the start of the series. When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson soon discovers more killings. As Dead Mercy is the fifth book in the DC Maggie Jamieson Series. Though the fifth book in the series, each book deals with a separate case and can be read as a standalone. Having said that there is a parallel track of Maggie’s personal life and the way she deals with office politics which you will miss out on a lot of backstories. So it is advisable to read it right from the start of the series. When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson soon discovers more killings. As the body count rises, Maggie and her team start wondering if the cases are somehow related. In a race against time, Maggie must piece together the cases and find the killer before the time runs out. The story is told from the dual perspectives of the killer and the police points of view alternatively. The story is action-packed, full of twists and turns and captures the atmosphere of a police procedural perfectly. As a police procedural, the story offers an interesting insight into the working of the UK police force and also how the British criminal justice works. Unlike much another police procedural, this story is all about teamwork and all other team members and the office politics also play a role, which adds another dimension to the story. I have not read all the other books in the series and I felt like I lost out on lots of backstories and as a result, I felt less connected to the characters. So at the cost of repeating myself, it’s better to read the series from the start. This case deals with a serial killer and there are some extremely graphic violent scenes Trigger Warning. I did enjoy the characters especially Maggie and Kate as well as the team working together to solve the case. Overall, This is an excellent police procedural with a dark and intense crime story, and some brilliant characters, all blended together with some excellent writing. It has several twists and turns that will keep you hooked right till the end. If you are looking for a great police procedural series, this series is a superb read. Many thanks to the publishers HarperCollins and NetGalley for the ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    This is the 5th book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by author Noelle Holten. A brutal serial killer is on the loose and DC Maggie Jamieson is making it her business o hunt him down. The murders are piling up as the killer appears to be following a plan and Maggie thinks it maybe revenge killings. The race is on to stop the killer before the next murder is committed. These books do work as stand-alone reads but like most series you will get more out of them if read in order. Having started on boo This is the 5th book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by author Noelle Holten. A brutal serial killer is on the loose and DC Maggie Jamieson is making it her business o hunt him down. The murders are piling up as the killer appears to be following a plan and Maggie thinks it maybe revenge killings. The race is on to stop the killer before the next murder is committed. These books do work as stand-alone reads but like most series you will get more out of them if read in order. Having started on book 1 I feel that the characters have developed in each book and are becoming more familiar with every new story. DC Maggie Jamieson is a very good character but there are some hidden gems with journalist Julie Noble and Dr Kate Moloney. I would like to thank both Net Galley and Harper Collins UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Maggie Jamieson is back in this the 5th book in the well established series and she is as determined and focused as ever as she battles in a race against time to stop a serial killer who seems to be targetting a specific set of people An interesting case when Maggie and indeed the reader have an understanding/some sympathies with why the killer is doing what they are doing, even so they have to be stopped and as always Maggie once has got the bit between her teeth wont stop until she succeeds I th Maggie Jamieson is back in this the 5th book in the well established series and she is as determined and focused as ever as she battles in a race against time to stop a serial killer who seems to be targetting a specific set of people An interesting case when Maggie and indeed the reader have an understanding/some sympathies with why the killer is doing what they are doing, even so they have to be stopped and as always Maggie once has got the bit between her teeth wont stop until she succeeds I think, again as in Book 4 Maggie although aggressive in her work has calmed slightly in her general dealings with people and is more likeable and was pleased with this The story is action packed, easy to follow and once again shows the authors experience in past careers and explains various Departments clearly Another good read in this explosive series 8/10 4 Stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    DC Maggie Jamieson #5 When a burned body is found with it's teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues. 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. Maggie, Kat and Dr Maloney are back in the 5th book in this well written series. It contains some current themes. It soon becomes evident that t DC Maggie Jamieson #5 When a burned body is found with it's teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues. 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. Maggie, Kat and Dr Maloney are back in the 5th book in this well written series. It contains some current themes. It soon becomes evident that there's links to a historic case and soon accusations of child abuse at a home for boys. The body count is rising and it becomes a race against time to find the killer. This is a tense read that had me on the edge of my seat a couple of times. I was pulled into the story from the first page. The story is told from the perpetrator and the police points of view. It has also been well executed. I would like to thank #NetGalley, #HarperCollinsUk #OneMoreChapter and the author #Noelleholten for my ARC of #DeadMercy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten is the fifth book of the series. But, like her others in this series you can read it as a standalone. DC Maggie Jamieson is called to a brutal murder where the body is burned, and few teeth are missing and the body maybe the husband of a probation officer. When more bodies turn up, DC Maggie Jamieson is stumped. Wondering what the connection is between the victims. She is desperate to find the killer before more bodies turn up. At the same time. Kat decides to come bac Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten is the fifth book of the series. But, like her others in this series you can read it as a standalone. DC Maggie Jamieson is called to a brutal murder where the body is burned, and few teeth are missing and the body maybe the husband of a probation officer. When more bodies turn up, DC Maggie Jamieson is stumped. Wondering what the connection is between the victims. She is desperate to find the killer before more bodies turn up. At the same time. Kat decides to come back to work after re cooperating from the last case. The team doesn’t think she is up to it. But she proves them wrong and get on with trying to find the killer. This is another exceptional episode in the series. Miss Holten has outdone herself with this gripping, gritty thriller. This also had a realistic look of old social service system. How children fell through the cracks of the system and the physical and verbal abuse that the kids endured. Very well and sensitively written. 5 stars from me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

