Title: Into The Night
Author: Sarah Bailey
Series: Gemma Woodstock #2
Publisher: Atlantic Books
After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim’s friends and family can be trusted–and who may be the killer.
Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence.
Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can’t imagine a pair of victims with less in common–and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths.
I was really pleased to return to the world of Detective Gemma Woodstock, having hugely enjoyed The Dark Lake [read my review here], and this sequel offers another addictive, exciting installment in the series.
This time, Gemma is still battling her own demons whilst trying to solve the various cases given to her along with her colleague Nick Fleet, in a different location from the Australian small town of the previous novel – now the action is firmly based in the city of Melbourne. Gemma and the team try to solve various crimes, including – most intriguingly – the stabbing of a movie star, in broad daylight and on-set during the filming of a scene. This results in some serously high-profile police work and mounting pressure from all sides, which ramps up the tension for Gemma, Fleet and their colleagues.
As I tend to, I really enjoyed the police procedural aspect of the story, but also the more personal parts where we find out more about Gemma as a character, and the things in her past which have made her the way she is now. She’s by no means perfect as a detective, mother, ex-wife or girlfriend, but she’s very likable and makes for interesting reading.
Into The Night has plenty of grit, a tightly woven plot and well-crafted characters, making it a brilliant read – whether you’ve read The Dark Lake or not.
Many thanks to Readers First for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.