Into the Night by Sarah Bailey (Gemma Woodstock #2)

‘Freezing air slices my lungs every time I breathe.’

Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock has recently moved to Melbourne.  She is still adjusting to life in the city and mourning the life she has left behind while trying to find her feet in her new workplace.  Gemma has been assigned to partner Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, and she’s finding him a bit of a challenge as well.

When a homeless man is murdered, Gemma is assigned the case.  She wants to solve the case and appreciates just how difficult it might be to find the murderer of a lonely, isolated man in a big city.  But then a young actor is murdered in the middle of a crowded scene being filmed in the city.  Who killed Sterling Wade, and why?  And will Gemma have to stop investigating the murder of the homeless man because of this new case?  Can she and Nick Fleet work together effectively?

‘Starting work on a case is always like beginning a jigsaw without having looked at the picture on the box.’

I found this novel totally absorbing.  Gemma Woodstock is a brilliant, flawed character who is facing plenty of challenges in her own life while trying to be a good detective.  Gemma’s intuition and self-destructive behaviours wrestle for dominance as she and Nick Fleet try to work out who killed Sterling Wade.  The murdered homeless man is never far from her thoughts, nor are the family and friends she left behind in Smithson.

If you enjoy crime fiction by Australian authors, and you’ve yet to make the acquaintance of Gemma Woodstock, don’t hesitate.  She’s a wonderfully flawed, complex, intelligent hero.  There are three novels.   I somehow managed to read them out of order which, while it didn’t detract from my enjoyment, isn’t the best way to come to terms with Ms Bailey’s hero.  Highly recommended.

‘The terrifying truth about every case we work is that no matter what, the answers are out there somewhere.’

Jennifer Cameron-Smith