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Redemption Point (Crimson Lake, #2)
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Group Read - Redemption Point > Group Read - Redemption Point Final comments Spoilers Welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments This topic is for discussion of the entire book. Spoilers Welcome.
What did you think of the book?


message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments I have mixed feelings about how the book ended. I had wanted Kevin taken in by the police. Ted seems to be potentially off the hook now if the evidence comes out that shows Kevin as the attacker of Claire, but what the police will do with that isn't clear or guaranteed. Kevin was out of control, but Dale and Khalid and Khalid's men were too.


Barbara K | 414 comments You're right about that, Ann. Without a conviction of Kevin within the judicial system, the shadow will never fully be lifted from Ted. But then again, if this is to be a continuing series, that lack of certainty may be either a plot point or a part of Ted's character going forward.

It seemed to me that Dale's arrival on the scene added some texture that helped drive the plot in ways that couldn't otherwise have been achieved, although I would have been happier with a bit less fighting.

I found far more foreshadowing in Redemption Point than in Crimson Lake, and thus fewer plot surprises. The continuing references to the pretty little pond made it clear there was something hinky going on there, and after the second reference to seeing only the old woman's feet through the door, I figured she was done for. Shades of Psycho.

I did NOT foresee Pip Sweeney dying. It was such an interesting concept to anticipate, the 3 detectives haunted by their pasts, solving crimes in Crimson Lake. And the potential for a relationship between Pip and Amanda drew me in as well.

Early in the book I was a bit put off by the idea that Ted was in Sydney and Amanda in Crimson Lake, pursuing separate cases, but when Ted returned after his interview I was hopeful the focus would return to the local plot. I guess that wouldn't have allowed for the resolution (for better or worse) of Claire's case.

I am glad that the Claire case is, at least on the surface and for now, resolved. I would have hated for the potential for a future arrest to have Ted constantly looking over his shoulder in any future books.

Which is to say that I hope there ARE future books in the series. The characters and setting are so richly drawn that I'd love to see more of them, including the new dog! And Candice Fox is a very skilled writer, making the actual reading experience enjoyable. I'm realizing lately how important writing quality is to me, regardless of genre, plot, location, etc.


message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments Barbara: I also hope more books in this series are forthcoming.
Candice Fox's style of writing draws us into the setting, in a place which fascinates me and with her characterizations of flawed and human characters.
It was rather telling that we only saw the feet of the woman sitting in the chair. Something did seem off - whether as Jan O'Cat speculated earlier that she was capable of telling what she saw if Amanda worked her magic;, or something else, like being a murder victim.
Barbara wrote: "after the second reference to seeing only the old woman's feet through the door, I figured she was done for. Shades of Psycho.

I hope there ARE future books in the series. The characters and setting are so richly drawn that I'd love to see more of them, including the new dog! And Candice Fox is a very skilled writer, making the actual reading experience enjoyable. I'm realizing lately how important writing quality is to me, regardless of genre, plot, location, etc."



Russ | 330 comments I'm glad the group enjoyed this! But for me the book was a disappointment. I don't want to be a wet blanket here by going into all the reasons why, so I'll just say that I really preferred the first book.


message 6: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments Russ : I liked Crimson Lake better too. After I finished it I kept checking Amazon for a publication date for book two. Anticipation builds as time passes, so disappointment is sometimes almost inevitable isn't it?
If you decide to share some of your thoughts later we are happy to discuss them. As they say "your mileage may vary" :)

Russ wrote: "I'm glad the group enjoyed this! But for me the book was a disappointment. I don't want to be a wet blanket here by going into all the reasons why, so I'll just say that I really preferred the firs..."


Russ | 330 comments Ann wrote: "If you decide to share some of your thoughts later we are happy to discuss them...."

Thanks, Ann! I would say that my disappointment was driven by three factors: 1) the injustice of the false accusation against Ted was too in-your-face & was dwelt on too much in this sequel, 2) the subplot/local mystery wasn't very satisfying and Amanda turned into a parody of herself by the end--too socially awkward & and too much of an investigative genius for me to relate to, and 3) there were too many totally unbelievable plot points including Dale moving in with Ted, Khalil the drug kingpin stopping at nothing to help an ex-cop, and Kevin basically confessing to Ted after the podcast.

Fox is a talented author, but I suspect her agent or publisher rushed this to print.


Sandi (sandin954) | 1189 comments Russ wrote: "Ann wrote: "If you decide to share some of your thoughts later we are happy to discuss them...."

Thanks, Ann! I would say that my disappointment was driven by three factors: 1) the injustice of th..."


All great points Russ and I had many of the same issues with the book. However, I did like the book more than you did. Part of that, I think, is that I did not love Crimson Lake so my expectations for this book were lower.


message 9: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments Russ: Khalil's motivation was a mystery. With others unequivocally on Ted's side, in some ways he lined right up; and Ted needed a friend and protector desperately. In the end when it appeared to me that Khalil was using Ted to get to Kevin I couldn't decide if that was the motivation all along. Was I projecting that premeditation?
Russ wrote: "my disappointment was driven by three factors: ....
Khalil the drug kingpin stopping at nothing to help an ex-cop.
"



message 10: by Russ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Russ | 330 comments Ann wrote: "In the end when it appeared to me that Khalil was using Ted to get to Kevin I couldn't decide if that was the motivation all along. Was I projecting that premeditation?..."

Ann, I think you are correct that it was Fox's intent to convey that about Khaled. (I think his name was Khaled even though I said Khalil before--oops!) However, I think the inconsistency was in Khaled buying Ted's wife jewelry. Why would he buy her jewelry unless he was really trying to repay Ted? But then he literally kills Ted's one chance for full exoneration by killing Kevin. That and the other weird thing about Khaled is that most of the characters in the book seemed to recognize or know of him. Maybe things are different "down under," but I personally could not identify any drug lords in North America by sight or by name, even though I know they exist.

