Book Review: Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

It was impossible for me not to be completely transported into the hot, steamy and croc-infested setting of Crimson Lake by Candice Fox. The author set the scene superbly for this fantastically gripping crime thriller to unravel within, and introduced me to two of the most cleverly-crafted, imperfect characters, encouraging me to like them all the more for it. I raced through the pages of this novel, finding something new to hook me with every couple of chapters. It was intense at times. There were moments where I felt that I couldn't quite make up my mind over what was real and what wasn't, what I believed and what I didn't. Candice Fox weaved a thrilling and hotly-captivating tale that had me second-guessing myself continuously. Each time I thought that my suspicions were correct about someone, I was swiftly proved wrong, which only made the discovery of the truth behind these characters and the case that they are dealing with, as well as their own histories, more beguiling than ever. It's fair to say that by the time I reached the end, my perspective on those involved had changed completely.

Candice Fox is a brand-new author to me, but as soon as I set eyes on the cover of Crimson Lake, and as soon as I clocked that smashing quote from the one and only Lee Child, I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. My love of dark and twisting crime thrillers only seems to be going from strength to strength just recently, and I'm thrilled to have added this corker to my growing list of smashing and addictive reads.

In Crimson Lake by Candice Fox, readers are introduced to Detective Ted Conkaffey. After a particularly tough and testing time in which Ted is accused of the abduction of a young girl, he is hiding away in the sweltering heat of Crimson Lake where he is hoping to keep out of the radar in order to start afresh. He is adamant he didn't do it. Convinced, even. But with everything and everyone standing against him, it seems the label of abductor just can't be scrubbed off. Still, in his new surroundings, no one knows he is the man accused of the crime, and he's seriously hoping that it remains that way. Visited by his lawyer, Sean, one day, Ted is made aware of a woman in town, Amanda Pharrell, who Sean thinks will help Ted out in some way. At first, after imagining that what Sean had set him up for was something romantic, Ted realises that what Sean has actually done is sent him to Amanda in order to put his detective skills to good use unofficially.

Both characters were incredibly intriguing in this instance, both with a rocky past behind them that only strengthened their beliefs and motives even more. I adored getting to know both of them, thoroughly enjoying figuring them out as they approached a missing persons case that would put their acquired skills to the test. They were strong alone, but when standing together, Ted and Amanda were truly a force to be reckoned with.

Amanda was an absolutely brilliant character. Although mysterious and not willing to reveal too much about herself at the beginning, getting to know her properly, including her quirks and mannerisms was very exciting. I didn't know how to take her at first. Her bluntness, although amusing, made me think that perhaps she wasn't the best when it came to social situations. Ted, too, was rather similar in that way. Both were puzzles to be solved, cases to be cracked in their own ways I guess, and I loved every moment spent watching their true selves simmer to the surface.

When local celebrity and much-loved author Jake Scully goes missing, Amanda and Ted take on the case. It's a mysterious and puzzling disappearance, although with the cleverness of these two, it isn't long before they're figuring the truth out, even if it does take them a few dead-ends and red-herrings to get there. I was hooked from page one and absolutely flew through this book. It was atmospheric, tense, even amusing (I know, that's odd in this instance) at times, thanks to the characters Fox brought to life for me. I adored watching this case unfold, and loved how fast-paced it felt as I whizzed through the novel, eager to reach that point of reveal and wondering just what would be waiting for me when I finally did.

I was completely consumed by this novel. Candice Fox is exceptionally talented at wrapping her reader up completely in the world that she creates. The facts of both Ted and Amanda's lives were riveting and I really can't imagine a better team. I do hope there's more to see from these fantastic characters, and more cases for them to solve together because this was addictive reading that I looked forward to picking back up each time I put it down.

Hummingbird Reviews is awarding Crimson Lake by Candice Fox with five out of five stars. A thrill-ride of a crime thriller with the most FANTASTIC team leading the way in a mystifying case. I'd certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys losing oneself in an intense story that will have you hooked.

You can purchase your copy of Crimson Lake by Candice Fox here.

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