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Crimson Lake (Crimson Lake, #1)
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Group Read - Crimson Lake > Group Read - Crimson Lake 67% to 100% Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (last edited May 14, 2018 10:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments This thread is to discuss Candice Fox's Crimson Lake. Chapters 67% in to the end or Kindle pages 235 to 348.
If the first to post, please briefly summarize to guide the discussion. Spoilers welcome on this thread.
What did you think of the book? This is book one of a series, will you read more?


message 2: by Ann (last edited May 18, 2018 11:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments The "chapters" continue to open with creepy letters to Jake.
While Ted was being beaten unconscious, Amanda finds video of the bookstore where Jake may have an angry super-fan at a signing event. Ted looks for the identity of the girl friend of Harrison who has harassed him with other teens and he keeps asking Dynah, the sister of Amanda's murder victim, about Lauren to try to understand what happened. The media is closing in because Fabiana secretly recorded Ted explaining how a witness who could clear him hasn't been heard from. He is devastated and hounded. Amanda identifies the fan, Ormund Smitt. Ted talks to the author of a true crime book about Amanda.


message 3: by Ann (last edited May 24, 2018 09:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Ted protects the geese by taking them away to Dr Gratteur's house. His parallel investigation of Amanda's case leaves him conflicted, something doesn't add up about Lauren and Amanda that night and the Amanda he thinks he knows doesn't fit the public profile. Dr Gratteur gives her opinion on stabbing.
Stella fires them having learned of Ted's past and stung by his rejection of her advances. This is a mighty blow to both of them.
The vigilantes are out in the open now and Ted gets police protection for twelve days. He discovers Harrison and Zoe at his car attempting to slit his tires and he takes the tool from Harrison.
Ted and Amanda follow Ormund Smitt. He leads them to Jake's car hidden in a tangle of jungle vines and escapes. In the car are hard copies of the emailed letters to Jake.
Ted realizes someone has been in his house, and then his former coworker Frankie warns him that Damford and Hench have permission for a full house search. He knows this means something was probably planted to send him back to prison. Fabiana helps him look for the plant. Barely in time photos are in his coffee and there is nothing to find but they know he knows.


message 4: by Ann (last edited May 24, 2018 09:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Ted puts it all together and he and Amanda rush to Stella's house and break in, finding her unconscious, drugged. Harrison and Zoe are there, caught, angry, defiant when Ted accuses them of killing Zoe's Mom by cutting her car's brake line and intending the same for his car. They had a plan, eliminate both sets of parents. Both try to sucker in Ted they are not culpable, have regrets. Zoe stabs Ted and Harrison lures Amanda across a rigged boat dock and after shooting him she disappears into the croc infested water. Crazy scene!


message 5: by Ann (last edited May 19, 2018 12:17AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Ted also has the real story from Dynah about Lauren's murder. She was there too along with Damford and Hench. It was a scam to get photos of Amanda and to rape her. Amanda snapped. Their current vendetta is revealed. Wow. I suspected something but this way worse. (Such an elaborate and terrible crime.
Ted finally finds Amanda, mauled by the croc but alive.
Epilogue: Dynah's story, the truth about her sister's murder and Amanda as victim is out and there are groups seeking the truth about Ted's possible innocence.
Amanda, like Ted was investigating her partner’s case, uncovering evidence of someone else at the scene of the attack on Claire that Ted was accused of. More to come from these partners we hope.


message 6: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments So many questions about what happened afterwards before the epilogue. I missed some of them and appreciate the opportunity to fill in my own blanks. That alone makes it a terrific book. The growth of Ted's character through his pain and panic was riveting. So much nuance regarding his coming to terms with the situation and realizing what his wife must have gone through were a very interesting backdrop. I was struck on how he was compelled to uncover the truth about Amanda's case.
The two stuations are explored from multiple perspectives in a most effective and subtle but insistent manner. Great book!


message 7: by Geri (last edited May 24, 2018 09:47AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Geri I agree the resolution to Jake’s death was crazy. How did Harrison and girlfriend really think they could get away with killing off both sets of parents without getting caught??

Finding out what really happened to Amanda was interesting! Finding out there was more to these cops made sense in the end.

I am hoping more does come out about Ted’s case in the next book. If I remember correctly, Amanda is deliberately holding back the information she discovered. The next book is Redemption Point and I can’t wait for it to be released in the U.S.. Right now all I see on Amazon is a paperback for $37. I’ll wait until I can get the audio or ebook.

