Get Your Free Audiobook

Crimson Lake

Narrated by: Lani Tupu
Series: Crimson Lake, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

Non-member price: $54.63

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

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

It's 12.46 p.m. Thirteen-year-old Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop. At 12.47 p.m. Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her. At 12.52 p.m. 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 Conkaffey. 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....

©2017 Candice Fox (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic Reviews

''A bright new star of crime fiction.'' (James Patterson)
''One of the best crime thrillers of the year.'' (Lee Child)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    51
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Loved everything about this book. Great story, loved the characters, at first I wasn't to sure about the performance but then he really got into his stride. Couldn't wait to get back to it every time I had to take a break. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Little bit far fetched

Ted Conkaffey is an ex cop who, after being convicted of the kidnap and rape of a young girl in Sydney, hides out from vigilantes and the press in Crimson Lake, a [fictional] suburb of Cairns. He goes to work for a private detective agency run by Amanda Pharrell, who has also spent time in prison; her crime being the stabbing murder of one of her school classmates.

Obviously, considering they’re our leads, Fox includes lots of flashbacks and details of Ted and Amanda’s crimes. I thought both were quite interesting but unfortunately I also thought both involved hugely unrealistic police investigations. Would a prosecutor really not suggest police incompetence or at least call them out on their weak conclusions for both cases?

And don’t get me started on the way the local Crimson Lake police officers are portrayed in the book. Yeah, sure, there’s probably the odd corrupt cop still around but the idea of two police officers being able to carry on like they do in this book tested all levels of believability.

The third crime featured in the book is the first case Ted works on with Amanda -- the disappearance (and perhaps murder) of a popular young adult novelist. I enjoyed this mystery plot but, out of all three, I thought it was the most obvious. And again, it’s pretty unbelievable, especially the crocodile part.

Yes, can we talk about the crocodiles? Ugh. No, we don’t have crocodiles barking all night in our yards in Cairns. Nor do we have fences around our houses to keep the crocs out. Ugh.

Actually, I just pretty much couldn’t get past the ridiculous way my hometown Cairns is depicted overall. From calling us ‘the top end’ to implying gay men have to hide their homosexuality because there’s so few of them, I was annoyed. (FYI, I just doublechecked and Cairns has the highest rate of gay couples in the state of Queensland, so I assume most don't feel the need to hide.)

I’m not saying that Fox should know every detail but I think her research was rather lacking. There's no train, there's no way you'd be able to comfortably cover such distances on a bike, there's no way you'd get beaten up in a lane in McLeod Street in the middle of the day without anyone seeing. Ugh. If she needed her setting to certain qualities or aspects, why not just make up the whole thing? Why make it Cairns at all? Ugh.

Actually, I remember reading Fox’s collaboration with James Patterson and thinking their depiction of an Australian mine was far-fetched and, in my mind, I’d blamed [the American] Patterson. Now I have to wonder!

On the plus side, Fox might have learnt pacing and placement of cliffhangers from Patterson. I must admit Crimson Lake zooms along at a frantic pace and the three mysteries were engaging enough that I wanted to keep reading despite all the issues I had with the setting and police depiction.

Fox doesn’t wrap up all three plots (there are three books in the series, so not really a spoiler) and I’ll probably read on. I’ll just have to try not to get too salty (like a croc) regarding the setting in the next installment.

3 out of 5

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing and fast paced!

The narrator is bloody good at his job and it’s a damn good novel! Can’t wait to hear the sequel

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Histrionic performance exposes a rather cliched story

My word, how I hated the narrator, Lani Tupu. Histrionically exaggerated expression turned every sentence in a series of phrases more akin to an excited newsreader than a narrator.

I like the Hades series from Candice, but this ended up sounding like cliched pulp fiction. I am bailing on this book only a couple of hours in - the narration impairs any semblance of good writing, and this will be the first one where I ask for my money back.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I’ve just found my new favourite author.

Im an Ian Rankin, John Connelly, Mick Herron, Gary Disher, Don Winslow reader and I found Crimson Lake to be every bit as good as their best. The narration is also first class. It may be even better than the book and that’s saying something. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't want it to End

narrator had the perfect voice the suspense. loved the book - did he do it or didn't he. did she do it or didn't she I want more

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Gripping if grisly tale, read too emphatically

Would you try another book written by Candice Fox or narrated by Lani Tupu?

Yes, for another book by Fox, after a break. No, for this reader who reads everything 'big', with no light or shade.

Would you recommend Crimson Lake to your friends? Why or why not?

I would tell them this is a pretty grisly tale, with nearly all characters quite nasty - yet it is gripping. So I would tell them if they are in the mood for this kind of story, do read it.

What aspect of Lani Tupu’s performance might you have changed?