    This is the fifth in the DC Maggie Jamieson series; it is the fourth one I have read. Obviously, I enjoy Noelle Holten’s writing. Maggie, who in the past I thought was a bit too flighty, is starting to recognize her shortcomings and hopefully will continue strengthening her self awareness, techniques and skills. This is a well paced, fast read. A solid police procedural, it delves into the savage world of institutional child abuse. I find Holten’s insight into and explanation of the British crim This is the fifth in the DC Maggie Jamieson series; it is the fourth one I have read. Obviously, I enjoy Noelle Holten’s writing. Maggie, who in the past I thought was a bit too flighty, is starting to recognize her shortcomings and hopefully will continue strengthening her self awareness, techniques and skills. This is a well paced, fast read. A solid police procedural, it delves into the savage world of institutional child abuse. I find Holten’s insight into and explanation of the British criminal justice very informative. Although part of a series, I think this can be read as a standalone…although the constant reference back to the previous book might make readers want to seek it out.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The storyline in Dead Mercy had me go on an emotional roller coaster of a ride. Do you know how sometimes even though you are totally against violence and killing, you still find yourself having empathy for the killer? Well this was very much the case here. The further into the story we go, the more understanding of why the killer was doing what they were and it does make for some heart wrenching reading. The murders themselves were both chilling and horrifying. I kept putting myself into the vic The storyline in Dead Mercy had me go on an emotional roller coaster of a ride. Do you know how sometimes even though you are totally against violence and killing, you still find yourself having empathy for the killer? Well this was very much the case here. The further into the story we go, the more understanding of why the killer was doing what they were and it does make for some heart wrenching reading. The murders themselves were both chilling and horrifying. I kept putting myself into the victims shoes at what was happening to them and it was a terrifying place to be and definitely something that could easily give you nightmares! Maggie and her team are working around the clock to solve the case and as they close in, it send my heart racing! Dead Mercy was bone chillingly brilliant! I had to take some deep breaths when I had finished it as I had been holding my breath for so long at events that happened towards the end. Whilst the murders freaked me out, it was also quite a harrowing and emotional read. I’m desperate for more in the series not only to see what other cases the team will be working on but for where things will go in Maggie’s personal life also. Roll on book 6!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Fast-paced crime thriller featuring DC Maggie Jamieson of the Stafford Police. A serial killer who seems bent on some sort of twisted revenge is targeting seemingly random local people. The MO for all is the same and the signature a bit freaky as the villain not only burns them while still alive, they also pull some teeth. After some digging, Maggie and her team feel that this case might be connected to historical child abuse of boys in care homes that was never addressed and the perpetrators nev Fast-paced crime thriller featuring DC Maggie Jamieson of the Stafford Police. A serial killer who seems bent on some sort of twisted revenge is targeting seemingly random local people. The MO for all is the same and the signature a bit freaky as the villain not only burns them while still alive, they also pull some teeth. After some digging, Maggie and her team feel that this case might be connected to historical child abuse of boys in care homes that was never addressed and the perpetrators never brought to justice. No spoilers. This is the 5th in a series that keeps getting better. I've read 3 of the other books (missed #4), and didn't feel lost so it could work as a standalone but better to know the backstory as usual. I enjoy the characters and the team interaction as they work night and day to investigate. This is standard police procedural with red herrings and running down clues with an interesting premise. Maggie has compassion and usually acts sensibly though, like all fiction detectives, has incredible gut instincts (spidey sense) and often goes off book to get the job done. Thank you to NetGalley and One More Chapter for this e-book ARC to read and review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- WHAT'S DEAD MERCY ABOUT? The closing chapter of Dead Secret set this up (as Holten is so good about doing): a business has gone up in fire and a body has been found inside—possibly the body of someone Maggie's worked with in Probation. From the start, this case has its hooks in Maggie. It's soon decided that the body was the source of the fire—and before the victim had been set ablaze, he'd been restrained and had teeth pulled. The killer ha This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- WHAT'S DEAD MERCY ABOUT? The closing chapter of Dead Secret set this up (as Holten is so good about doing): a business has gone up in fire and a body has been found inside—possibly the body of someone Maggie's worked with in Probation. From the start, this case has its hooks in Maggie. It's soon decided that the body was the source of the fire—and before the victim had been set ablaze, he'd been restrained and had teeth pulled. The killer had wanted to punish him, not just kill him. Soon another victim is discovered—and the team has to race to find a connection so they can prevent anyone else from suffering this fate. When the link is finally discovered, it suggests potential new victims as well as several suspects. It also shines a bright light on a striking failure of the criminal justice system. BETHANY AND KAT Back when I talked about Book 3, Dead Perfect , I wrote that they were overworking PC Bethany Lambert, "Miscellaneous errands, thankless tasks, things requiring technological expertise, and more fall to her. I lost track of how many things Maggie threw her way to do—on top of her own assignments. I have multiple notes about how they're working this woman to death." They've yet to let up on her—however, it's talked about both as the way she likes to work and as something other people are concerned about. This is efficiently done—the characters around her get to be observant and sympathetic, and they can continue to throw too much work at her so Holten doesn't have to create 2-3 more characters to keep the stories moving at that pace. Dead Perfect was also where DC Kat Everett was added to the team—she's better integrated into the action over the last couple of books now and I really enjoy her. I'm ready to read a spin-off series focusing on her now, either in her same assignment or transferred somewhere. Her brashness would make for a fun protagonist (not that Maggie isn't brash, but hers is a side-effect of her impetuousness). A REFRESHING APPROACH With most police procedurals you get the maverick, lone-wolf detective—maybe with a couple of people they trust. Or (particularly with UK-based procedurals), you get a focus on a detective squad. With the Maggie Jamieson books, we get a good look at her squad, probation services, and other social services. Not just as a drop-in for a convenient bit of information, either. But characters that matter, there's interconnectedness between the groups and it's good to see the flow of information (formally, informally, unauthorized) informing the investigations. I like seeing that approach, and I like to think it reflects reality far more than any lone-wolf thumbing their nose at regulations. Although, the pathologist still seeming to hold a grudge over one of her staff being (justifiably) questioned a while back seems to be petty. Which, so it's not all super-professional and mutually helpful. LET'S HOPE THIS IS FICTION Not every author spends too much time on the motivation behind the killings, but an author that gives a believable motivation separates their work from the pack. This is another of those areas that Holten excels in. Yes, this is a work of fiction. Yes, things are heightened. But when you read this, there's going to be a voice in the back of your head saying, "I could see that happening." Not only that, there's a pretty good chance that you're going to be a little conflicted about the crimes. Odds are, you're not going to be hoping that Maggie and her team fail, or that the killer (killers?) gets away with it. Buuuut...once you understand the motive pushing the killer(s), you may not feel that bad about what happens to the victims. SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT DEAD MERCY? Holten's got this down now—the characters and world are well established, as are the relationships in them. Despite the relatively brief chronology between books 1-5, there's been some decent character growth on several points, too. So a new Maggie Jamieson thriller is a chance to spend some time catching up with new acquaintances while getting to go for a pretty intense ride as those acquaintances try to stop a brutal killer. Okay, maybe that's not the ideal way to catch up and check in on anyone, but it's a pretty exciting read. Crime Reads had that piece a couple of weeks ago discussing "all crime is cyber crime," which was ringing in my ears as I read this. This very visceral series of murders is evidence to support that thesis—cyber-policing wasn't enough to stop the series, either, but it played its part. Holten's always been good at balancing the computer-work and the boots-on-the-ground policing but might have outdone herself here. The accent does fall on the physical world, of course, given the nature of the crimes. If your stomach doesn't church a little at the description of the murders (likely both as they're happening and as the pathologist breaks them down), you're made of pretty stern stuff. Thankfully, Holten's narration doesn't ever seem to relish in the disturbing details as too many do. Basically, this is a top-notch thriller with a lot for the reader to chew on as they're burning through the pages. It does appear that this is going to be the last Maggie Jamieson book--at least for a while. I'm hoping it's just a break, and we get back to Maggie and the rest of the Major and Organised Crime Department soon. If not? These five books are a great set and I (again) strongly recommend them to you. Disclaimer: I received this eARC from HarperCollins UK via NetGalley in exchange for this post--thanks to both for this.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Faichney

