The NZ Life & Leisure Book Club reviews Into the Night by Sarah Bailey
The NZ Life & Leisure Book Club reviews Into the Night by Sarah Bailey.
Into the Night Synopsis:
Broken-hearted by the decisions she’s had to make, talented detective sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne. Her new workplace is a minefield, and the partner she has been assigned is uncommunicative and often hostile. Gemma is put on the case when a homeless man is murdered, and she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and the lonely and isolated life he led despite being in the middle of a bustling city.
Then a movie star is killed in bizarre circumstances on the set of a major film shoot, and Gemma and her partner detective sergeant Nick Fleet have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime and who stands to profit from it? Far too many people and none of them can be trusted.
Into the Night
Allen & Unwin
Order online here
Into the Night is a detective novel, made more interesting by the fact that it is set in Melbourne. It is an authentic recounting of the investigation of a murder, made more so by the fact that it is written in the first person singular, usually the present tense. At first, I found this awkward. I also felt that the setting up of the potential perpetrators was a bit obvious, though the book moved more smoothly in later chapters. I did not find the character of the detective, Gemma Woodstock, appealing which did not endear me to the book, but I found the story as it picked up pace engaging me more. The characters were woven together quite successfully, and there was sufficient suspense to keep one guessing and turning the page. I haven’t recommended it to anyone as yet – it is a light read.
I take off my hat to anyone who writes a 416-page thriller. One that keeps me coming back when I could be flicking to the BBC or NYT for the strangely addictive surge of outrage at the latest horror from the Trump administration is worth mentioning. I’m not raving, but if I came across Sarah’s first book (The Dark Lake) I’d read it.
I don’t read many crime novels, so Into the Night was always going to be a bit of of side step for me. But I found myself enjoying the Melbourne murder tale and its somewhat messed-up protagonist, detective Gemma Woodstock. Although some of the suspect set-ups felt a little laboured, I didn’t see the ending coming. I listened to parts of this as an audiobook while on the treadmill at the gym, and it was a good distraction from the exercise huffing and puffing.
Have you read Into the Night, or do you have a book you’d recommend? Join in the discussion on our NZ Life & Leisure Book Club Facebook group.