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Crimson Lake: a tale of mystery and suspense in the steamy wetlands of Queensland

A young girl is raped, and a police officer is charged with committing the offence. When he is first taken into the interview room, he thinks it’s a prank being carried out by his work mates. When the facts sink in, he realises that his life is about to change. This is the situation that Ted is faced with in Crimson Lake by Candice Fox together with a long period detention on remand. When he is finally released, because police decide not to pursue the case, his life is in tatters. His reputation and career are in the gutter, along with his marriage. Ted packs up his meagre collection of belongings and heads to Queensland to start a new chapter, and to try to make some sense out of what happened.

When he is finally released, because police decide not to pursue the case, his life is in tatters. His reputation and career are in the gutter, along with his marriage. Ted packs up his meagre collection of belongings and heads to Queensland to start a new chapter, and to try to make some sense out of what happened.

When Ted arrives in Cairns, he decides that he is far enough away from his old life.  He finds a cheap rental house out on Crimson Lake and adopts an injured mother goose and her brood to save them from the crocodiles in the lake. Next, he takes a job as a private investigator to help pay the bills. He discovers that his new boss is a woman named Amanda, who has a criminal record of her own. Amanda served a prison sentence for the murder of a girl she had gone to school with.

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Along with the agency work, Ted reviews Amanda’s case with the aim of discovering just who his new boss is. Ted finds Amanda’s crime intriguing because the circumstances defy logic. Yet she was found guilty while she was in her teens, and served a long sentence for the murder of another teenage girl. What could have led to this event? It is difficult to reconcile the admittedly odd Amanda who Ted knows now, with the younger Amanda who had stabbed another girl to death.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t take long for the locals to discover Ted’s past and begin to target him to try to get him out of town. Things heat up when a couple of the local police officers begin to harass him. Is this harassment about his own past, the case he is investigating, or the fact that he is delving into the details of Amanda’s criminal history? Meanwhile, Ted and Amanda manage to solve their case and dodge the unlikely villain of the piece before he manages to carry out his plan to add them to his list of victims.

The author, Candice Fox, lives in Sydney. She is the daughter of a parole officer and spent her childhood hearing her father relating stories of offenders and their offences to his family. Candice has written three other crime novels and is the co-author of Never Never, along with James Paterson. Candice and James are working together on a sequel to this blockbuster.

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox is available now from Dymocks. Click here to learn more.

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