    "Dead Mercy" begins with a brutal opening. Indeed, the subject matter in this book is harrowing though Noelle Holten handles it with sensitivity. She also shows great empathy for desperate people in her writing. Holten gives us a real look behind the curtain of criminal justice through a fictional lens. I love the inside knowledge Holten imparts as regards systems and procedures within the police and probation service. She also demonstrates excellent technical detail. Holten knows her stuff and "Dead Mercy" begins with a brutal opening. Indeed, the subject matter in this book is harrowing though Noelle Holten handles it with sensitivity. She also shows great empathy for desperate people in her writing. Holten gives us a real look behind the curtain of criminal justice through a fictional lens. I love the inside knowledge Holten imparts as regards systems and procedures within the police and probation service. She also demonstrates excellent technical detail. Holten knows her stuff and she knows her craft! The books in this series make for compulsive reading and I am looking forward to the next one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    DC Maggie Jamieson is determined to stop a killer, a brutal killer showing no mercy to his victims. Not only does more than one horiffic murder occur, there soon proves to be a pattern. What is more is that a very specific clue has Maggie and her team convinced that the murders lead to a dark and disturbing past involving certain individuals. Can they stop the vicious killer before the body count continues to rise? Maggie feverishly pushes to get to the bottom of what is going on. While working w DC Maggie Jamieson is determined to stop a killer, a brutal killer showing no mercy to his victims. Not only does more than one horiffic murder occur, there soon proves to be a pattern. What is more is that a very specific clue has Maggie and her team convinced that the murders lead to a dark and disturbing past involving certain individuals. Can they stop the vicious killer before the body count continues to rise? Maggie feverishly pushes to get to the bottom of what is going on. While working with her team, someone else enters the mix. That is journalist Julie Noble. Maggie has her reservations regarding Julie's involvement, for professional and personal reasons. For one thing, Maggie does not want any of the facts of the investigation to tip off the killer as they work to get close to stopping them. What is more is that Maggie begins to have a growing interest in Julie on a personal level. As if that is not enough to provide a bit of a distraction to Maggie, she is also concerned about things going on in her home life. Nonetheless, Maggie displays rugged determination concerning the crimes she is dealing with. All while Maggie is pursuing the killer, the voice of this killer is interspersed intermittently in this exciting and tragic story, with their reasons for the savage killings. Thus, a race against time is definitely in play and no matter the danger, Maggie is relentless. This tension-filled fifth book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series is a thrilling read from the very first page, especially as Maggie does not shy away from said danger, pushing herself to her very limits to catch the elusive killer. Although this book is part of a continuing series, each book could do well as standalone novels. However, Maggie has shown such growth, such grit, such determination that reading this series in order is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I am already eager for the next book in this fabulous series. Many thanks to One More Chapter and to NetGalley for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ally’s reading corner

