Into the night by Sarah Bailey

Into the Night by Sarah Bailey

Cover of into the night written by Sarah Bailey with a train in the background

Reviewed by Nancy Liddle.

 A new voice on the Aussie crime fiction scene, this is Bailey's second novel and it's a fine book.  Featuring the troubled Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock, I worried that it felt a bit slow in the build-up and maybe a bit pedestrian but then once it started to tighten the screws my thumbs were definitely trapped! 

 There are three distinct crimes and many suspects, a dead witness and a missing one, a homeless man and a rising Aussie television star both stabbed with the same MO.  But one of the best characters in the book is Melbourne itself.  Anyone familiar with her layout, will enjoy all the local references immensely and the gritty ambiance.  A bit Rebus and Edinburgh. 

 Whilst the crimes gather pace, readers are also rewarded with background info on our main girl and her sidekick.  This is a very strong point in Bailey's writing - the characterization of the leads is what makes us care about them - we can relate to the flaws in Gemma and feel her absolute self-loathing for what she has done.  We want her to feel better about herself. 

 Another standout is the weariness of both police leads - it's described so well I had to take frequent nana naps.  In many crime stories centred around the investigators, we suffer with them their lack of sleep, good food, too much booze, too many sleazy encounters - we worry and fret over them.  Bailey's certainly got this one covered. 

 A very good second novel by a rising new female aussie talent!  I hope the library has her first Gemma book "The Dark Lake"! 



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