Wednesday 13 November 2019



How do you move on when the world won't let you?

12:46: Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop
12:47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her
12:52: The girl is missing . . .

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, a case full of deception and obsession, while secretly digging into her troubled past. The residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair's every move . . . and the town offers no place to hide.

"Complex, human characters, and a dark, meaty story, and fine writing, and a great sense of place - this is one of the best crime thrillers of the year. Sign me up as a big-time Fox fan!" - #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child

A bit of Australian crime with Crimson Lake from Candice Fox.

Three mysteries at the heart of this book.....

Our main man Ted Conkaffey suffering the fall-out from his proximity to the abduction and rape of a young girl. Arrested, released without charge, loss of career, family, friends, a free man in name only, convicted in the court of public opinion.... who was responsible?

Ted, pitched up in the ass-end of nowhere - Crimson Lake, teamed up with a strange PI, herself convicted of a murder years ago. Amanda served the time, but did she do the crime? Ted has a sniff around.

Lastly, our intrepid PIs, are engaged to look into the disappearance of a successful author. His wife frustrated by the lack of progress the police have made. 

Busy with lots going on, I really liked this one......a normal life lost, an angry public, threats, media intrusion, an investigative journalist, small town gossip, a missing author, a strange family, some dodgy cops, weird fans, some much needed support, anger, intimidation, vigilante action, investigations and some

Despite it's length of over 400 pages it's a quick read and it was one I find myself not really wanting to put down. I liked how the author knitted the different cases together into the narrative. I liked the main character though I preferred Ted to the troubled and unpredictable Amanda. I liked how the author stops short of giving us answers to all the outstanding questions without making it feel like a cliffhanger or a compelling invitation to read the next book (though I probably will).

I shared Ted's sense of desperation, his loss and confusion, his displacement, his loneliness and grief but also admired his drawing back from the precipice, his re-found sense of purpose and motivation, the resolve to keep going in the face of overwhelming disdain and scorn from the wider world. It's quite topical how the media can incite the public to pre-judge people confusing innuendo and speculation with facts.

This was my first time reading Candice Fox, but not my last.

4.5 from 5

Read - November, 2019
Published - 2017
Page count - 416
Source - owned copy
Format - paperback


  1. Candice Fox is a talented author, Col. I'm not surprised (although, of course, I'm pleased) that you liked this one as much as you did. She does do an effective job of character development, suspense-building, and scene-setting.

    1. And apologies for the late response. I hope to read more from her in the future, Margot.

  2. The US edition clocks in at "just" 348 pages, which is a little less intimidating . . . assuming the font isn't eye-wrenchingly small. Whatever, the book sounds spiffy so I've put it on hold at the library.

    1. Again apologies, and also for the fact that your subsequent reading pleasure was somewhat muted.

  3. This sounds good, I will keep an eye out for this book.

    1. I really liked it Tracy. John not so much.