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The Dark Lake
The Dark LakeCallieDarlin (2)
Am I the only one??

I LOVED this book! I read a lot of reviews on here that HATED Gemma but I really enjoyed her. She felt like a real person with real conflicts within. The mystery was slightly bland, but overall I really enjoyed reading this book. It might be my favorite BOTM yet.

KellieGleockler (1)
I also loved this book! I thought Gemma was a very interesting character and the mystery was a little slow at times, but the ending did surprise me a bit!
The Dark LakeKristineCoumbe (27)
Impressive. Very strong debut.

I thought the title was hokey, almost like a Lifetime Movie. It turns out this mystery was so much better. This is a debut novel which will turn into a detective series. I like Gemma, she seemed realistic considering her history and background. I did not like some of her choices. She was sleeping with her partner. I kept thinking they can't have Felix in the series. I was not a fan of Felix. I do want to read the next book of Gemma mysteries.

The Dark LakeCarlyBrownlee (4)
Dark lake

This book was amazing, I found myself wanting so much more. I finished and immediately went to her website to find out if she was writing another book and when it would come out!!

It was unpredictable and everything you could want!

Diana7 (33)
I really enjoyed this book as well,I was afraid I wouldn't like it due to a lot of the negative reviews. While Gemma's character was not very likeable most of the times, I was totally drawn into the story and couldn't put the book down. Glad I picked this one for the month.
The Dark LakeLindsaySoulsbyJohnson (3)
The Dark Lake: Book Review Vlog

Here is my review of The Dark Lake in video format! Enjoy!


The Dark LakeAndreaNolan (1)
Can't get into it

I've just started on this book but I'm having a hard time getting into it. What's the deal with Gemma and Rosalind? There seems to be an underlying obsession towards Rosalind on Gemma's part so far from where I'm at in the story. Hope it gets better because so far the story line is really dragging!!! Yaaaawwwwnnnn

kankrum3 (53)
I thought that the 2nd half was a lot better then the 1st half... but i couldn't really get into either not until things started to unravel.
The Dark LakeAmandaSheridan (5)
What it really is about

If you go into thinking you are going to get a cool murder mystery I think you'll be disappointed. Instead the book is really about Gemma and all her secrets coming to a head as she is trying to solve a murder mystery. So my thought (totally just my opinion) is the dark lake actually refers to Gemma's (guilty?) concience. And how long she can go on before she's "pulled under" by all her lies and secrets. And to get the ball rolling and keep you interested there's also a murder case that needs solving. I'm glad I read it but I didn't love it. I figured out who the killer and the kidnapper was pretty quickly. And I didn't like Gemma.

KaseyBaril (28)
Similar feelings upon finishing. I was getting annoyed with constantly being pulled into the mystery, another part of the puzzle being solved, and then we go back to Gemma and her life/backstory. She was boring and a tad unlikable..
kankrum3 (53)
I agree...
SheriH (6)
I agree. I did find the author to be talented and I would like to read one of her other books. However, I could not stand Gemma and I wanted to know more about the murder itself.
The Dark LakeStaceyBuckallew (2)
Is it worth it?

I tried reading it but it isn't grabbing me. Should I give it another try?

EV1221 (8)
Probably not :-/ Wish I could tell you otherwise!
StaceyBuckallew (2)
Thank you
KaseyBaril (28)
If you're a fast reader, maybe. I was a bit annoyed when I finished and went "serious, that's it?" I felt like I wasted my time.
Chelsea (21)
It managed to not grab me the entire way through but it’s an easy read I guess
SarahLyall (2)
I loved it, I guess I just saw it differently than others!
The Dark LakeChelsea (21)

My primary feeling as I read through this book was indifference. Indifference to the plot, the characters, everything.

Gemma is an especially unlikeable character. I don't need to like a main character to enjoy a book, but she was insufferable and selfish to every person in her life; basically a spoiled brat that throws adult-level tantrums and is ungrateful for everything she has until the final chapter (how contrived). I feel at many times, the book was more about Gemma's confused emotions and the murder was just a weak plot device to get her to work through them.

At no point did the plot ever suck me in. It seemed like a lot of fluff. The chapters from random POVs added nothing and time-stamping each chapter didn't serve much purpose. It was ultimately a dull story and I was just reading it to get through it. The end felt like a lot of build-up for nothing, and I rolled my eyes at the attempted irony of Candy Fyfe coming to save the day.

And is it just me, or is Harper obsessed with inappropriate relationships? Cheating coworkers not meant to be together (Gemma and Felix), coworkers whose employment policy doesn't encourage it (Izzy and Nicholson), people having affairs (Olivia and Nicholson / Timothy and Amelia), a hint of incest (Bryce and Timothy photographing Rosalind), relationships with minors (Rosalind and Rodney and possibly Rosalind with her former student). It was excessive to say the least.

Squares (10)
I felt similarly. I didn't hate it, but the obsession with the inappropriate relationships... just read like a bad TV drama. I kept thinking it would all mean something/come together. But it never did? It was just another way to thicken the plot. I didn't get the need to add Candy *at all.* I also didn't like the truth of Jacob's suicide. It just felt too forced. Was a bit disappointed by this once.
LindsaySoulsbyJohnson (3)
You took the words out of my mouth. Though I'm ok with Liane Moriarty style writing, where simplicity is done up in a "nothing is always something" round about way, this book didn't quite get there. Hated characters serve three purposes 1) the villain, 2) the character that overcomes their darkness to be loved (aka the Grinch or the beast in Beauty & The Beast) or 3) they die in the end in some victorious triumph for the good side (like Lord Voldemort in the end of Harry Potter). You simply do not write a non-fiction story (for any age group) where the main character is so un-relatable with zero likable qualities and a flat line ending for them. The ungrateful daughter, the adulterous wife, the "mom" who doesn't want to be a mom except briefly when Ben is missing, the s***** friend that she was, the cry baby when she doesn't get her way... it was all too much. How could anyone like Gemma? Harpers obsession with inappropriate relationships: Yes as a society we obsess over these types of things and so I get why she used them. However, that being said she misused them in my opinion. Half of them weren't even relevant to the storyline. You're so right when you say "excessive to say the least"! Gemma's relationship with Felix served no purpose other than to make you hate her more, Nicholson & Izzy served no purpose other than to what? Say she was right about him wanting to date a younger woman - that was pointless & unnecessary. Lastly, the author clearly could not have grown up in a small town or have a true understanding of how a police investigation works. If she had, she would have known the small town dynamic works differently than lead on in this book and I think anyone reading this from a small town or with family in one was thinking the same thing. Also, anyone with a legal background I know was cringing at some aspects of the investigation process.
EV1221 (8)
I couldn't have said this better myself! You pointed out all of the problems I had with this book. I think the comparisons with Tana French are so off base.
EV1221 (8)
I couldn't have said this better myself! You pointed out all of the problems I had with this book. I think the comparisons with Tana French are so off base.
The Dark LakeTBurr (25)
Enjoyed...but, eh.

I enjoyed this book and it was a pretty quick read. However, certain parts of it sort of read like an episode of One Tree Hill (or any other overly dramatic show) SPOILER ALERT when her son was kidnapped, the father was not the father, etc.

KaseyBaril (28)
(SPOILER) I didn't watch One Tree Hill, but a lot of the parts of the book definitely read like a TV drama. Her son being kidnapped confused me and maybe could have been handled differently?
momo05 (1)
I totally agree. I really enjoyed this book. But I do feel like we got to sense what it can be like for detectives (maybe not the cheating). They have such a tiring job, that I think the job could get to them after a while