Into the Night Review


Title // Into the Night
Author // Sarah Bailey
Publication Date // May 2018
Publisher // Allen & Unwin
Readership // Adult
Genre // Thriller
Australian RRP // $32.99
Rating // ✭✭✭

I received a copy of Into the Night from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Synopsis

The riveting follow-up to The Dark Lake, acclaimed debut novel and international bestseller.

The Dark Lakeis a stunning debut that gripped me from page one and never eased up. Dark, dark, dark–but infused with insight, pathos, a great sense of place, and razor-sharp writing. It’s going to be big and Sarah Bailey needs to clear a shelf for awards.’ C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author 

Sarah Bailey’s acclaimed debut novel The Dark Lakewas a bestseller around the world and Bailey’s taut and suspenseful storytelling earned her fitting comparisons with Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins. 

Into the Nightis her stunning new crime novel featuring the troubled and brilliant Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock. This time Gemma finds herself lost and alone in the city, broken-hearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and 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 the lonely and isolated life he led despite being in the middle of a bustling city. 

Then a movie star is killed in bizarre circumstances on the set of a major film shoot, and Gemma and her partner Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime and who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, she soon discovers – and none of them can be trusted. But it’s when Gemma realises that she also can’t trust the people closest to her that her world starts closing in…

Riveting suspense, incisive writing and a fascinating cast of characters make this an utterly addictive crime thriller and a stunning follow-up to The Dark Lake.

Review

Last year I read Sarah Bailey’s debut novel, The Dark Lake, and loved the atmosphere and the troubled protagonist, Gemma Woodstock. The story wrapped up and I thought that was the end of Gemma’s journey, and then Into the Night came out and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction that Bailey took with her character.

When Into the Night begins, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock has left her small hometown and moved to Melbourne – a complete contrast in settings (and also a major drawcard from me, because I love seeing my hometown in books, through the eyes of characters) for Gemma and her family. She’s made difficult decisions, like leaving her ex-husband and young son behind, in order to cope with her life. Alone in a big city, Gemma’s troubles are highlighted even more so by the anonymity that a city like Melbourne can provide. The only stable part of her life is her job, which she is just as committed to as she was previously.

Alongside the journey that Gemma takes, is the case that falls in her lap – a murder on a movie set, with hundreds of witnesses, film footage… and no clue who was responsible for the death. The high profile nature of the crime increases the pressure for Gemma and her new partner, Nick Fleet, to uncover the truth sooner rather than later. There’s a lot of information to sort through, as well as the seemingly perfect life of the victim which turns up more questions than answers, and the reality that just about every person in the victim’s life has a secret to hide.

Overall, I enjoyed Into the Night. Again, one of my favourite parts was simply the atmosphere that Bailey creates when writing about Melbourne. It’s my city, but it’s dark and gritty and kind of scary at times in this story. I also continued to enjoy reading about Gemma’s personal journey – she’s still flawed. Moving away hasn’t fixed her and she’s still trying to figure who she is and who she wants to be. As a woman at a similar age, I totally relate to that.

I did have a few issues with pacing – I felt there were scenes that could have been moved through a bit quicker – but overall, it’s a solid book with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing who the killer is right until the end.

I gave Into the Night 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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