Book Review: ‘The Dark Lake’ Is A Good Debut Thriller From Sarah Bailey

You can tell the mark of a good book is when you don’t want to put it down right from page one. The debut novel from Sarah Bailey is just that. I read it in just a couple of days, running to read a few pages here and there when I had some spare time. It has quite a few twists and turns that you don’t see coming at you until the climactic reveal of who did what and why.

Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is the lead detective in a small Australian town. It’s a town that has it’s share of secrets and Gemma has a lot of her own (which we learn about in flashbacks). She is with Scott (things are not that great with him) and has a little boy name Ben, who’s almost three years old.

When Rosalind Ryan, a drama teacher and former classmate of Gemma’s is found murdered, it brings all of Gemma’s secrets to the surface. She and her partner Felix (and there’s more between the two of them then work) are assigned the case. As they begin to investigate the case, they learn that Rose (as everyone called her) was a mysterious person. Not a lot is known about her. The more they dig, the more Gemma’s past comes into focus and we learn what a mess she really is. She’s a great cop but her personal life is a real mess.

As they dig they have a list of potential suspects but no concrete proof. It seems to center on the school and the play Rose had written, directed and produced. Something happened after opening night (when Rose was killed) and the more they dig, the more secrets come out until Gemma gets a lead and figured it all out. The murderer is onto Gemma as well and puts her into danger and maybe end her life

The Dark Life is in stores on Tuesday, October 3rd from Grand Central Publishing.

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