Crimson Lake By Candice Fox: Book's Review and Summary

Crimson Lake | Penguin Books Australia

Crimson Lake is a novel by Candice Fox, an award-winning Australian crime writer. The book is set in Far North Queensland, and revolves around the story of Ted Conkaffey, a former police detective who is accused of a horrific crime he did not commit. After he is released on bail, Ted retreats to the small town of Crimson Lake where he meets a young and eccentric private detective named Amanda Pharrell. Together, the two of them attempt to solve a series of crimes, while also clearing Ted’s name.

Main Themes and Ideas in Crimson Lake

The central themes of Crimson Lake are justice, redemption, and the nature of guilt. The novel explores the idea of how society tends to stigmatize those who are accused of a crime, regardless of whether or not they are found guilty. Ted Conkaffey is an innocent man who has been vilified by the media and shunned by his community.

Another important theme in the novel is the importance of community and how it can provide support and solace in times of crisis. The town of Crimson Lake becomes a sanctuary for Ted, where he is able to rebuild his life and find a sense of purpose again with the help of Amanda Pharrell.

The novel also touches on the issue of violence against women and how it can impact the lives of victims and their families. These themes are woven together in a complex and nuanced story that keeps the reader engaged throughout.

The Writing Style and Author’s Message

Candice Fox’s writing style is fluid and engaging, and she is able to create a sense of tension and suspense that permeates throughout the novel. The author also does an excellent job of portraying the different characters in the book, particularly Ted and Amanda, who are complex and multidimensional.

The author’s message in Crimson Lake is one of hope and redemption. Fox shows that even in the darkest of times, it is possible to find a way forward and to create a better future for oneself. Through the characters of Ted and Amanda, the author illustrates the transformative power of friendship and community, and how they can help individuals overcome trauma and adversity.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Crimson Lake

One of the strengths of Crimson Lake is the way in which the story unfolds. The plot is well-crafted and keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. The characters are also well-developed, and the interactions between them feel authentic and genuine.

One weakness of the book is that some of the plot twists feel a bit contrived and predictable. There are also moments where the dialogue feels a bit stilted, particularly in some of the more intense scenes.

Overall, however, the strengths of the book outweigh its weaknesses, and it is a well-written and engaging crime novel that will appeal to fans of the genre.

Comparison to Other Works in its Genre

Crimson Lake is a unique crime novel that stands out from others in the genre due to its setting and characters. The novel takes place in Far North Queensland, an area that is not often explored in literature, and the characters of Ted and Amanda are unlike those typically found in crime novels.

Some reviewers have compared Crimson Lake to the works of James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman, due to the author’s ability to create a strong sense of place and to infuse her writing with a strong sense of social commentary.

Final Impressions and Recommendations

Overall, Crimson Lake is a well-written and engaging crime novel that is sure to please fans of the genre. The central themes of justice, redemption, and the nature of guilt are explored in a nuanced and thought-provoking way, and the characters of Ted and Amanda are well-developed and relatable.

If you enjoy crime novels that break the mold and offer a fresh perspective, then Crimson Lake is definitely worth checking out. The novel is a fast-paced and thrilling read that will keep you guessing until the very end.


Who is Candice Fox?

Candice Fox is an award-winning crime writer from Australia. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction for her debut novel Hades, and the Davitt Award for Best Crime Novel for Crimson Lake.

What inspired the story of Crimson Lake?

The story of Crimson Lake was inspired by the author’s fascination with the town of Cairns and the surrounding area. Candice Fox wanted to explore the unique setting and culture of this region, and to create a crime novel that was unlike anything else in the genre.

Is Crimson Lake part of a series?

Yes, Crimson Lake is the first book in a series featuring the characters of Ted Conkaffey and Amanda Pharrell. The second book in the series, Redemption Point, was published in 2018.

What other books has Candice Fox written?

In addition to Crimson Lake and Redemption Point, Candice Fox has written several other crime novels, including Hades, Eden, and Fall. She has also co-authored a series of books with the bestselling crime writer James Patterson.

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