BOOK CLUB: Where the Dead Go

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Author: Sarah Bailey
ISBN: 9781760529321
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read Where The Dead Go by Sarah Bailey.

First Day Missing: Abbey a 15 year old girl has gone missing after a party in the middle of the night. She has family problems, an abusive father, so it could be presumed she has just simply run away.

Second Day Missing: Abbey’s boyfriend 17 year old Rick is found brutally murdered. The question is, is Abbey responsible for his murder or is she a victim too.

Gemma Woodstock a police detective is in her home town attending her ex and father of her 8 year old son’s  funeral. She overhears a request for assistance with a missing person and murder case. Rather than return to her job in Sydney she begs to be sent to Fairhaven a coastal holiday town to head the investigation.

Gemma has a lot of personal issues to deal with. She would rather  bury herself in her work which will buy her some time to deal with her past and present relationships .Gemma is haunted by a similar missing person case she has worked on.

With each day missing, more of the town’s residents become suspects.

Gemma is determined to find Abbey and solve the murder. The plot is multi layered. It is suspenseful, a gripping read, keeping you guessing until the end.

The book has a haunting title and a suspenseful cover. If you love thrillers, then this is the book for you. I thoroughly recommend and enjoyed it.

It turns out that Where The Dead Go  is the third book featuring Detective Gemma Woodstock. It definitely can be read as a stand alone book. I haven’t read The Dark Lake or Into the Night, but definitely plan to!

15 of our Beauty and Lace members are reading Where the Dead Go by Sarah Bailey. You can read their feedback in the comments section below, or contribute to the conversation with your own thoughts on the book. Review copies are courtesy of the publisher.

13 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Where the Dead Go

  1. This is the third novel to feature Gemma Woodstock, and Bailey does a fantastic job of writing an engrossing novel that will absorb both new readers and those who have read the previous novels.

    It’s four years since the events of “Into the Dark”. Detective Gemma Woodstock is now based in Sydney, but has been drawn back to her hometown by a family crisis. She finds the small town as smothering as ever – if not worse – and leaps at the opportunity to take on an investigation in a small coastal town. Solving a murder and looking for a missing girl seem like a much better option than dealing with her grief, and that of her small son. Gemma’s never been great at dealing with personal stuff, and now it’s just spilling out left, right and centre, and most of it she can’t avoid. But maybe she can defer it a while with this investigation…

    If you’ve met Gemma Woodstock before, then the novel moves her complex and thorny character forwards in ways that are interesting, credible, and a natural outgrowth of her previous behaviour. I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel. It was great to read about someone who was neither treading water nor moving forward in unexpected jerks and revelations; instead Gemma is gradually changing, prompted in part by her work.

    On the other hand, if you’re a new reader, Gemma is a very understandable and complex character, and Bailey helps you to get into her head quickly. She’s one of the more believable characters I’ve read recently.

    The plot is a compelling mystery as well. For many readers of crime novels, part of the pleasure is trying to beat the detective to the solution. You’ll have your work cut out here; it’s genuinely challenging to assess who’s done what and why. Few readers, I think, will anticipate all of it. Despite the complexity, Bailey unwinds her plot in a way that feels completely credible.

    I found this novel hard to put down in places. The first few chapters move slowly and deliberately, but the pace picks up once Gemma begins her investigation, and by half way through I was really resentful when I had to stop reading for a while. By then I cared as deeply as Gemma does, and desperately wanted to know what would happen.

    “Where the Dead Go” is a top notch crime thriller that will stick with you for a long time. It’s powerful, memorable, and offers both a tight plot and empathetic characters. It really doesn’t get much better than this novel.

  2. I dont usually choose books in the thriller genre so wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy reading this.
    At first the writing style made it hard to sink into but once I was a few chapters in I found it hard to put down.
    There were twists and turns that made it hard to guess the outcome but I liked that and it made me want to get to the end of the book.

    I’m now going to search out Sarah Bailey’s other books.

