The Dark Lake

the dark lake

When Rosalind Ryan, beloved high school drama teacher, is found dead in the local lake, detective Gemma Woodstock and her partner Felix are given the case.  Between family fights, tension with her colleagues, and a mysterious event at her previous teaching job in Sydney, many people seem to have motive to hurt Rosalind.  As the case gains media attention and pressure to solve the murder mounts, Gemma must balance her desire to catch the killer with her urge to keep her own secrets hidden including her own past ties to Rosalind.  In The Dark Lake, Bailey succeeds in writing complex, often unlikable characters and constructing a slow-burning but suspenseful plot.

"Rosalind's death has formed a blanket over Smithson: mixing with the relentless heat, it's a creeping, vapor-like cover that sticks to everything.  Voices are low and theories are exchanged in clusters outside the newsagent and the post office.  Eyes dart around as if seeking a killer in the shadows.  Beautiful piles of flowers form little mountains of love and grief at Rosalind's front door, the lake and the school.  It's true what they say, that death unites us, pulls us together, though I see beyond this primal unity and think that perhaps we pull each other closer to check that we are who we say we are.  We are all trying to work out what went so horribly wrong."

Sarah Bailey lives in Australia, where she has worked in advertising for more than a decade.  The Dark Lake is her first novel, and its sequel, Into the Night, will be published in 2018.

Published:  2017
Length:  440 pages
Set in:  New South Wales, Australia