    Eney, meny, mini mo – which will be the next one to go?? There is nothing I love more when reading a police procedural thriller than trying to crack the case before the detectives. I think I’m pretty good at it to be honest, BUT I can never outsmart DC Maggie Jamieson and her crew! Noelle is one hell of a cracking writer, and what do you expect with her background in the justice system, she nails it EVERY time. Constantly leaving you guessing, sat on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next OMG Eney, meny, mini mo – which will be the next one to go?? There is nothing I love more when reading a police procedural thriller than trying to crack the case before the detectives. I think I’m pretty good at it to be honest, BUT I can never outsmart DC Maggie Jamieson and her crew! Noelle is one hell of a cracking writer, and what do you expect with her background in the justice system, she nails it EVERY time. Constantly leaving you guessing, sat on the edge of your seat, waiting for the next OMG moment to happen. Dead Mercy is definitely my favourite book in the series so far. Now, that is not to say I haven’t loved them all because they are all FANTASTIC but THIS storyline WOW it is enough to send shivers down your spine, especially after interviewing Noelle and hearing that most of her ideas are based on cases worked while in probation. Aside from the AMAZING plot, it was the character development in this book that has made it one of my favourites – I feel like Maggie has really started to come out of her shell in this book, after being so guarded and all about the job you get to see another side to her, more of who she is really is. AND I love her!! Bookcrush and all. She is most definitely one of my favourite characters ever written and one HELL of a bloody detective. Do you dare try to take on Maggie and catch out who the Staffordshire Scorcher is before she can?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    This is such a gripping series and it just seems to get better with every new book released! Noelle Holten isn’t afraid to tackle difficult and emotive subjects and her previous work as a probation officer means that her storylines are authentic and well researched. Dead Mercy has at its heart a gripping and sometimes disturbing crime that DC Maggie Jamieson finds herself having a personal connection to so it’s more important than ever for her to solve it quickly. What a love about this series is This is such a gripping series and it just seems to get better with every new book released! Noelle Holten isn’t afraid to tackle difficult and emotive subjects and her previous work as a probation officer means that her storylines are authentic and well researched. Dead Mercy has at its heart a gripping and sometimes disturbing crime that DC Maggie Jamieson finds herself having a personal connection to so it’s more important than ever for her to solve it quickly. What a love about this series is that I’ve come to know the main characters so well and every new meeting reveals more so the storyline feels realistically portrayed as though I’m reading about real people. Maggie herself is relatable and I loved catching up with her professional and personal life once again. The crime scene she’s first called out to is an horrific incident and there’s also a shocking revelation about who the victim could be. It quickly becomes obvious that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye and links to a cold case become apparent too. Sometimes the details were very harrowing to read but that’s probably because Noelle brings such detail to her plots which raises them to an almost visual experience. If you’ve not read any of the previous books in this series then you certainly can read this as a stand-alone although I think you’d get more from it if you’ve met the characters previously. And I think that they still have more to give! This is a series that I never tire of and always look forward to. If you love gripping plotlines that challenge your preconceptions of the police and the agency’s they work with then Dead Mercy is a must read for you. Highly recommended by me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Ryles