  3. Where the Dead Go is Sarah Bailey’s third book in this series but it works just as well as a stand alone book.
    When her ex dies Police Detective, Gemma Woodstock wants to take her young son Ben, and run away. Her opportunity for escape appears when the case of a missing 15 year old girl and then the brutal murder the next morning of the girls boyfriend is presented to her. Emma grabs this opportunity and fleas town with her son. She dives straight into this case in the small town of Fairhaven.
    15yr old Abbey vanishes without a trace the night of a party where she was seen having words with her boyfriend. The next morning her boyfriends body is discovered in his home. He has been brutally bashed. Did Abbey murder him and then leave town? Abbey’s Father who is known for his temper and constantly gets physical with his wife and Abbey is also a suspect. Perhaps he blamed the boyfriend for Abbey’s disappearance?
    Gemma is not long on the case before she becomes aware that someone does not want her in town and threats are made which add another level of concern.
    There are many twists and turns and everytime I thought I had it all worked out I discovered that I was so very wrong. I was left guessing right until the end.
    An awesome story that takes you through each step of the case as well as delving into Gemma’s personal life.
    A great rainy weekend read.

  4. This book is three in a series and it was quite confusing to begin with as I had not read the first two

    Because characters and events had already been established in previous novels it took some time to get to know the characters and what their backgrounds were and their connections.

    In a town north of Byron Bay, a fifteen year old girl has gone missing, the next day her boyfriend is murdered.

    Detective Gemma Woodstock is dealing with a personal tragedy and is feeling very lost so when the opportunity arises for her to be a stand-in detective to lead the investigation she jumps at the chance with her young son Ben in tow. She finds a town full of secrets and wonders if she can find Abbey alive or is she another victim or the killer?

    I feel as I have to now read the previous two novels for it all to fall into place for me and I highly recommend that people do this before attempting this novel. Overall it was a good read.

    Thank you B&L and Allen & Unwin for the read.

  5. I absolutely love Sarah Bailey”s books. Where the Dead Go was as addictive as The Dark Lake and I found it very hard to put down. This book continues with the ups and downs of Detective Gemma Woodstock’s life and the extra responsibilities she has to face now that her ex partner has died leaving her as a sole parent to son Ben. A 15 year old girl goes missing and her boyfriend is found dead in the small town of fairhaven, against everyone’s advise Gemma decides to take on the investigation and takes her son Ben with her. The story kept me intrigued with lots of possibilities on who the murderer could be right up until the end.. the only issue I had with this book was that there was quite a bit about Sara Baileys second book” Into The Night” and it contains spoilers, so if your going to read Into The Night read it before Where The Dead Go
    I gave this book 4 Stars and if you like murder mysteries you will love this one. I highly recommend it..
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen& Unwin.

  6. I’ve not read any of Sarah Bailey’s books before but in saying that, this definitely can be read as a stand alone book.

    I found myself jumping ahead and trying to solve the case for Gemma and this is where it becomes a page turner. It got a little bit quiet on some pages but if you keep reading, it all falls into place. There are many characters in this book and each one is interesting. Was it him, was it her?

    The storyline starts with a 15 year old girl called Abby missing after a party. She has family problems plus a very abusive dad.

    Abbey’s boyfriend Rick aged 17 years is found brutality murdered but why? Who would kill him? Characters in the book pin the murder to Abbey but she needs to be found before you can blame her.

    Gemma Woodstock is a police detective. She has just lost her ex but he was also the father of her 8 year old son called Ben. It is at his funeral that Gemma hears about a missing girl and a murder case. Gemma wants desperately to get away from her family, boyfriend and her job in Sydney so she pleads to go to this coastal town near Byron Bay called Fairheaven. She takes Ben with her as she can’t bear to be apart from him.

    In a previous case that Gemma handled she is haunted with memories of the disappearance of a similar case she worked on where a girl went missing.

    There are many characters in the book where you either like them, dislike them or not sure about them at all. I did have a few suspicions on some of the characters but you need to read on to see if you are on the right path.

    This novel is totally suspenseful and a thriller of a read. Definitely a page turner. For lovers of crime books this definitely up there. Lots of twists and turn to keep you interested.

    Thank you to B&L and Allen & Unwin. The cover is very hauntingly beautiful too.

