Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. But Rosalind Ryan wasn't just any classmate. She was the most beautiful, the most enigmatic, the one student who exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School.
Gemma becomes obsessed with finding Rosalind's killer. What made her leave her teaching job in Sydney to return to her hometown? Why did she live in a decrepit apartment when her father was one of the town's richest men? And despite the endless number of her admirers, did anyone truly know her?
Gemma has to find answers to these questions in order to find Rosalind's killer while she deals with her own dangerous secrets.
Sarah Bailey has written a compelling story that sucked me right in. In no time at all, I had to know the answers to all the questions Bailey raised, two of which are just what happened between Gemma and Rosalind when they were in high school? And who disliked Rosalind enough to kill her now?
It's amazing that I did find The Dark Lake so compelling because I didn't like any of the characters. The character I disliked the most was Gemma herself. I had to keep reminding myself that she was only twenty-eight and emotionally still a child. There are some traumas that occur during childhood that make children grow up quickly. There are others that stunt the child's emotional growth, and Gemma is one of these people. I deduced why she was behaving the way she was, but all her angst was too much for me. To Gemma, her teenage years were absolute perfection and she does everything she possibly can to ensure that she can't have perfection now. Oh. So. Tiresome. (And, oh, if only I could've dredged up some sympathy for her.)
The Dark Lake is a very well-written story with a smooth, fast pace and a mystery that is worth solving. However, if you're the type of reader who must have at least one character you can like and trust, this may not be the book for you.
The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
Grand Central Publishing © 2017
eBook, 401 pages
Police Procedural, #1 Gemma Woodstock mystery
Source: Purchased from Amazon.