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The Dark Lake

The Dark Lake 2

by Sarah Bailey
Publication Date: 24/05/2017
5/5 Rating 2 Reviews
RRP  $32.99 $30.75
      Please Note: We will source your item through a special order. Generally sent within 120 days.

A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode. A brooding, suspenseful and explosive debut that will grip you from the first page to the last.

There were a few minutes when I was alone with her in the autopsy room. I felt wild. Absent. Before I could stop myself I was leaning close to her, telling her everything. The words draining out of me as she lay there. Her long damp hair hanging off the back of the steel table. Glassy eyes fixed blindly on the ceiling. She was still so beautiful, even in death.

Our secrets circled madly around the bright white room that morning. Rocking back and forth on my heels as I stood next to her, I knew how far in I was again, how comprehensively her death could undo me. I looked at Rosalind Ryan properly for the last time before breathing deeply, readying myself, letting her pull me back into her world, and I sank down, further and further, until I was completely, utterly under.

A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Local policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school years before.

But that's not all Gemma's trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper into the victim's past, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried. The lake holds the key to solving the murder, but it also has the power to drag Gemma down into its dark depths.

The Dark Lake is an addictive crime thriller, a mesmerising account of one woman's descent into deceit and madness, and a stunning debut that is already causing a stir around the world.

Crime & Mystery
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The Brief with Sarah Bailey

At the moment I’m reading…
I just finished He Said, She Said, by Erin Kelly. Loved it.

My favourite book growing up was…
Probably The Magic Faraway Tree and then when I was a bit older, The Hobbit. Though I loved a lot of books so it’s quite tricky to narrow down to one or two favourites.

My all-time favourite book is…
Again, almost impossible to answer, but I do love Tully by Paullina Simons. I have probably read it ten times. Just a brilliant suite of characters. I adore The Great Gatsby as well and read it every couple of years.

The book I would recommend everyone to read is…
Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman. It’s an amazing work of art and conveniently now available in TV format too.

The book I wish I wrote is…

Gone Girl (for the money and potential intro to Ben Affleck)
American Psycho (for the shock value)
Anna Karenina (for the perfection)

My perfect guilty pleasure read is…
Patricia Cornwell’s back catalogue. Good old Kay Scarpetta is so reliably satisfying.

When I’m not working or reading, you’ll find me…
These days I’m most likely to be listening to a podcast.

When I describe my new book to people, I tell them…
That is a mix of crime, character, drama and mystery. And that I hope they like it.

One thing I’ll never forget is…
‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ and in random words like ‘albeit’

My favourite place to be is…
In a busy city wine bar. Preferably one in New York City.

The most dangerous thing I have ever done is…
It’s a bit hard to pick but I’ll share one my parents already know about. 

When I was sixteen, I was in Fiji and was dared to swim to a nearby-ish sand bar. So I did.  Things got pretty dicey for a few minutes out there. 

I’ll always remember…
Small acts of kindness, interesting people and the embarrassing things I have done.

The one piece of advice I give to new authors is…
Finish the book. 

I can never say no to…
Salt and vinegar chips.

Yesterday, I…
Drank too much red wine.

Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey is a Melbourne based writer with a background in advertising and communications. She has two young children and currently works as a director of creative projects company Mr Smith. Over the past five years she has written a number of short stories and opinion pieces.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Impressive debut novel by new Aussie author

    by on

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a real page turner.

    The one thing that I honestly dislike about any book is when it is predictable and you work out what will happen from the very beginning - but this was not the case with this novel. The plot, with its twist and turns had me guessing right until the very end. The author did a good job of raising suspicion in respect to each character's actions and motives, keeping you guessing as to who the murderer is and why.

    Set in NSW, this book makes the plot even more realistic since it is so close to home, in our so-called "backyard". I look forward to reading more of Sarah Bailey's books in the future and would definitely recommend it to all.

  • an excellent debut novel

    by on

    The Dark Lake is the first book in the Gemma Woodstock series by Australian author, Sarah Bailey. When Rosalind Ryan’s body is found in the lake by Smithson Secondary College, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock wants to be on the case, even though it might dredge up some bitter memories for her. Gemma assures her boss that their connection was casual, and she’s fine to handle whatever comes up, but she doesn’t share certain facts that may affect her performance.

    Rose taught at Smithson Secondary, and was loved by both students and fellow staff; she was a talented drama teacher and her murder occurred after a first-night performance of her modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The list of those needing to be questioned is extensive: students, family, colleagues and nearby residents. Despite some excellent detective work, progress is slow and helpful evidence appears only sporadically.

    Gemma may be a good cop, but she’s no angel: despite living with the devoted father of her young son, she has a sexual relationship with her work partner, DS Felix McKinnon, and that’s just one of the secrets she’s keeping. It soon becomes apparent that the townspeople of Smithson are harbouring quite a few secrets, some as hot as the summer they’re sweltering through.

    Bailey crafts her tale with skill: she gives the reader a plot filled with jealousy, infatuation, passion, grief, lust, love and guilt. Clues are drip-fed to reveal twists, tricks and red herrings that keep the reader guessing right through to the explosive climax. With some gorgeous prose, she captures the small country town, the era, the attitudes of the residents with consummate ease. Her characters are multifaceted and easily believable, and their dialogue is what is heard in any small-town school, café, shop or pub. This is an excellent debut novel and readers will be hoping to see more from this talented author.