Lani Tupu has a fine bass voice, and good grasp of the material he is reading, but I found him rather exhausting to listen to. He does not lighten up anywhere, even when describing ordinary things like scenery - he gives everything a tone of urgency, almost hysteria, which doesn't seem to fit with the tough ex-policeman, the narrator, at least not all the time. The effect, as in any narration or movie on one note, is that we don't take it seriously. I have listened to lots of book readings, indeed used to produce them. Without variation in tone, speed and colour, they can become rather tedious. This is the trap into which Tupu has fallen, in my opinion. He is clearly an experienced actor - perhaps one can blame his producer for the way he reads this book.

Do you think Crimson Lake needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I can imagine a follow-up book for the partnership of Conkaffey and Pharrell, but hope they encounter a few 'ordinary people' in their work, not only the half-crazed, drug-affected underbelly of North Queensland. I do not doubt these crooks exist, but they will stand out better if placed in a believable social context.

Any additional comments?

The last Australian crime novel I read (by hearing it) was Murder at the Green Mill by Kerry Greenwood, read by the late Stephanie Daniel. She was a superb reader, knowing exactly when to build up the emotional pressure or narrative urgency, and when to relax it. I could not wait to get back to hearing this book after a break, whereas with Crimson Lake I had to persuade myself to get back to it, knowing it would be a bit of a trial.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Crimson Lake, Cairns, Via Florida

Candice Fox Australian Author
A note to the author…Wow! Even the end ‘thankyou’ starts off with a condescending address to readers… “You know words don’t just appear on the page from my fingers, and into the book to you…
Oh, so many more people than *you* (innocent reader) could imagine are involved in *such* a complex process… etc…
My god! Just give thanks, & be done with it - give your audience a modicum of credit, or you may find that you’ve *dumbed yourself down* out of a writing career.
And by the way, if you were writing for a commercial audience- you succeeded. Though why you felt it necessary to pepper your writing with Americanisms - when the story was *Very* *Clearly* , *Obviously*, & *Deliberately* set in the FNQueensland town of Cairns (AUSTRALIA) - is so completely beyond me…
I really can’t tell if this just poor writing, or it’s writing for a U.S. audience? (With the hope of a Netflix series?)
It has the grubby feeling that you actually mean for the setting to be transferred to Florida for a Netflix series… (where the crocs will be transmogrified into alligators?); But you do know they have screen writers for that, right?!
Or is it so that “Australianisms” (that weren’t used) i.e. “car park” don’t have to be translated in book form, for the U.S. audience? My guess is that your editor is American (?) - An Australian editor may wonder *why* there are so many “parking lots” in Cairns, where we *actually* have “car parks” (?!)
Whatever the case, I *did* enjoy the story aspect, (despite the dei ex machina - Yup there’s more than one!) However the constant American ejaculations were excruciating!
I kept waiting for the wonderfully proficient narrator, Lani Tupu (in his broad Australian accent), to read a line of text that included the phrase, “gas station”!
The following are just a few of the “nails down the blackboard”, “record scratches”, “will definitely take you out of the story”, unnecessary American phrases.
➡️🇺🇸“…filled his prescription…” WTF(?!)
An Australian 🇦🇺would say,
“…gone to the chemist to get/pick up a new ‘script.” (!!!)

➡️🇺🇸”If the ball goes into the glove…” A baseball expression
An 🇦🇺 would say “Hit one for 6,” if one wants to continue the sporting metaphor.

➡️🇺🇸”…some kind of *BEEF*with your Dad?”
🇦🇺Arjee-Barjee would be the equivalent Australian term that an “older” person *might* say to a kid, but it’s out-dated.
A normal 🇦🇺conversation would *actually* be: “… some kind of fight/argument/disagreement with your Dad/Old Man?”

➡️🇺🇸Constant use of “Parking Lot”

➡️🇺🇸 “Curse words”
🇦🇺Swearing

➡️🇺🇸Comparisons to “America”; “Americanisms; for no reason whatsoever!

➡️🇺🇸“Flashlight” ; 🇦🇺Torch

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Candice

Just another amazing and intriguing storyline. I thought your first two books were amazing but you are still surprising. Well done and continue to to enjoy your writing. I feel privileged to have met you and as I've been a James Patterson fan for years am glad you are in such good writing company, but your books are as good as or even better than his. I'm looking forward to your next book as I'm sure there are many in your head.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sylvia Green
  • Sylvia Green
  • 28-06-2017

Quirky characters and an unusual story line

What did you love best about Crimson Lake?

I loved the diversity of characters and the original story line. So much of it was unexpected which make it a compulsive read. Loved every bit of it

What was one of the most memorable moments of Crimson Lake?

I loved the goose story line but also the awful repercussions of being wrongly accused and the havoc it wreaks with your life.

What does Lani Tupu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

IF I am honest I find I get a totally different experience when listening to audible books against reading myself. I stopped participating in my Book Club as it felt like I was reading a totally different book. The reading was compulsive and I could not put it down.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely

Any additional comments?

Passed it on and without exception it has been enjoyed