The Queen of Quirky is Back! Crimson Lake – Candice Fox

Crimson Lake

Candice Fox

Penguin Books Australia


ISBN: 9780143781905



From the award-winning author of Hades and Eden comes an ingenious and edgy suspense novel that will keep you guessing to the very last page . . .


12.46: Thirteen-year-old 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 – that’s all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey’s life. Accused but not convicted of Claire’s abduction, he escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.


Amanda Pharrell knows what it’s like to be public enemy number one. Maybe it’s her murderous past that makes her so good as a private investigator, tracking lost souls in the wilderness. Her latest target, missing author Jake Scully, has a life more shrouded in secrets than her own – so she enlists help from the one person in town more hated than she is: Ted.


But the residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move. And for Ted, a man already at breaking point, this town is offering no place to hide . . .



My View:

The queen of quirky is back!

Candice Fox Margaret River Event 2017

Candice Fox – Margaret River Meet the Author event 2017

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Candice Fox as part of her extended Western Australian book tour. What a great night it was – Candice was open, honest and often hilarious, talking about everything that mattered to her – her childhood, family, marriage, divorce, second marriage, her childhood ambition to become a writer, her writing inspirations, the inspiration she draws from reading true crime novels (which was very evident to me as I read Crimson Lake) and her very successful writing collaboration with James Patterson.  What a night! What a life!


If you ever have an opportunity to meet an author/hear them speak about their work, take advantage of the opportunity – as a reader you learn so much more about the characters and how they came to life on the page, how they formed in the mind of the author. At the time I attend this event I was about 75% into Candice’s latest book Crimson Lake, and I noticed so many references that reflected places or people Candice had known, events in her life etc. and I discovered this Crimson Lake has been optioned for Television and there will be a second book in this new series. The TV option did not really surprise me – just the speed in which it occurred (as I was reading the first thing I thought was – this would make a great movie.)


This would make a great movie, why? Quirky, colourful, empathetic characters to start. Small town, semi-rural Queensland locations – with small town minds, dramas and… crocodiles – always good elements to ratchet up the creepiness and fear levels.  And themes – child abuse, missing persons, and famous authors, the questionable good cop or bad cop, did he do it? Did she do it? And the big question, why? The list goes on.


This book has a lot to offer (though I did think the start was just a little slow for my taste) but persevere and you will find an amazing read. Read it now before you see the film.



5 thoughts on “The Queen of Quirky is Back! Crimson Lake – Candice Fox

  1. Nice to know she’s got a new book out, Carol. And it’s very good to know that she’s a delightful person as well as a skilled author. I need to spotlight one of her books at some point, so I’m glad you reminded me.

  2. Can I tell you how much I loathe author events? I go out of my way to avoid them (literally, it is writer’s week at the Adelaide Festival this week and I have had to actively avoid going to events that I’ve been given tickets or other access to). I know I am in the minority but I don’t want to know anything more than is in the book…about the characters or how the author came up with their ideas or anything…for me it always detracts from the reading experience. I’ve actually met quite a few authors since having the blog (and also being tangentially involved in our annual festival) and they’re generally lovely people but I try to steer the conversation away from their books 🙂

    But I’m glad you enjoyed meeting Candice and not surprised to hear she was often hilarious given the humour in Crimson Lake. It was my first book of hers but I will read more. I’ve always been put off by comparisons to Lee Child and Paterson etc – not my kind of crime fiction really (nothing wrong with it, just not my bag) but I enjoyed this one even if it was a bit far fetched towards the end.

    • I think it depends on the type of event – small as in bookstore/library type things are quite interesting- amphitheater- not so much. And I don’t see lee child in any of Candice’s work – Patterson- o haven’t read so can’t compare.

      • She wrote one of those duo books with James Patterson – I hate those things (not read hers but read a couple of others) and it really turned me off – he is such a hack – but I was glad I gave this one a go

        we’ll have to agree to disagree about author events, no matter where they are held 🙂

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