Into The Night
by Sarah Bailey
Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date : December 4, 2018
Synopsis from Publisher :
After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim's friends and family can be trusted--and who may be the killer.
Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she's had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can't help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence.
Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor's life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can't imagine a pair of victims with less in common--and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths.
What do you consider the most important element of a book? What aspect is the most influential when deciding if you enjoyed a book or not? For me, it is the main character. I do not necessarily have to like the main character but I have to find them intriguing. With Into The Night, I will be completely honest. I did not like its protagonist Detective Gemma Woodstock, but I found her very interesting. Into The Night presented me with a new experience, a lead character I did not care for but with an exciting and original central mystery, I found myself glued to the book.
Detective Gemma Woodstock is in a new city but cannot seem to make a fresh start. Gemma’s new life in Melbourne Australia is a far cry from life in her small hometown of Smithton. Although her life is in shambles, Gemma finds stability in her work. While investigating the death of a homeless man another murder occurs. Sterling Wade, a fast-rising movie star, is murdered while filming his latest movie. Gemma and her partner are reassigned to investigate Sterling’s murder but Gemma cannot forget the murder of the homeless man. Although the two victims lead completely different lives, Gemma cannot help but draw comparisons between the two murders, fearing a serial killer may be at work.
Gemma’s reassignment to Melbourne’s police department was voluntary but it was also strongly suggested by her boss. With loads of emotional baggage and fear of an uncertain future, Gemma cannot seem to get out of her own way. Her new colleagues and boss do not completely trust her. She struggles to make new friends and to maintain friendships from Smithton. Gemma is stagnant and repeating some of the mistakes she made in Smithton. This is why I struggled to like Gemma, her unwillingness to change and adjust to her new surroundings frustrated me. She knows she needs to make changes but she does not know how to do it (a feeling I can completely relate to). Along with a great central mystery, Gemma’s old reactions to new circumstances was what made Into The Night engrossing. I kept reading because I wanted to see if Gemma would ever evolve and learn from her past mistakes.
The murder of Sterling Wade takes place in the middle of the day while Sterling is filming a movie. With the cameras rolling and an abundance of witnesses, he is stabbed repeatedly. The murder was caught on film, but the perpetrator is not visible. Many of the witnesses assumed Sterling’s actions as he was dying were part of the role he was playing. Reading about a murder which takes place in the middle of filming a movie was a first for me and I really enjoyed it. One would assume that the investigation would be easily solved because of the amount of witnesses and the murder being captured on film. However, the difficulties Gemma and her partner face are some of the most challenging I have read. Many events occur during the investigation. These events involve key witnesses and suspects in Sterling’s murder, giving the story constant twists, turns, and a strong sense of foreboding.
Although Into The Night and I got off to a bit of a bumpy start, I truly enjoyed it and I am so glad I kept reading. Despite disliking Gemma, she is a complex and murky character who I hope I to get to know better. Into The Night is book two in the Gemma Woodstock series. I do recommend reading book one, The Dark Lake first. I think it is really important to know the circumstances surrounding Gemma’s departure from Smithton. Fans of Jane Harper’s Aaron Faulk series should add Into The Night to their list of must reads.
*Thanks to Grand Central Publishing for my free review copy of Into The Night.
Murder and Moore Rating :
4 out of 5 Stars