My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.
The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind's student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.
As much as Rosalind's life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town's richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?
I was thrilled to discover that this new crime series is set in Australia. I read The Dry by Jane Harper and loved it and after that did I want to read more crime novels from Australia. The Dark Lake is the story about a woman that is found dead in the lake, and for Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is this a case that will become very personal. Since she grew up in the town did she, of course, know Rosalind Ryan who was the same age as her and who came back to town a few years before. But, it's more than that. Gemma has a connection to Rosalind, but that is something she is desperate to hide.
This is the kind of crime novel I love to read, with an interesting case and a DS that gets obsessed with solving the murder and at the same time having a troublesome home life not to mention a connection to the victim. And, there are secrets in the rural town with everyone seeming to have something to hide. And, sometimes cases can get too close to home.
The Dark Lake is the first book in the Gemma Woodstock series, something that I was very glad to learn. I loved Gemma's messy home life and her affair with a colleague that threatens her life with Scott and their son Ben. Gemma is trying to balance her personal life and at the same time solving a murder. Not the easiest thing to do for her. I liked this book and I will definitely read the next book in the series!
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Bailey was born in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived all her life and currently resides with her two young sons. She has a degree in journalism and has a career in advertising. She is currently a creative partner at creative agency, Mr Smith. THE DARK LAKE is her first novel.
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
“THE DARK LAKE hooked me from page one! Sarah Bailey combines the very best elements in this stunning debut thriller — a troubled detective still trying to find her way as a female investigator, a small town haunted by secrets both past and present, and a beautiful victim whose unsettling allure appears to be her biggest asset and largest downfall. With clever twists and all-too-human characters, this book will keep you racing toward the end.”
--- Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind You and Find Her
“THE DARK LAKE is a stunning debut that gripped me from page one and never eased up. Dark, dark, dark — but infused with insight, pathos, a great sense of place, and razor-sharp writing. It’s going to be big and Sarah Bailey needs to clear a shelf for awards.”
--- C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Vicious Circle and Open Season
“Police work comes easily to Det. Sgt. Gemma Woodstock, the narrator of Australian author Bailey’s stellar first novel… Bailey interweaves her sympathetic protagonist’s past and present with uncommon assurance… a page-turner that’s both tense and thought provoking.”
--- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“The Dark Lake is a mesmerizing thriller full of long buried secrets that sucked me right in and kept me up late turning pages. Gemma Woodstock is a richly flawed and completely authentic character — I loved going on this journey with her and the way the truth of her past was revealed in bits and pieces as we went along. Sarah bailey has crafted an exquisite debut — I can’t wait to see what she does next!”
--- Jennifer McMahon, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People
“I read THE DARK LAKE in one sitting, it’s that good. A crime thriller that seizes you from the first page and slowly draws you into a web of deception and long buried secrets. Beautifully written, compulsively readable, and highly recommended.”
--- Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God and co-author of the bestselling Pendergast series
“A compelling debut.”
“I raced through this deliciously complicated, mesmerizing debut at warp speed. Sarah Bailey’s THE DARK LAKE is sure to keep readers awake far too late into the night.”
--- Karen Dionne, author The Marsh King’s Daughter