    This book is fantastic! I've loved every single book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series but Noelle Holten has really excelled herself with Dead Mercy and I think it's her best one yet. Although Dead Mercy is book 5 in the series, you can totally read it as a standalone and any new readers of the series at this point are sure to become huge Maggie Jamieson fans. Noelle Holten never shies away from tough subjects but they are always dealt with sensitively and realistically. Without giving away too mu This book is fantastic! I've loved every single book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series but Noelle Holten has really excelled herself with Dead Mercy and I think it's her best one yet. Although Dead Mercy is book 5 in the series, you can totally read it as a standalone and any new readers of the series at this point are sure to become huge Maggie Jamieson fans. Noelle Holten never shies away from tough subjects but they are always dealt with sensitively and realistically. Without giving away too much of the amazing plot, Dead Mercy centres around a serial killer who is meting out justice to people who were not prosecuted in a historical abuse case. I did sympathise with the killer as nobody should get away with any form of abuse and of course I had no idea who the killer was so it was fun to gather the clues along with Maggie and her team. The writing is outstanding, creating levels of suspense and intrigue that kept my eyes firmly glued to the page. The pacing is fast, the plotting is perfect and the whole book could be the subject of a crime writing masterclass. Dead Mercy is a dark, gripping and tense edge of your seat thriller. It's an exceptional novel that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: November 5th 2021 "The last thing she thought before drifting off to sleep was the question that had been niggling her all day: Is this just the start of something bigger?" *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and One More Chapter in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I've been a fan of this series and its main character ever since I read the first book back in 2019, and I've been looking forward to meet up with DC Maggi Finished reading: November 5th 2021 "The last thing she thought before drifting off to sleep was the question that had been niggling her all day: Is this just the start of something bigger?" *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and One More Chapter in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I've been a fan of this series and its main character ever since I read the first book back in 2019, and I've been looking forward to meet up with DC Maggie Jamieson and the others again after catching up with the previous book a little while ago. Dead Mercy is already book number five of the series, and while it technically can be read as a stand-alone, I personally would recommend reading the books in order. It will be a lot easier to fully understand the character development and their background this way, and the whole series is well worth your time in the first place. After everything that happened in book four, I was more than curious to find out how everything continues. We have a whole new investigation in play, and this time around it's all about revenge and child abuse. Disturbing, twisted, uncomfortable, suspenseful... DC Maggie Jamieson and the rest of the team once again have their hands full, and it's a race against the clock to stop the killer in time. The story is told with the help of a multiple POV structure, which is used to not only follow Maggie but also other relevant characters including the killer. I do have to say that there was something about the writing style of the killer's POV that bothered me a little; it probably had to do with the constant repeat of he this, he that, which started to annoy me especially in the beginning. That said, the rest of the POVs read just as easily as always, and I really enjoyed diving into this case in general. As always, I love that we don't just have your usual detective investigation, but that Dead Mercy also shows us the probation side. And of course, we have the psychological angle too where Kate comes in... This combination gives the story more dept and definitely helps the series stand out in the genre. The suspense and plot twists are both well handled, and while I was looking in the right direction, I didn't guess the full truth before the final reveals and that is always a bonus. There are some developments on a personal level too, which make me even more curious to see how things continue in the next book. In short, Dead Mercy turned out to be another successful detective thriller sequel and I definitely can't wait to see what book six has in store for us. (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emma Shaw