I see you rated it 5 stars too. Glad you liked it too!


message 8: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Geri: I know, any illusion of getting away with that seems nuts. But the police missed the tampering with her Mom's car to give them confidence. Harrison appears to be the most sociopathic and then Zoe stabs Ted and proves they are both cold blooded killers.
Geri wrote: "I agree the resolution to Jake’s death was crazy. How did Harrison and girlfriend really think they could get away with killing off both sets of parents without getting caught??.."


message 9: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Geri: Amanda was thinking hard about whether to tell Ted, but I hope she does. I thought she was leaning that way. I don't know how he's going to take it. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the US release.
Geri wrote: "I am hoping more does come out about Ted’s case in the next book. If I remember correctly, Amanda is deliberately holding back the information she discovered.
..."



Sandi (sandin954) | 1238 comments A very tense last third of the book. I was glad the resolution to Jake's death was not the delusional fan though Ted did seem to pull the solution out of thin air. Like Geri, I am not sure how those crazy kids thought they would get away with it.

Ted knew there was something off about Damford and Hench from the beginning and it was fitting that he was able to finally bring them to justice for what they did not only to Amanda but to the other girls too.

Amanda seems to think that there is more to Ted's story too and with the new found publicity and her working on the case maybe it will be resolved. If I was Amanda though, I would have protested the new name of the firm and had my name first.


message 11: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Sandi: This last segment was tense! Agree that the pieces of the puzzle fell into place neatly so that Ted figured it out in time - very good for Stella. The author deflects us rather neatly away from the clues until the reveal.
The two key parts that were kept hidden from us so that readers don't know sooner -- what Lauren's sister tells Ted about the night Lauren was murdered and -- the significance of the "tool" Ted took from Harrison that "wasn't a knife" is left dangling. If we knew Harrison had wire cutters, our suspicions would have gone on alert. Instead we previously saw Harrison break down and seem to seek comfort from Ted when he learns Jake is dead not missing.


message 12: by Russ (new) - rated it 4 stars

Russ | 339 comments Sandi wrote: "If I was Amanda though, I would have protested the new name of the firm and had my name first..."

I too was surprised that his name came first when she founded the "company"!


message 13: by Russ (new) - rated it 4 stars

Russ | 339 comments I'm very glad this was selected for a group read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and yes, I would definitely read book #2 when it comes out and/or if/when it's a group read.

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was excellent. What a voice!

I found the ending/climax to be somewhat "busy." There was a lot going on at the end and two of the three cases in the book were resolved almost in tandem. Clever plot(s) but the simultaneous payoffs were a bit much for me.

I also had a few problems with the logic of Amanda's character toward the end. With her having being traumatized by the rogue Crimson Lake police officers, I'm shocked that she settled back in Crimson Lake after prison. And since she enjoyed the acceptance she found in prison, it seems that she might have found a way to stay there (ie, working in corrections or something).

But don't get me wrong, I still really liked the book overall. I enjoyed how the culprits were hiding in broad daylight. The quirky characters, the lush descriptions, the sad sense of being falsely accused--I ate it all up.


message 14: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Russ; agreed, the narration for the audio is terrific and really adds to the tension and setting. I was (still am) unsettled over Ted's being falsely accused. I was in a blue funk for days.
The way Amanda was harassed by the Crimson Lake cops was maddening and criminal. It does raise a question of why she returned after prison, it must have been the area rather than the inhabitants,perhaps the isolation?

Russ wrote: "I'm very glad this was selected for a group read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and yes, I would definitely read book #2 when it comes out and/or if/when it's a group read.

I listened to the audiobook ..

....really liked the book overall. I enjoyed how the culprits were hiding in broad daylight. The quirky characters, the lush descriptions, the sad sense of being falsely accused--I ate it all up.


."



Ceelee | 211 comments WOW! GREAT ENDING! I think this is one of my favorite mystery novels this year and I have read a lot of good ones! I was so rooting for Ted and Amanda and I also hope there will be a second book. I think this would be a great series! The last part of the book was really intense and I even cried when I thought Amanda had drowned. The scene of what happened to her and how she ended up killing Lauren was absolutely chilling! I KNEW those cops had to have some kind of dirty secret! Couple of sickos! And those two teenagers, Harrison and Zoe! It was a little hard to believe they would be that smart and crafty to pull off two murders like that but I know it has happened in real life so maybe not too far fetched. Fabriana turned out to be the kind of person I figured she would be but she did help Ted out so she served a useful person, even though all she wanted was the story. Typical journalist! And very happy the geese family are safe!


message 16: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Ceelee -I agree, this was a memorable book! I was pretty emotional reading it too. Loved the geese, and shocked at how cold and calculating those two kids were. While not shocked at the dirty cops, they really made me angry, especially for continuing to threaten Amanda. I would love another book with Ted and Amanda.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 8309 comments Just getting around to comment on this last piece since I finished the book about a month ago. I am eager for the next installment, I really like Ted and Amanda. Amanda is a little crazy but I can see Ted having a calming influence on her and is a good partner. I want an end to hose charges against Ted, however, so I hope that is one of the issues resolved in the next book.

