An Accused Kidnapper And A Convicted Murderer Have A New Case To Solve

“Crimson Lake” is a crime novel written by Candice Fox and has a couple of very unusual protagonists.  It is told from the perspective of Ted Conkaffey, a former detective from Sydney, who has fled to northern part of Australia after being released from prison. Conkaffey has been accused of the violent kidnapping of a young girl.  He managed to avoid a conviction, but he was not acquitted either.  His situation has been left in a peculiar sort of limbo that does nothing to ease the suspicion of the public.

Conkaffey is directed to a rather eccentric private investigator named Amanda Pharrell. Amanda Pharrell has the distinct stigma of being a convicted murderer when she was a juvenile.  Amanda has been hired to find a beloved author who has disappeared and could use a little help.  Of course, they are each rather fascinated by the other’s legal situation.

A lot of elements in the story hinges on quite a bit of coincidence and circumstance, however the main characters were pretty interesting.  Amanda comes off as a bit nuts, frankly, however she still is likeable and interesting.  Conkaffey has to also contend with disgruntled residents not too pleased to have a suspected kidnapper and pedophile as a neighbor.  The local law enforcement isn’t too welcoming either even if he was a fellow officer at one time.

This turned out to be a pretty engaging crime novel.  The two protagonists are social outcasts.  Pharrell is quite experienced with navigating her way through the suspicion and scrutiny from the public following her release from prison.  Conkaffey is still new to this unwanted attention.  It’s an interesting dynamic between the two of them.

There is little that is original about the actual main plot and the other character, but Fox is a decent enough writer to keep me hooked in.

I wish I had gotten some better descriptions of what life in Australia was like in this story, but it is a crime novel.  Having detectives and solving a crime is really the primary purpose.  I believe this is Fox’s first novel, however it’s a pretty strong effort.

In short, I liked this one well enough to keep my eye out for the follow-up.

Time for a little reflection and potential self-improvement as I next delve into a book that has caused some discussion and angst for others.  Jordan B. Peterson has decided to relate his “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos”, and I have decided to finally learn them.

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