    "At least amongst the dead we knew we were safe..." Dead Mercy packs a punch from the start with a brutal murder where the victim is tortured and burned alive. A dark and disturbing story of secrets and revenge, we follow Maggie and her team as they investigate, uncovering a historic child abuse case and hunting a killer dispensing his own version of justice. As the killer plays a cat and mouse game with the team, can they find him before he completes his deadly plan? The fifth installment in Noe "At least amongst the dead we knew we were safe..." Dead Mercy packs a punch from the start with a brutal murder where the victim is tortured and burned alive. A dark and disturbing story of secrets and revenge, we follow Maggie and her team as they investigate, uncovering a historic child abuse case and hunting a killer dispensing his own version of justice. As the killer plays a cat and mouse game with the team, can they find him before he completes his deadly plan? The fifth installment in Noelle Holten’s Maggie Jamieson series is another tense, twisty and compelling thriller. Ms. Holten is adept at crafting sinister and unnerving characters and stories that are also moving and addictive. She knows how to hold the reader in the palm of her hand from beginning to end and make them come back for more. And while she writes honestly, there is also compassion, walking a fine line as she finds some understanding even for those with minds warped by their trauma, as is this case with the killer in this book. She just gets better and better. While I love returning to familiar characters and enjoy Maggie as a protagonist, the star of the show this time around has to be the killer. He is a fascinating character, full of pain, anguish, sorrow and desperation. A man let down as a child by those who were supposed to protect him, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Ms. Holten takes us inside his mind so we can see his turmoil and brokenness and empathise with how he got to this point. Hard-hitting, menacing and suspenseful, this has everything I could ask for in a thriller. Sharply-written and enthralling, this is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a darker kind of psychological thriller.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    Guess who's back,back again,Maggie's back,tell a friend. DC Maggie Jamieson and the team return for the fifth instalment in this addictive, gritty police procedural series. The discovery of the charred remains of a human corpse in the offices of Justin Hardy who is the husband of Maggie's friend Sarah is the catalyst for a complex and frustrating investigation that will not only put pressure on the women's friendship but also cause Maggie to suspect that Sarah knows more than she is revealing. As t Guess who's back,back again,Maggie's back,tell a friend. DC Maggie Jamieson and the team return for the fifth instalment in this addictive, gritty police procedural series. The discovery of the charred remains of a human corpse in the offices of Justin Hardy who is the husband of Maggie's friend Sarah is the catalyst for a complex and frustrating investigation that will not only put pressure on the women's friendship but also cause Maggie to suspect that Sarah knows more than she is revealing. As the body count rises, Maggie and the team race against time to uncover the identity of a cunning killer who always seems to be able to stay one step ahead of them. As the investigation progressed, it eventually becomes apparent the case has dark insidious fingers that reach back into the past. Who was the killer? What were the motives behind their actions? When the dust settles, what repercussions will the case have on the lives of Maggie,the team and her relationships with her friends? If you have read any of the other books in this brilliant series then you will know that despite the fact that the author doesn't shy away from writing about the darker sides of life, she always writes about her subject matter with sensitivity and this latest instalment is no exception. It is a sad reality of life that victims of certain crimes can find themselves left feeling ignored and dismissed by different agencies who are supposed to help and protect them. Even if the case does get to court, the victim can be made to feel they are on trial during questioning and can often be left traumatised by the experience. And if the accused is found guilty,the sentence they receive can very often be woefully inadequate and not reflect the seriousness of the crimes that were committed. It's not very difficult to understand why there are so many vigilante groups scattered across the world. Noelle Holten uses her experience as a former probation officer to take the reader behind the scenes of the various law enforcement agencies as we follow Maggie's investigation into the killer's crimes.  One of the many things that I love about this awesome series is that the author doesn't not down the flow of her stories with unnecessary facts and complicated information. I really like the various individuals who make up the police team,my stand out favourite being DS Kat Everett, I love her attitude and very often sarcastic comments. I love how well the team work together and how each character is given the opportunity to add their own input to the investigation. I was pleased that Kate was working once again with the team and helping them out together a profile of the killer, I love the friendship and interactions between Kate and Maggie. Unfortunately Julie Noble was still hanging around liked the proverbial bad penny, I really can't stand that woman, she seriously gets on my nerves. On the personal front, as well as having concerns about her brother Andy, after giving it some thought, Maggie decided that it was time to tell her parents the truth about her brother's whereabouts and her own sexuality. Scattered throughout the story was chapters that were voiced from the perspective of the antagonist and have the reader a insight into the killer's thoughts and the reasons behind why they chose each victim. I understand that the killer's actions were morally wrong but as their shocking backstory was revealed, was it so wrong of me that I began to feel some sympathy for that individual. As with the previous books in this incredible series Dead Mercy is a intelligently written, cleverly plotted,addictive page turner that keeps the reader guessing and glued to your kindle. The recurring cast of characters are a realistic bunch of individuals, people who you take into your heart and look forward to revisiting. Although this is the fifth book in the series,it can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this incredible series to any readers who enjoy curling up with dark and gritty thrillers that are guaranteed to leave you wanting more. The good news is that Noelle is currently working on the next book in the series and I can't wait to find out what the future has in store for Maggie in book 6.       

