Larry H's Reviews > Crimson Lake

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
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really liked it

4.5 stars for this one.

I've never been to Australia, but it's definitely a place I'd love to visit someday, and I find myself obsessed with all things Australian. I also think it's a terrific setting for books, particularly thrillers—there's just something about the dry heat, the wetlands, the bush country that seems unrelenting to me, which is one reason I've been drawn to books like Jane Harper's terrific series featuring Aaron Falk, The Dry and Force of Nature , and now, Candice Fox's Crimson Lake .

Ted Conkaffey was a police detective in Sydney—well-respected by his peers and good at his job, happily married with a newborn baby daughter. Needing to escape his house one afternoon after an argument with his sleep-deprived wife, he decides to take a drive and then go fishing. A random stop on the road to fix something in his car puts him in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he has no idea just how those six minutes will turn his life upside down, as he is accused of abducting and attacking a young girl he saw along the road that day.

Imprisoned for a crime he swears he didn't commit, his wife and his longtime friends and colleagues turn their backs on him. His release for insufficient evidence doesn't vindicate him, it merely frees him. With nowhere to go, and no one who believes he's innocent, he heads north to the wetlands of a small town called Crimson Lake. He tries to keep a low profile but it's not long before people figure out who he is and what he stands accused of, so he must defend himself from vigilantes and two dogged policemen who want to do him harm.

Through Ted's lawyer, he connects with Amanda Pharrell, a quirky, eccentric private investigator—and a convicted murderer, who served time for a gruesome crime when she was a teenager. The two team up to try and find out what happened to the author of a wildly popular book series which juxtaposed religion and young adult drama. It turns out the author had some secrets of his own, and there appears to be more than a few people who wished him harm.

As Amanda and Ted work their case, Ted isn't entirely sure whether Amanda was guilty of the crime she was punished for, and he can't stop himself from looking into it. Meanwhile, he continues to be taunted by those who believe he shouldn't be free, and those who don't like the idea of the two criminals joining forces—and some mean to do him, and perhaps Amanda, grave harm if they don't heed their warnings.

This is one of those books that hooks you at page one and doesn't let you go. It's taut, tense, and it packs quite a one-two punch of action and suspense. Ted and Amanda are both fascinating characters—you really don't quite know what to believe about either of them. Fox is a great storyteller, and she really makes you feel you're right there in the croc-infested wetlands with her characters, hearing the sounds of nature and watching your surroundings.

I had never read anything Fox has written before, but I was really impressed. I'm excited there's a second novel in this series due out soon, because I'm definitely hooked. There may be an unending supply of thrillers and mysteries out there these days, but Crimson Lake is one you should add to your list.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com, or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2017.html.
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Reading Progress

March 15, 2018 – Started Reading
March 15, 2018 – Shelved
March 17, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-35 of 35 (35 new)

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message 1: by Stacey (new)

Stacey I like Australia too! Did Candice Fox co write something with James Patterson? It sounds like a good start to the Crimson Lake series.


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Masterson I read her book Hades. It was pretty good. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Larry. I might add it. Fantastic review!


message 3: by Sheryl (new) - added it

Sheryl Great review. My library has the series that Candice Fox wrote with James Patterson in ebook or audio. Think I'll try these, too.


message 4: by Andrew (new) - added it

Andrew Smith Terrific review, Larry. I've having the same love affair with Aussie fiction so I've added this one to my TBR list!


message 5: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana this was such a fantastic review Larry! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review and the story sounds really great!


message 6: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Ooh! This sounds good Larry! Great review!


message 7: by Esil (new)

Esil Great review, Larry. You’ve made me curious about this one.


Larry H Stacey wrote: "I like Australia too! Did Candice Fox co write something with James Patterson? It sounds like a good start to the Crimson Lake series."

Yes, apparently she wrote one or two books with him. It's a great start to the series!


Larry H Jennifer wrote: "I read her book Hades. It was pretty good. I’m glad you enjoyed this, Larry. I might add it. Fantastic review!"

Thanks, Jennifer! It really was good--both action-packed and well-written.


Larry H Sheryl wrote: "Great review. My library has the series that Candice Fox wrote with James Patterson in ebook or audio. Think I'll try these, too."

Thanks, Sheryl!


Larry H Andrew wrote: "Terrific review, Larry. I've having the same love affair with Aussie fiction so I've added this one to my TBR list!"

