The Dark Lake

The Dark Lake

Book - 2017
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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? Rosalind's enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets--an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2017
Edition: First U.S. hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781538759905
Branch Call Number: FICTION BAILEY
Characteristics: xii, 384 p. ; 24 cm


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ArapahoeAlice Jan 28, 2019

There's a good mystery in this book, but it's mostly about the inner turmoil of Gemma Woodstock, a detective who has been assigned to investigate the murder of a young drama teacher, Rosalind Ryan. Working on the case is difficult for Gemma, because she and the victim went to school together in their small Australian town of Smithson. It's been ten years since they'd seen one another.

I found Gemma to be unlikeable. She's unkind to the man she's living with, she rarely sees her toddler son, and she's having an affair with her detective partner. She did love her high school boyfriend, but he died 10 years ago.

What happened back then and why is Gemma so unhappy? And who killed Rosalind?

It's unusual to dislike the protagonist yet feel compelled to finish a book. I couldn't put this down.

Schmonette Jan 18, 2019

Fans of Australian rural crime fiction authors such as Jane Harper may enjoy this novel.

Aug 31, 2018

Interesting debut novel. Main character was really "a mess" - but this could have been a result of her losses while growing up. The ending was not the run of the mill tale - but was certainly a warning to beware of your actions there is no end date for the consequences.

Apr 17, 2018

I read Jane Harper's "The Dry" after Sarah Bailey's "The Dark Lake." Did Bailey intentionally imitate much of Harper's structure? It certainly seemed that way to me.


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