  7. I had never read any of Sarah Bailey’s book before this one ‘Where the Dead Go’ and I absolutely loved it!
    The main character Detective Gemma Woodstock is quite the complex character and you certainly feel the ups and downs of her life throughout the story which begins with Gemma and the aftermath of Gemma and her son Ben’s personal tragedy/grief. Gemma’s character and particularly her interpersonal relationships and work life make this thriller even more enthralling as the reader is taken through the many character’s in the book.

    I found myself drawn to the characters and their plights and found myself trying to guess the plot and outcome, as this book has many suspenseful and thrilling pages!

    I will definitely be seeking out the first two books written by Sarah Bailey as I thoroughly enjoyed reading this bool and highly recommend it as a thrilling and suspenseful read.

    Thank you Beauty and lace for the opportunity to review ‘Where the Dead Go’.

  8. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin I was lucky enough to be chosen to review “Where the Dead Go” by Sarah Bailey.

    Detective Gemma Woodstock is back for a third time. Now living in Sydney she has had to return to her hometown of Smithton to attend the funeral of her ex-husband and now take over having to have her son, Ben full time. The day of the funeral she beg to have a chance to take Ben and go to Fairhaven to help out with another case. She thinks it may be the break they need to get away from her old hometown and help with her son’s grief, as well as bury herself in work instead of facing reality.

    The case of a missing girl, Abbey, and then the next day her boyfriend, Rick turns up murdered. It is Detective Woodstocks mission to solve the case. Did Abbey murder Rick, did Rick do something to Abbey, or was it someone else completely unexpecting that has done something to them. Things start to turn up trying to run Detective Woodstock out of town and stop her solving these cases. Who in town has something to hide?

    There are a lot of twists to keep you guessing and just when you think you have worked out what is going on or who in town has a part in this crime, it throws you and has you guessing all over again. It flows very well and ends well.

    Although this book could be read as a stand alone, I did read the first book of the series, “The Dark Lake” before I received “Where the Dead Go” and I am glad I did. I do however wish I read “Into the Night” as well. There are parts of the story that flow back to the past series and if you have read the previous books I think you would have a better connection to what you are reading. Still an all round good thriller that I would recommend reading.

  9. Im a big fan of Sarah Bailey and was excited to hear of this book coming out!

    It is the third in the series and although I did several times find myself thinking back trying to remember what happened,  Sarah does give a lot of background details so I am sure you could read it not having read the others and still enjoy it. (But definitely read the others even after this, you wont regret it!)

    I always find Sarahs writing fluent and easy to read. In fact I really struggled to put it down! A very addictive read.

    Another fantastic book to the series!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for the chance to read and review another great book by Sarah Bailey.

  10. Loved, loved, loved this mystery novel by Sarah Bailey. This was my first read of one of her novels, and I couldn’t put it down. The characters were built up gradually, providing an opportunity to engage and know them. This helped me to really engage with their circumstances that led them to be a part of this story. Set in Australia also helped with understanding the environment and picturing the beach and service stations just as we know them. Thank you to Beauty and Lace book club, to and Allen and Unwin for the opportunity to be introduced to Ms Sarah Bailey.

  11. I loved this book! This is a great police procedural.

    Detective Gemma Woodstock is drawn into a case of a missing 15 year old girl and her dead boyfriend. Gemma has to deal with new colleagues that are not very welcoming, a new town and her young son Ben. Plus, this case is very similar to a previous case which Gemma worked on which didn’t end well.

    This was an easy read that kept you guessing. I did guess one of the “villians” early on but I still wasn’t totally correct with the role that they played. I love that it wasn’t so obvious!

    You may want to read the other books in this series (which I haven’t) but I still enjoyed it. I will be reading the other two books for sure!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for giving me the opportunity to read it.

  12. I loved The Dark Lake, the first Gemma Woodstock book, The second book- Into The Night left me disappointed…..happy to say Where The Dead Go made up for that. I really enjoy Gemma as a character, she is dark, struggles and is real. I love Australian thrillers , the small towns are easy to relate, as are the characters. The story was an intriguing thriller…..focusing on a missing teenager. There was also a lot of personal element about Gemma and her family. A great read

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