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Van Damme

    DC Maggie Jamieson is back, yay! Dead Mercy picks up a few weeks after Dead Secret left off and but the case Maggie is tackling this time around is a brand-new one so if you want to dip your toe into this series with Dead Mercy, go right ahead, I’m sure you’ll be able to follow just fine. However, this is such a great series with great character development so you’d only be doing yourself a favour if you were to start it right at the beginning, just saying. Dead Mercy is essentially a tale of rev DC Maggie Jamieson is back, yay! Dead Mercy picks up a few weeks after Dead Secret left off and but the case Maggie is tackling this time around is a brand-new one so if you want to dip your toe into this series with Dead Mercy, go right ahead, I’m sure you’ll be able to follow just fine. However, this is such a great series with great character development so you’d only be doing yourself a favour if you were to start it right at the beginning, just saying. Dead Mercy is essentially a tale of revenge. When an abuse victim comes face to face with one of their abusers, they decide the time has come to get retaliation for what happened many years ago. They don’t, however, stop there… I have to say, I gobbled it up! I just love the kinds of stories where people commit crimes you are well aware are wrong but still a part of you can get behind the criminal’s actions cos the people getting offed are essentially criminals themselves and deserve their just deserts. Is murdering them and setting them on fire the way to go? Perhaps not but oh well 😏😂 With Dead Mercy, author Noelle Holten builds upon the successful formula that has worked like a charm on me for five books in a row now. Drawing upon her own experience as probation officer, she never fails to add a human interest element to her stories, and I love that she shows how many other agencies and institutions may help the police in their investigations. Her writing never fails to draw me into the story right off the bat and the short and snappy chapters always keep the momentum going. Following the events through Maggie’s eyes, I always find myself thinking along with her, trying to crack the case. This time around I did not have the right person in my crosshairs, I was looking in the right direction but my money was on the wrong person. Better luck next time, cos wherever Maggie’s going next, I’m coming with! Thanks to HarperCollins UK (One More Chapter) and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Brutal Killings Ripped From (Somewhat Dated-ish) Headlines. Without going into spoiler-y territory, there are themes here that have been in the headlines and have been massive scandals over the last few decades - and which I believe even bigger scandals lay ahead, particularly in the direction this book ultimately goes. The murders here are again particularly brutal, though perhaps not quite as straight up creepy as from Book 4, and this time no team member is imperiled - and yet Holten still man Brutal Killings Ripped From (Somewhat Dated-ish) Headlines. Without going into spoiler-y territory, there are themes here that have been in the headlines and have been massive scandals over the last few decades - and which I believe even bigger scandals lay ahead, particularly in the direction this book ultimately goes. The murders here are again particularly brutal, though perhaps not quite as straight up creepy as from Book 4, and this time no team member is imperiled - and yet Holten still manages to ramp up the tension almost as if they are. This is labeled as Book 5, so that alone tells you that it *is* part of a series, and somewhat deep into it at that, but as a police procedural (even a British based one), it is still episodic enough that you can jump into the series with any particular episode, then backfill to see how the relationships amongst the team got to the point you first encountered them. And on that particular front, there are a couple of great reveals in this particular book, one from Jamieson herself and the other from another teammate in the closing paragraphs. Yet another thrill a minute read that will keep you invested through all of its 400 pages. Very much recommended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    Maggie Jamieson is back and this is one hot case! When I say hot it’s smoking…. Burnt bodies!! BRUTAL! This is a nasty case for the team with evidence being burnt with the body. Who and why are the questions at the centre of it all! So the Who – he is a man of vengeance. His attacks are brutal, both to the victim and to those investigating – they come away reeking of his crime. I’ve had a tooth pulled when the anaesthetic hadn’t quite taken but to have one pulled without anything, I winced and sh Maggie Jamieson is back and this is one hot case! When I say hot it’s smoking…. Burnt bodies!! BRUTAL! This is a nasty case for the team with evidence being burnt with the body. Who and why are the questions at the centre of it all! So the Who – he is a man of vengeance. His attacks are brutal, both to the victim and to those investigating – they come away reeking of his crime. I’ve had a tooth pulled when the anaesthetic hadn’t quite taken but to have one pulled without anything, I winced and shuddered at the thought. He is a man with a plan but as I read , I couldn’t decide which character was acting out these vicious crimes. And as for the why 🤐🤐🤐 I loved the return of Dr Kate to the team. Her insights into the killer’s mind and the victimology are fascinating. Her tempered thought process brings an extra dimension to the investigation. Dead Mercy is a dark and twisted read with a killer who really gives me the creeps. Holten drew me into Maggie’s world and made me almost want to be a detective in that fictional team (I did say almost). Another cracking and addictive investigation in the Maggie Jamieson series 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    ' 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. 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.' I love Maggie and other characters. ' 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. 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.' I love Maggie and other characters. Julie Nobel the journalist is interesting Maggie I think wants to be in a relationship with Julie but worries what she says will end up on tomorrows newspaper. The tension is high in this one as Maggie pushes to uncover a killer and links to a historic case. I guess these books could be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the series as the character changes and development makes the story more interesting I was so grateful and thrilled to be offered this by the publisher and love reading each new book I dropped everything to read it straight away Highly recommend

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    After surviving a killer that was incredibly close to home in the 4th installment in this series, DC Jamieson and colleagues are back working on another set of gruesome murders. The worst part is that these seem to be revenge killings for atrocities that took place years ago. This story was more focused on the murders themselves and did not delve too deeply into advancing the characters' storylines much, with a few foreshadowing exceptions. But there was a lot of story to cover and didn't leave After surviving a killer that was incredibly close to home in the 4th installment in this series, DC Jamieson and colleagues are back working on another set of gruesome murders. The worst part is that these seem to be revenge killings for atrocities that took place years ago. This story was more focused on the murders themselves and did not delve too deeply into advancing the characters' storylines much, with a few foreshadowing exceptions. But there was a lot of story to cover and didn't leave a lot of room for additional character development. I continue to enjoy following the Staffordshire's police department as they encounter new and unusual crimes to challenge their abilities and look forward to the next book. Thanks to One More Chapter for a copy of the book. This review is my own opinion.

  23. 5 out of 5

    marnie | once upon a time book reviews

    “The body count is rising…the killers mercy is falling…” Bloody Hell Noelle Holten knows how to weave a tale! Extremely dark, intense and not for the faint hearted, this is a tale of revenge and the lengths one will go to in getting it. I enjoyed being back with DC Maggie Jamieson, who I just love more with each book, and her team who all have their work cut out for them with this case. At the helm is a perpetrator who you can’t help but feel sympathy for and it is definitely a case of the wrong t “The body count is rising…the killers mercy is falling…” Bloody Hell Noelle Holten knows how to weave a tale! Extremely dark, intense and not for the faint hearted, this is a tale of revenge and the lengths one will go to in getting it. I enjoyed being back with DC Maggie Jamieson, who I just love more with each book, and her team who all have their work cut out for them with this case. At the helm is a perpetrator who you can’t help but feel sympathy for and it is definitely a case of the wrong thing done for the right reason, is still the wrong thing. Raw, gritty and just downright thrilling, Dead Mercy is another brilliant addition to this wonderful series. With a stellar cast of characters, writing that is first class and with each book drawing on Holten’s experience as a former senior probation officer, makes them all the more authentic and such a success! Thank you to Noelle Holten, One More Chapter and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Dead Mercy, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. Where you can find me 😊 💻 Blog: bit.ly/3gR3io8 👩‍🏫 Facebook: bit.ly/3gVeC2B 🐤Twitter: bit.ly/3BQk2Dl 📷 Instagram: bit.ly/3wSv0Gj 📌 Pinterest: bit.ly/3vS2HGX 📚 Goodreads: bit.ly/3wQxUM3

