Review: Dead Secret (DC Maggie Jamieson #4) by Noelle Holten

Print Length: 398 pages
Publisher: One More Chapter (April 16, 2021)

From 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…


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Out of the three books I've read in this series, this was my least favorite. To begin with, a lot of the suspense was (for me) missing due to the fact that it was a fairly simple deduction to figure out what had happened with "Ronnie". In fact, this was such an obvious plot point that I cannot figure out how two people (the one spending the most time with her, and a seasoned police officer) couldn't figure out the truth. 

Secondly, I understand that these are first and foremost police procedural novels, which means you spend a lot of time "in the office" and "in the field" with these characters as they follow up leads, speak to witnesses, and visit crime scenes. To some extent, I have come to expect these books to be slower than some of the others I typically read, but this one seemed to drag on so much that I felt myself wanting to skip pages just to get to the end. I understand these characters are under a lot of stress to the severity of their missing DCI - I don't need to read about it every other page. Nor do I need to read about how their DI is seemingly falling apart at the seems due to both job stress and home stress. In my opinion, not only is it not necessary to the plot, but it becomes distracting. This goes double for Maggie. While it is always nice when a character recognizes their shortcomings, or develops outside interests, I don't need to read about them every few pages. I have not forgotten that she is interested in Julie (just as I have not forgotten all of the reasons Julie is wrong for her). And speaking of Julie, how self-centered is she that she can't see just how (and why) being in a relationship with Maggie could hurt Maggie's career even if she was innocent of any wrong-doing?

While I felt the author wrapped things up nicely, I will say that the amount of graphic detail the suspect goes into may be a bit too much for some readers. Sadly, once again this book ended on a cliff-hanger in regards to a different character that we just met in this book, and at this point, I'm not sure if I care enough to continue on with this series or not. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                                         Dead Secret is available from

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