A debut novel by Sarah Bailey, The Dark Lake provides a compelling psychological drama.
DS Gemma Woodstock is a complex and not always entirely likable character. Her mother's death when she was thirteen and her boyfriend's suicide a few years later cast a pall on several aspects of her life. Her job is extremely important to her; she likes the details of investigation and is respected and valued by her boss. On the other hand, Gemma often seems insensitive, callous, or needy, and the decisions in her private life are often questionable.
The discovery of the body of Roselind Ryan, an enigmatic young teacher, shocks the community. Rose and Gemma were high school classmates, but not friends. Rose was the kind of person who charmed and intrigued others: beautiful, elusive, very private.
Gemma and her partner Felix are beset with a litany of questions, but few answers. Who would want to hurt Rose Ryan? What brought Rose back to her hometown? Is there anyone at all who had a close relationship, a more than superficial knowledge of Rose? Certainly not her family or her colleagues.
Rose's murder and the subsequent investigation have an emotional effect on Gemma, reviving memories of the past. The puzzle of Rose Ryan consumes her, but Gemma has some secrets of her own, past and present, that she is keeping.
An impressive first novel--a gripping psychological police procedural. Well-written and deftly plotted. Recommended. :)
Read in June; blog post scheduled for Sept. 14
NetGalley/Grand Central Press
Psychological/Police Procedural. Oct. 3, 2017. Print length: 400 pages.