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Dead Mercy is another excellent edition to the Maggie Jamieson series. I’m so glad I had this to read straight after finishing book 4! I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series, and this has been no exception. I think each book gets better as the series progresses if that’s at all possible. I find myself quite invested in the main characters throughout a series I love, and Maggie Jamieson is one of my favourites. This isn’t the easiest of reads due to the subject matter. There are some h Dead Mercy is another excellent edition to the Maggie Jamieson series. I’m so glad I had this to read straight after finishing book 4! I have thoroughly enjoyed every book in this series, and this has been no exception. I think each book gets better as the series progresses if that’s at all possible. I find myself quite invested in the main characters throughout a series I love, and Maggie Jamieson is one of my favourites. This isn’t the easiest of reads due to the subject matter. There are some horrific scenes which must be horrendous for police officers to be faced with. There is also a much deeper, heart-wrenching story behind these seemingly random murders. A story which sadly highlights incidents which have occurred far too often in the real world. The psychology aspects of this story, and others like it, fascinate me. I know I’m being vague. I could happily chat away about this book for ages, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I can’t recommend this book highly enough though. It ticks all the boxes for me from a crime/police procedural perspective. It is a chilling and emotional read. Relevant and thought-provoking. http://chataboutbooks.blog/2021/12/07...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Venables

    This is the fifth installment in the Maggie Jamieson series and it just keeps getting better and better. The author has firmly established herself as a must read crime writer. After the cliff hanger of the last book we finally get to find out who has been murdered and it hits close to home for Maggie and the team. Again the author’s knowledge shines through and adds the all important authenticity. Maggie finds herself up against a really brutal killer and again the author does not hold back in her This is the fifth installment in the Maggie Jamieson series and it just keeps getting better and better. The author has firmly established herself as a must read crime writer. After the cliff hanger of the last book we finally get to find out who has been murdered and it hits close to home for Maggie and the team. Again the author’s knowledge shines through and adds the all important authenticity. Maggie finds herself up against a really brutal killer and again the author does not hold back in her descriptions of crimes and crime scenes. The series as a whole really stands out in the genre for tackling hard hitting issues. I cannot wait for the next one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Southall

    The fifth book in the Maggie Jamieson and they are just getting better and better. I’m really enjoying this series, easy to read, shortish chapters which keep a great pace and the book is gritty. There’s a murderer out there but can Maggie find out who it is before anyone else dies. Quite a dark story with parts that made me feel the pain. The characters are really building now as we get to know more about them. Great read

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    DC Maggie Jamieson is back at work on the next case, a body has been found mutilated and burnt. Working the case has opened a whole can of worms leading to abuse and more bodies turning up. As always Noelle’s books suck me in and I adore the characters. Maggie is flawed but written so well. I hope this series keeps going! Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Diane Merritt

    Read this as a standalone as wasn't aware was book 5. But didn't really matter as the writing and storyline is so superb you don't feel like you are missing previous pieces of the story Pulls you right in. I love police procedures and I think this one tops my list of ones I've read. Looking forward to move to come. Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book. Read this as a standalone as wasn't aware was book 5. But didn't really matter as the writing and storyline is so superb you don't feel like you are missing previous pieces of the story Pulls you right in. I love police procedures and I think this one tops my list of ones I've read. Looking forward to move to come. Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    I really love this series. It just keeps getting better. While this one works as a stand alone, I think you’ll appreciate it even more if you read the series. Maggie and her team are increasingly baffled trying to figure out the connection in a series of gruesome murders. I like the depth of the characters, the portrayal of the social services system and the action packed plot. I highly recommend this one to anyone who loves a great crime series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    Dead Mercy is Noelle Holten's fifth instalment in her gripping police procedural series and heralds the return of DC Maggie Jamieson of Stafford Police. This instalment is every bit as exciting as the others. I was once again completely hooked by the brilliant plot and the characters, and the tension levels are high as Maggie, along with DC Kat Everett, leave no stone unturned. As I galloped through the pages in my haste to reach the end of the line, I marvelled at the disturbing and truly gritt Dead Mercy is Noelle Holten's fifth instalment in her gripping police procedural series and heralds the return of DC Maggie Jamieson of Stafford Police. This instalment is every bit as exciting as the others. I was once again completely hooked by the brilliant plot and the characters, and the tension levels are high as Maggie, along with DC Kat Everett, leave no stone unturned. As I galloped through the pages in my haste to reach the end of the line, I marvelled at the disturbing and truly gritty writing by Noelle Holten who consistently shows she understands the mind and behaviours of evil, conning individuals. After a perilous denouement to an excellent, and hard-hitting story, that left me open-mouthed I am now waiting with (im)patience to see what Noelle Holten has in store for us crime readers and DC Maggie Jamieson, next! I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from One More Chapter via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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