Agree with all about the crazy murdering teenagers, and glad those cops had more motivating them so Ted could uncover it and have them put away. I too liked the narration, but I am a sucker for good foreign accents. Thanks to whoever suggested this book. I was a little leery of another Australian setting so soon after Force of Nature but it was completely differently and supremely enjoyable!


message 18: by OMalleycat (last edited Apr 02, 2019 09:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

OMalleycat | 1448 comments Ann wrote: "..Instead we previously saw Harrison break down and seem to seek comfort from Ted when he learns Jake is dead not missing. "

After the big reveal that Harrison and his girlfriend had killed Jake, I wondered about this scene where Harrison breaks down and literally cries on Ted’s shoulder. Was Harrison faking it to deflect suspicion or did he have a moment of realizing what he’d done and genuine remorse?

When Amanda was in the water at the end I was so afraid she was going to be killed by the crocs. She’s so extreme I couldn’t see how she could a sustainable character as Ted’s partner and, with her case finally solved, thought this is how Amanda would end. Yet I was so relieved when she came out of the water. Now that I’m reading Redemption Point I guess I’ll get to see how Fox develops Amanda’s story to make her a good candidate as a continuing character in a series.

I thought the two bad cops would end up being involved in Ted’s case, not Amanda’s, though on reflection that wouldn’t make sense since Ted’s case was in Sydney. Gosh, what a couple of reprehensible characters!

Like everyone else, I loved the geese! What a great, off-beat way to show Ted’s vulnerable, tender side. And it was hilarious to picture the goslings following Ted around and nestling at his feet. I was afraid that they’d stay with the doctor forever when he took them there for safe-keeping—when is Ted ever going to be safe? So glad they returned at the end!


Barbara K. OMalleycat wrote: "After the big reveal that Harrison and his girlfriend had killed Jake, I wondered about the scene where Harrison breaks down..."

After Zoe pulled the same break down thing on Ted near the end of the book, I've begun thinking that it was a diversion scam.


Barbara K. I agree with Russ and Ann that the audio narration was great and I'm relieved to see that Redemption Point has the same reader. I've been struck lately by how some audio readers seem to switch between character genders effortlessly. Without dramatic changes in pitch or tone, you're always comfortable knowing that it's either a man or a woman speaking. Despite his low growl, Euan Morton conveys Amanda and Dynah and all the other women smoothly. An added benefit to the book!


Barbara K. Sandi wrote: "If I was Amanda though, I would have protested the new name of the firm and had my name first. "

That jolted me when I first read it, but by the end of the epilogue I had chalked it up to part of Amanda's effort to keep Ted around.


Barbara K. I thought Fox did a masterful job of mixing together genuine clues, red herrings, and multiple plot lines. Ted's musings on how detective work often involves spending hours or days pursuing leads that turn into dead ends was a tidy parallel to the red herrings we as readers get excited about.

There were times in the first half of the book when I was put off by the frequency with which Ted was being beat up or harrassed by Damford and Hench. Enough already! We like Ted, leave him alone! But the minute the penny drops when Ted remembers one of them telling him to stay away from Amanda, you realize that there is something bigger going on and that nastiness makes more sense.


message 23: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Barbara: That sort of narration skill is highly prized by me as well.
Some more monotone narrators eventually settle in and are tolerated, but to truly enjoy an audio the actors and others who portray genders and different characters with unique voices are the best.
I started listening to Redemption Point today and instantly felt at home with the narration; Euan Morton is fabulous.

Barbara wrote: "I agree with Russ and Ann that the audio narration was great and I'm relieved to see that Redemption Point has the same reader. I've been struck lately by how some audio readers seem to switch between character genders effortlessly. Without dramatic changes in pitch or tone, you're always comfortable knowing that it's either a man or a woman speaking. .."


message 24: by Russ (new) - rated it 4 stars

Russ | 339 comments I recently read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (OK, only 10-15 years late to the party, oops!).

Now I realize that Amanda is a bit of a knockoff of Lisbeth Salander. Bit of Asperger's. Anti-social, awkward, skinny & heavily tattooed, crime victim, and an underestimated investigative genius. Like Lisbeth, Amanda serves as a partner to a male who is the main detective character in the mystery.

On the one hand it makes me a little disappointed to think that Amanda is not totally original. On the other hand it helps me understand Amanda a little bit better because I can relate her to Lisbeth.


message 25: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 15088 comments Russ: interesting thought for parallels between Amanda in Crimson Lake and Lisbeth in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hadn’t put that together before, but their anti-social tendencies alone would draw comparisons.


message 26: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn | 1320 comments Russ, glad you finally found The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...you have some good reading ahead of you! Two series that I really like, but hadn't made the connection between Lisbeth and Amanda until you pointed it out!


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