Thanks so much, Andrew! There is so much great Aussie fiction out there right now!


Larry H Svetlana wrote: "this was such a fantastic review Larry! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review and the story sounds really great!"

Thanks so much, Svetlana! I really appreciate that!


Larry H Susanne wrote: "Ooh! This sounds good Larry! Great review!"

Thanks, Susanne! It really is good.


Larry H Esil wrote: "Great review, Larry. You’ve made me curious about this one."

Thanks, Esil! It's really well done.


message 15: by Cheri (new)

Cheri This sounds really good, Larry, I'm really glad you liked it. Terrific review!


message 16: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Sounds just up my alley.


Patricia I'm in the middle of it at the moment. Entertaining with attractive main characters and some geese.


message 18: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Dyer Great review, I'm going to add this to my list!


Larry H Cheri wrote: "This sounds really good, Larry, I'm really glad you liked it. Terrific review!"

Thanks, Cheri! It was a really good one.


Larry H Liz wrote: "Sounds just up my alley."

Hope you enjoy!


Larry H Patricia wrote: "I'm in the middle of it at the moment. Entertaining with attractive main characters and some geese."

I love the geese!!


Larry H Kim wrote: "Great review, I'm going to add this to my list!"

Thanks, Kim! Hope you enjoy it!


message 23: by Rob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob Nice review Larry.
I'm from the land down under. Yes Fox's writing does manage to portray Outback Australia exactly.
I enjoyed the book but have to admit that Amanda drove insane.


message 24: by Megan (new) - added it

Megan Amazing review, adding to my TBR right now !! Thank you Larry 🙌🏻🙌🏻


Larry H Rob wrote: "Nice review Larry.
I'm from the land down under. Yes Fox's writing does manage to portray Outback Australia exactly.
I enjoyed the book but have to admit that Amanda drove insane."


Thanks, Rob! She was definitely quirky, that's for sure!!


Larry H Amy wrote: "This one looks good! Thanks for heads up."

Hope you like it, Amy!


Larry H Megan wrote: "Amazing review, adding to my TBR right now !! Thank you Larry 🙌🏻🙌🏻"

Thanks so much, Megan!!


Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews So glad you enjoyed a book by one of our shining stars in the writing world here in Australia :-)


Larry H Amanda - wrote: "So glad you enjoyed a book by one of our shining stars in the writing world here in Australia :-)"

Thanks, Amanda! There are so many shining stars!!


Tammy Fab review! This sounds pretty terrific, Larry :)


message 31: by kittykat (new) - added it

kittykat Looks like I’ll be reading this book after reading your review! I’m a fan of Harpers books as well and have to agree that Australia offers the perfect backdrop for an atmospheric thriller. I live in Australia and it’s an incredible country. Hope you make it here one day to see for yourself.


Kathryn Laughton For Rob: Cairns is not “Outback Australia” and never has been. Cairn is part of an area of world heritage listed tropic rainforests and coral reefs. It is remote and wild for sure but hardly Outback. People often go missing here, not because of crime but because it is tough country once you get beyond the city limits. Yes. Cairns is a city. Not some Hicksville that this books seems to want to portray. The mire I read of Fox’s badly researched and fanciful setting the mire I feel the book does my home a great insult.


message 33: by Taneekah (new) - added it

Taneekah If your ever going to go to Australia for a vacation, dont visit Perth! It is a very boring place. I live there and i really h8 it because there is nothing to do. Visit Kalbarri, Melbourne or Sydney. WA isnt very interesting but i believe that the best parts of WA would be Kalbarri and Walpole. Broome is also a very beautiful place. I personally think that Kalbarri is for people who like fishing, Walpole is for people who love wildlife and Broome for people who like the beach and the soft sand.


Judith Riseley Kathryn wrote: "For Rob: Cairns is not “Outback Australia” and never has been. Cairn is part of an area of world heritage listed tropic rainforests and coral reefs. It is remote and wild for sure but hardly Outbac..."

Rob wrote: "Nice review Larry.
I'm from the land down under. Yes Fox's writing does manage to portray Outback Australia exactly.
I enjoyed the book but have to admit that Amanda drove insane."


I'm


Judith Riseley Actually, people do go missing in the outback due to crime - Peter Falconeo for example.


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