Into The Night by Sarah
Bailey has Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock returning in
this follow up to The Dark Lake. A very interesting aspect
to the plot is how a celebrity gets all the attention in today’s
society, while someone who is not famous is quickly dismissed.
Bailey noted, “I read about accidental deaths that are
eventually ruled as homicides. I imagined what if there were
hundred people present, but no one knew what actually happened.
I wanted to have the two deaths in the book really contrasted,
a wealthy man versus someone homeless. When I was in Los Angeles,
I noticed that there were many homeless people, almost one
on every block.” Because LA is an entertainment town
and now has a homeless problem, readers can relate to this
The story opens with a homeless man brutally murdered. Assigned
to the case Woodstock must battle the seemingly complacent
attitude of those in the press and her own police colleagues.
She becomes especially infuriated when a second victim is
found, murdered in a similar fashion: Sterling Wade, the good-looking,
up-and-coming actor who was killed in the middle of shooting
his latest Zombie movie. She and her partner investigate everyone
who knew him including his fiancé, his secret lover,
and even his parents, who are having serious financial issues.
A powerful book quote, “Those in the orbit of the recently
murdered. Out of nowhere, bam, not only is their loved one
gone but their own carefully kept secrets are suddenly everyone’s
business…I feel sorry for the ones who are unwillingly
along for the ride. It’s a brutal journey.”
Bailey noted, “If the person who dies becomes a big
story, family and friends get dragged into it. In Australia,
there was a story about a married man who died and was known
as a big swinger. His family had no idea about his second
life. The press went into details about the family’s
personal life. I hoped I showed in this story how the media
reports about gossiping stories. They should have a clear
responsibility to not fan the fire.”
Besides having to deal with her partner’s extreme moodiness,
a boss who keeps his staff at arm’s length, and a whole
new city with a whole new team, she also has to face her demons.
She moved from Smithson, to the city of Melbourne, leaving
her young son behind to be raised by his father. Woodstock
is not a very sympathetic character since she drinks too much,
smokes, and indulges in risky one night stands with men picked
up in bars. She is a very damaged and flawed character.
“I wrote Gemma as polarizing. I get a lot of emails
from people who tell me they find her frustrating. People
who like the book have the same comments as those who don’t
like it. They say she is maddening, difficult, and makes wrong
decisions. I think she stirs up people to be judgmental because
she is ambitious and selfish. Also, what many find challenging
is that she is a mother who is not looking out for her son.
I spoke with a couple of women who loved their children, but
felt they could not be the primary caregiver. I have two children
myself and would not personally leave them.”
The final act is full of surprises as Woodstock races to
bring down a murderer who’s already claimed two lives
and might not be done killing.