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Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
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Crimson Lake

by Candice Fox

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Maybe I’m just late to the party, but there is a lot of great fiction coming from Australia lately. Crimson Lake by Candace Fox is a recent example. Crimson Lake is the story of Ted Conkaffey, a Sydney detective accused of rape and attempted murder of a 13-year-old girl. The case against him is stopped halfway through the trial once it is determined that the evidence is not strong enough to convince a jury. By this time, Ted’s life is pretty much over. He’s lost his job, his wife has left him, he’s guilty in the eyes of the public and the charges against him can be reinstated at any time. Ted works his way across Australia, trying unsuccessfully to outrun his notoriety. He settles in Crimson Lake in northern Queensland.

One night, Ted rescues a wounded goose and her young goslings. The next day, Ted’s lawyer convinces him to go see Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted killer turned private investigator. Amanda’s crime is almost as notorious as Ted’s, at least locally. Ted reluctantly agrees to partner with Amanda on a case involving a missing author. While looking into the case, Ted has to deal with local vigilantes, a relentless reporter, and local cops who don’t hold Ted in very high regard.

Fox has created two fascinating characters. Ted splits his time between looking for the missing author and looking into Amanda’s crime. Amanda is likewise interested in Ted’s case. Amanda, while young and lacking Ted’s police experience, proves to be a gifted and insightful detective. The setting in northern Australia is literally crawling with crocodiles. As the two delve deeper into the missing author and as Ted delves deeper into Amanda’s case, things become increasingly strange.

All of the cases are fascinating and tend to uncover shocking secrets as you might expect. But the cases take backseat to the wonderful characters. What really happened to Ted and Amanda and how it turned them into the quirky characters they are is a fun study. Even the goose turns into a great character as well as, perhaps, Ted’s savior. It also led me down a great rabbit hole to find out more information about the history of guard gooses.

Crimson Lake is a great story and introduces two great characters. I look forward to reading more stories with them.

The audiobook is read by Euan Morton. He does a great job breathing the characters to life. His distinction between the more urban and rural characters underscores the tension that exists. His pacing and descriptions really make the landscape come alive and convey the danger lurking around every corner. Excellent job. Highly recommended book.

I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher. ( )
  tottman | May 14, 2018 |
Really good read! Would love to read more from her! ( )
  gail616 | May 2, 2018 |
This book has two complicated and compelling protagonists with more than their fair share of baggage. Former cop Ted Conkaffey was arrested for assaulting a young girl. He was not tried for the crime but he also wasn't exonerated. Ted wound up losing his job, wife and infant daughter. Amanda Pharrell was convicted of murdering a teenaged classmate and spent years in prison for her crime. Amanda and Ted are now both living in Crimson Lake and they team up as private investigators hired by the wife of a missing author. Ted knows he is innocent and misses his old life. Blunt, acerbic Amanda just wants to get on with the life she has now. Neither of them is exactly welcome in Crimson Lake.

There are a lot of puzzles in this book and the author very deftly managed to keep all of the mysteries up in the air simultaneously. In addition to the search for the missing author, Ted also searches for evidence to prove his innocence and tries to find out exactly what compelled Amanda to stab her classmate to death.

I liked both Ted and Amanda and I also liked the fact that not everything was neatly resolved at the end of the book. This book doesn't seem to have received the amount of attention given to other recent mystery/thrillers, and that's a shame. I enjoyed it and will probably read the next book in this series. The narrator of the audio book was Euan Morton and I had no trouble at all with his Australian accent. ( )
  fhudnell | Apr 22, 2018 |
Do you know what I need in my life? Redemption Point the sequel to this book. And I want it now, but I've heard patience is a virtue so I will have to wait. Anyway, this book is awesome. I mean a team of a convicted murderer working together with a disgraced police officer accused of the abduction and rape of a young girl? A crime Ted is trying to clear his name from. I'm always on the lookout for thriller series that are a bit different that doesn't follow the standard model and here I have found one that I really like.

Crimson Lake is a fabulous book, with two very different individuals trying to work together to solve the disappearance of a well-known author. Ted Conkaffey has fled his old life after the charges were dropped because of lack of evidence, not that it matters very much since pretty much everyone thinks he's guilty. His lawyer fixes him up with PI Amanda Pharrell, a convicted murderer since Ted needs a job. And, them working together is brings some lightheartedness to this dark and tragic story.

There are many things about this book I like, the weird (but sweet and funny) partnership, the atmospheric little town with the crocodiles lurking in the water, the mystery of the missing author. The geese and all the cats. *sigh* I really want the next book!

I want to thank Random House UK, Cornerstone for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Mar 4, 2018 |
Australian crime ( )
  SarahStenhouse | Jan 30, 2018 |
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"Six minutes in the wrong place at the wrong time--that's all it took to ruin Sydney detective Ted Conkaffey's life. Accused but not convicted of a brutal abduction, Ted is now a free man--and public enemy number one. Maintaining his innocence, he flees north to keep a low profile amidst the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake. There, Ted's lawyer introduces him to eccentric private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted murderer. Not entirely convinced Amanda is a cold-blooded killer, Ted agrees to help with her investigation"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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