Thoroughly enjoyed this story, feels a bit closer to home, set in Melbourne. Some nice twists and turns with a gorgeous hap-hazard detective lady trying to also find herself, because we are all infallible. Am interested to read the prequel now 😁
Fractured relationships abound in this novel, the second book in the Gemma Woodstock series.
We have a murdered homeless man, elderly and kind, knifed in the early hours of the morning. Gemma is not assigned lead detective on this case so straight away we can see her mopey side. Next murder is a high profile case. A good looking young actor, Sterling Wade, is killed on the set of a movie being filmed locally in Melbourne. This will take priority as it's a media nightmare. Gemma is lead on this one but descriptions of her personality don't exactly have her leaping off the page.
In the first book, The Dark Lake, she was a lead detective in a rural town in Australia. Gemma transferred to another detective position in busy Melbourne after her relationship with her partner Scott fails. She leaves her young son Ben with Scott and has issues with the separation yet doesn't seem to want custody, only visits. It's a good transition from book one to this story.
In my opinion, Gemma Woodstock’s personal issues detracted from this story. You do want a little bit of the personal side of your main character, that’s one of the things I like about the DCI Banks series, but Gemma’s internal turmoil could have been toned down. I was actually warming more to her partner Nick Fleet, incorrigible as he is. Hoping he shows up in the next book and we get more information about his back story.
If you like multiple story lines with more than one murder investigation then you will enjoy that aspect of the book. Hoping Gemma conquers her many demons and becomes confident and energetic. We need some flaws in our main characters but Gemma's issues are legend.
Much thanks to NetGalley for this advanced copy. Opinions are mine and I was not compensated for the review. This book was published in December 2018.
etective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is working in Melbourne now, trying to negotiate relationships with her new boss, Chief Inspector Toby Isaacs, and her partner, Detective Sergeant Fleet. She has been in Melbourne for three months; this has meant leaving behind her five-year-old son, Ben, and his father, Scott. She's keeping busy with a series of cases, including that of a homeless man, Walter Miller, who was brutally killed and one with the famous actor, Sterling Wade, who was stabbed while filming a high-profile zombie film. Alone and away from her son, Gemma throws herself into her work, but will these difficult cases prove too much for her and her emotional well-being?
"I was high-functioning but deeply broken and eventually something had to give. When the opportunity to transfer to Melbourne arose, I needed to take it. Living in Smithson was slowly killing me."
This novel picks up a few years after the first Gemma book. Gemma has been haunted by the Rosalind Rose case featured in Bailey's superb first novel, The Dark Lake, as well as her affair with her former partner, Felix. We find her lost and floundering. This serves a dual-purpose for us, the reader. We get to read a novel with a complicated, realistic character in Gemma. She's true to herself. On the other hand, she's not always the easiest to like or even empathize with. This is a woman who has left her child behind, after all. I have to congratulate Bailey on having Gemma not make the easy/safe choices in life, or the ones you typically see in detective novels. Not only do we get a strong yet vulnerable female character, we get one who is flawed, real, and struggling to find her way in the world. I certainly didn't always agree with her choices, but I do enjoy reading about them.
Even better, Gemma features in an excellent complicated and captivating mystery, with several cases that keep you guessing. The prominent one is the Sterling Wade case. Bailey brings in various Hollywood elements, and there are a lot of characters to suspect and pieces to put together. I quite liked not knowing who had killed Sterling. Even the detectives were flummoxed at times: how refreshing. Throughout all her cases, Gemma is working out where she fits in her new department and how she relates to her new partner, Fleet. There's a lot going on, but Bailey handles it all quite deftly. The excellent writing I enjoyed so much in her first novel is on display again here; you'll be impressed at the way she can pull together her story and bring out her characters.
Overall, I found this book intriguing and refreshing. Gemma is a complicated and complex character who is matched by the intricate cases she attempts to solve. Those who enjoy a character-driven mystery will be drawn to Gemma's prickly exterior, while those who simply enjoy a hard-to-solve case will find plenty to like here as well. Sarah Bailey is certainly a go-to author for me. 4.5 stars.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review.
Into the Night is the sequel to the great The Dark Lake. In this book, has Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock left behind her old life and started over fresh in Melbourne. Her relationship with Scott has hit a dead end and their son is staying with his father. Gemma herself is a shadow of herself. She misses her son, she mourns her failed relationship with her lover Felix that moved away. And, alone in Melbourne is she spending her time working cases and picking up strange men at bars at night for one night stands. One really gets the feeling that she's not OK.
Then a homeless man gets stabbed to death, but that case is quickly overshadowed when a young popular actor is killed on set. Together with her new partner Nick Fleet is Gemma trying to solve the actor's murder. There are many people on the set and those around the actor are all trying to paint the actors as being well liked. So, who killed him, and why?
Into the Night is a great sequel. The story is bleak, and Gemma I feel is not all there. She such a broken character, depressed and lonely. I do hope life will brighten for her. I was not that surprised at the ending. I had my suspicions along the way, but it was a satisfying ending. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.