Carolyn's Reviews > Where the Dead Go

Where the Dead Go by Sarah   Bailey
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2019, gift-from-publisher, police-procedural, murder-mystery

It's so good to be back with DS Gemma Woodstock. She's come a long way since her debut some years ago in The Dark Lake, both in her personal and professional life. She's moved to Sydney and established a reputation there as a good detective, she's reconciled herself to her son Ben living with his father Scott and his new wife and baby in her home town of Smithson. She's also in a good relationship herself with a good man but not sure if she's ready to commit to a life with him. But now Scott has died and she has returned to Smithson for the funeral and to comfort Ben. She feels claustrophobic being back home with all the expectations this entails, so when her old boss needs a volunteer to travel to a coastal town near Byron Bay to take over an investigation into a missing girl and the murder of her boyfriend, Gemma and Ben are on the plane within hours.

Gemma has her work cut out working with a young, inexperienced team and a difficult case where there are not too many clues about why 15 year old Abbey disappeared on her way home from a party and her boyfriend bashed and murdered the next day. She is also haunted by her last case involving a missing girl who was found too late to save her and concerned about a previous cold case in the area where a young couple disappeared and were never found. There are plenty of false leads, dead ends and threats to Gemma to leave well alone. But Gemma is resilient and tenacious and will keep on picking at loose threads until something unravels and the truth spills out.

In Gemma Woodstock, Sarah Bailey has created not only a dedicated, insightful detective but also a complex woman, flawed and a little wild and reckless, all of which contributes to her insight into those she is investigating. The small town settings of Smithson and Fairhaven have a uniquely Australian feel, as do the characters who inhabit those places. The plot is skillfully built up steadily layer by layer as Gemma begins to understand the town and its people and sense what has been going on. It's masterful and carefully controlled to build up a slow burning suspense, with the threat to Gemma and her son Ben hiding not too far away in the shadows. The climax when it arrives is shocking and unexpected with revelations unspooling rapidly and the tension ramping up to maximum setting. So good! 4.5★

With many thanks to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book to read
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Reading Progress

July 30, 2019 – Shelved
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: gift-from-publisher
August 6, 2019 – Started Reading
August 9, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 15, 2019 – Shelved as: police-procedural
August 15, 2019 – Shelved as: murder-mystery

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Mandy White Great review Carolyn. I love this series too


Carolyn Me too Mandy! Hard to tell from the ending whether there will be another book in the series. Could go either way.


Mandy White Carolyn wrote: "Me too Mandy! Hard to tell from the ending whether there will be another book in the series. Could go either way." I know... I hope there is more, there is so much more for Gemma I am sure!


message 4: by James (new)

James Thane Nice review, Carolyn.


Carolyn Thanks James.


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