Where the Dead Go is Sarah Bailey’s third book and an utterly perfect addition to the Gemma Woodstock series.
Since the events of Into the Night, Gemma’s life has changed. She’s started a new relationship while dealing with the fallout from a harrowing case. After another tragic loss, Gemma is brought back to her hometown and is facing some difficult decisions. Sorely in need of distraction, she jumps at the chance to bury herself in her work. Packing up her bags (and her grieving son) Gemma flees to the coastal town of Fairhaven and dives headlong into a murder investigation.
A girl is missing and her boyfriend has been found dead, which dredges up some truly bad memories for Gemma. Haunted by her own history, she struggles to separate past from present as she tries to solve the case. At the same time, she is trying to process her more recent personal loss and decide what comes next for her and for her son.
One of the things I most admire about this series is that each one takes place in a totally different setting, usually after a lapse of time in Gemma’s life. This means that we leave her in one place at the end of each book and find her in quite another when we pick up the next one. It gives the series a true-to-life feel that I really love. Gemma isn’t the kind of protagonist to sit around in her hometown, twiddling her thumbs and waiting for the readers to return just in time for her next murder case. She is a dynamic and unpredictable character – she can’t be expected to slow down or stay put.
I basically imprinted on Gemma Woodstock back when The Dark Lake came out, and my devotion to this fictional character grows stronger with each new book! Gemma is such a glorious tangle of flaws and contractions. I think that’s part of what makes her so great. Her emotions and thought processes are so messy. She has dark thoughts and destructive instincts. She isn’t always the best role model, isn’t always the best mother, doesn’t always make the best decisions… and yet she cares so very deeply! She tries so hard to protect people, to serve justice and do what is right – tries so hard she almost destroys herself. And that is why I will happily devour any book about Gemma Woodstock from now until the end of time!
Gemma isn’t the kind of protagonist to sit around in her hometown, twiddling her thumbs and waiting for the readers to return just in time for her next murder case. She is a dynamic and unpredictable character – she can’t be expected to slow down or stay put.
That said, I’m very keen to see what else Sarah Bailey has up her sleeve. I have heard rumours that her next book might not feature Gemma Woodstock at all… which makes me both sad and super excited! I would like to read some more Gemma Woodstock books some day, however, Where the Dead Go ends on a very satisfying note. It feels like a natural time to hit pause on the series for a while. Meanwhile, I will wait with bated breath for further details on Sarah Bailey’s next book, whatever it may be.
Perfect for fans of Jane Harper, Dervla McTiernan and fans of Sarah Bailey’s previous books, Where The Dead Go is a deeply atmospheric crime novel with a compelling mystery to solve and a wonderfully nuanced and emotionally rich main character. In other words, it’s exactly the kind of read I have come to expect from Sarah Bailey. More please!
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Where the Dead Go
Gemma Woodstock: Book 3
Four years after the events of Into the Night, DS Gemma Woodstock is on the trail of a missing girl in a small coastal town. A fifteen-year-old girl has gone missing after a party in the middle of the night. The following morning her boyfriend is found brutally murdered in his home. Was the girl responsible for the murder, or is she also a victim of the killer? But who would want two teenagers dead?
The aftermath of a personal tragedy finds police detective Gemma Woodstock in the coastal town of Fairhaven with her son Ben in tow. She has begged to be part of a murder investigation so she can bury herself in work rather than taking the time to grieve and figure out how to handle the next stage of her life - she now has serious family responsibilities she can no longer avoid. But Gemma also has ghosts she must lay to rest...
About the Contributor
Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Category Manager for Children's and Young Adult Books. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling
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