The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey is an excellent read. Full of mystery and suspense, it is even more impressive that it is Bailey's first novel. She sets the bar high.
Detective Sargent Gemma Woodstock leads a complicated life in a small Australian community She is a rugged and dedicated law enforcement officer, in addition to being a mother, and lover. Her near obsession with a murder victim seems to extend beyond normal police work.
Everyone loves the young and beautiful teacher, Rosalind Ryan, except those who don't. The mesmerizing woman is described either in glowing terms bordering on saintliness, or as a manipulator of the highest degree. Ironically, her first love is the theatre.
Following a triumphant production of Romeo and Juliet, Rosalind's body is found in the water. Roses adorn her like a shrine.
The lake holds bad memories for Gemma, but she is determined to discover what happened. Her life and Rosalind's unravel in the process, revealing a world brimming with secrets.
Descriptive, with an undercurrent of menace, The Dark Lake pulls us in. Bailey weaves a good story with a smooth and easy flow. She gradually fleshes out the characters and the plot, helping us to understand.
If you are a fan of the genre, you will enjoy this book.
Exciting new blood has been added to the mystery writers' gene pool.