So to me, Khaled turned out to be a character of convenience, changing his stripes whenever the plot needed advancing.


message 11: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments Russ: Agreed, actions totally at odds. One seemed to intend to help Ted, one irreversibly and deeply harms Ted.
And the gift also could be premeditated or was it Khaled taking advantage of a situation on the spot with something planned for someone else. The jewelry gift is incongruous.
As a reader concerned about Ted I welcomed the bodyguards, but was afraid they were almost as much a liability as Ted's appearance as he goes around with the physical damage from his encounters with Dale and a very recognizable and infamous face. He was not going to be incognito.
Russ wrote: "the inconsistency was in Khaled buying Ted's wife jewelry. Why would he buy her jewelry unless he was really trying to repay Ted? But then he literally kills Ted's one chance for full exoneration by killing Kevin...."


Bruce Perrin | 127 comments I’m glad Russ commented. Otherwise, I’d be the only wet blanket.

To me, the book was a set of brilliantly written scenes populated by interesting, quirky, and damaged characters but was undermined by an often-implausible plot and too much emphasis on emotional backstory. It’s a book that readers of character-driven stories would like, but it’s not a cleverly plotted, tight-woven mystery/thriller; it’s only half of what I had hoped.

Specifically on the finale, the killers at the bar could have been any of Fox’s characters and it would have made little difference; it wasn’t a “big reveal” that drew everything together, but rather the payoff from persistence. And Ted’s exoneration (to the degree that’s possible with the doubts and false memories that will follow him) was completely telegraphed by another plot convenience – Ted not changing his password even after he knew Dale was reading his messages. The sound you heard when I read that scene was my jaw hitting the floor.

Sometimes, I wondered if the author had misjudged her readership. The bogus confession is an example. It rang false when Ted first got it, so Pip and the chief looked a bit amateurish to me when they treated it as real (which I have mentioned). But toward the end, Pip again talks about her disappointment it wasn’t real. Sure, Pip trying to build her reputation in the department and getting an arrest would help, but that kind of statement builds the wrong kind of rep. So, assuming Fox didn’t want to make Pip look clueless, I wondered if the author thought she written a confession that her readers would think sounded real? As it was, Fox ended up explaining things long after their mystery was gone.


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

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments Bruce: I’ve enjoyed taking the plot apart almost as much as reading the book and appreciate your and Russ’s call outs. Pip is a character that seemed to be going in one (familiar) direction as a companion cop to work with in an ongoing series; and then as a ‘Thelma and Louise” cop-friend for Amanda — and then Pip sacrifices herself in a well intentioned but misguided attempt to rescue Amanda and get the bad guys by continuing to work as a solo cop. There was some whiplash there.

Bruce wrote: "I’m glad Russ commented. Otherwise, I’d be the only wet blanket.
To me, the book was a set of brilliantly written scenes populated by interesting, quirky, and damaged characters but was undermined by an often-implausible plot and too much emphasis on emotional backstory. It’s a book that readers of character-driven stories would like, but it’s not a cleverly plotted, tight-woven mystery/thriller; it’s half of what I had hoped."



OMalleycat | 1448 comments Bruce wrote: "I’m glad Russ commented. Otherwise, I’d be the only wet blanket."

Neither of you are wet blankets, Bruce. I genuinely enjoy hearing differing reactions to our group reads. Our discussions make for a much broader book experience.

There were elements of the plot that seemed off to me as I read, but as a card-carrying fan of character-driven mysteries I didn’t think deeply into what bothered me about the plotting. I appreciate you doing the heavy lifting for me. I hope Fox continues these characters in a series and look forward to seeing if she can get her plotting under control. She’s too good with character and setting to let her books get bogged down by miscues and inconsistencies.


Bruce Perrin | 127 comments Thanks Ann, Jan. I enjoyed the give and take, too. And I too hope Fox tightens up her plots because she has the writing skills to be a great author.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7808 comments Very interesting discourse here. You are reminding me of some small things that bothered me in the book, some of which someone perhaps can clear up.

As someone else mentioned, I found the whole idea of Dale moving in with Ted preposterous. And maybe it's different in the Outback (is Crimson Lake in the Outback?) but the idea of leaving a computer lying around without a password screen that kicks in after a certain period of time just left me incensed. I couldn't believe Ted, a former cop, would be so clueless. And to not rectify the situation the first time Dale read his emails, well, I was without words.

I wondered about the diary Ted found in Kevin's car. Hadn't he been writing in that all along, and wouldn't that have revealed the detail needed to confirm his connection to Claire? I thought Ted would be completely exonerated by that but it appears not.

And finally, my mind must have wandered when Fox wrote about the corrupt cop who had money stashed away, because when that surfaced during the scene where Amanda is grabbed at the neighbor's house, it was a complete surprise to me. Where was that discussed earlier in the story?


message 17: by Ann (last edited May 20, 2019 12:34AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14285 comments Carol: I think in chapter seven. When Amanda went around the houses behind the bar to interview possible witnesses; I think one of the homes was described as the home of the widow of a high ranking policeman. It was brief.

Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Very interesting discourse here. You are reminding me of some small things that bothered me in the book, some of which someone perhaps can clear up for me.
.......And finally, my mind must have wandered when Fox wrote about the corrupt cop who had money stashed away, because when that surfaced during the scene where Amanda is grabbed at the neighbor's house, it was a complete surprise to me. Where was that discussed earlier in the story?
..."



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