The Dark Lake

The Dark Lake

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind's student years and then again when she returned to teach drama. As much as Rosalind's life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town's richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her? Rosalind's enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets--an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2017
Edition: First U.S. hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781538759905
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY BAILEY 2017
Characteristics: xii, 384 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 16, 2019

Compelling, memorable characters and gritty, insightful writing make this a satisfying debut crime novel, the first in a series by Sarah Bailey. Detective Gemma Woodstock is a flawed, complex, unconventional female protagonist whose unapologetic approach to relationships and work is at times frustrating, but also refreshing in its defiance of expectations. Though the story is not entirely unpredictable and sometimes wanders, the character development and rural Australian setting make this a great choice for fans of the Crimson Lake series by Candice Fox or THE DRY by Jane Harper, and this will definitely appeal to fans of Tana French, for its similarities to her Dublin Murder Squad books.

ArapahoeAlice Jan 28, 2019

There's a good mystery in this book, but it's mostly about the inner turmoil of Gemma Woodstock, a detective who has been assigned to investigate the murder of a young drama teacher, Rosalind Ryan. Working on the case is difficult for Gemma, because she and the victim went to school together in their small Australian town of Smithson. It's been ten years since they'd seen one another.

I found Gemma to be unlikeable. She's unkind to the man she's living with, she rarely sees her toddler son, and she's having an affair with her detective partner. She did love her high school boyfriend, but he died 10 years ago.

What happened back then and why is Gemma so unhappy? And who killed Rosalind?

It's unusual to dislike the protagonist yet feel compelled to finish a book. I couldn't put this down.

Schmonette Jan 18, 2019

Fans of Australian rural crime fiction authors such as Jane Harper may enjoy this novel.

Aug 31, 2018

Interesting debut novel. Main character was really "a mess" - but this could have been a result of her losses while growing up. The ending was not the run of the mill tale - but was certainly a warning to beware of your actions there is no end date for the consequences.

Apr 17, 2018

I read Jane Harper's "The Dry" after Sarah Bailey's "The Dark Lake." Did Bailey intentionally imitate much of Harper's structure? It certainly seemed that way to me.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top