Having recently moved to Melbourne, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is still trying to settle into her new surroundings and her partnership with Nick Fleet when a high-profile case comes across her desk.
Though the body of a homeless man is discovered first, neither the press nor anyone in the department seems to care much about the circumstances of the man’s death. Instead, everyone focuses on Sterling Wade, the good-looking, up-and-coming actor who was killed in the middle of shooting his latest movie. Gemma and Fleet dive into the famed actor’s past, investigating everyone from his fiancee to his secret lover, and even his parents, who it turns out are having serious financial issues and might have seen a chunk of his savings following his death.
As skeletons emerge from Wade’s closet, Gemma is frustrated by the case as a whole, as seemingly everyone around Sterling had a plausible motive to want him dead for one reason or another. At the same time, she wrestles with her own demons, including the fact that in order to move to Melbourne she had to leave behind her only son, who stayed with his father. On top of that, Fleet’s moodiness becomes increasingly harder for her to deal with, and there’s a part of Gemma that is disgusted by the fact that everyone is more interested in one case simply because the victim is famous, while quickly dismissing the other because the man was homeless. Eventually, as readers might expect, the cases merge together, kicking off a final act full of surprises as Gemma races to bring down a murderer who’s already claimed two lives and might not be done killing.
Though the tension and suspense never reach the levels Bailey pulled off in her brilliant debut, The Dark Lake, she does continue to flash the writing talent that forced readers and critics to take note earlier this year. The story seems to have jumped forward a couple of years, and the cast around Gemma has mostly changed due to her new setting. That said, Bailey does continue to develop her protagonist, though some readers may struggle with understanding Gemma’s life decisions, while others will downright disapprove.
Into the Night is another solid mystery from Sarah Bailey, who falls slightly victim to the dreaded sophomore slump but leaves herself plenty of room to grow with her third offering.
Author: Sarah Bailey
Series: Gemma Woodstock #2
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: December 5, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 6.0/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.