Crimson Lake, set in and around the tropical north Queensland city of Cairns is centered around three distinct crimes linked by circumstance after the fact. Candice Fox weaves both Amanda's and Ted's history into the present day setting; that, along with the coupling of the damaged protagonists gives the book added depth, making Crimson Lake a meaty read but still an easy page turner.
Crime one is the abduction and rape of a 13yr old girl, last seen at a Sydney bus stop talking to then Detective Ted Conkaffey, the man who is accused of the terrible crime. The charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence. Ted's move to the tropical north was meant to distant himself from this failure of justice and that of his broken down marriage.
Crime two is the brutal murder of a young and popular teen some 10+ years ago by the current local PI Amanda. A crime she doesn't dispute yet doesn't provide a motive. Something isn't adding up - the book explores this event in Amanda's past and unveils some very interesting revelations.
Crime three is a mystery where the culprit isn't easily identifiable, nor for that matter are the suspects as the sleuthing unveils leads on the path to crazy - a clever use of misdirection. The local literary star has gone missing, presumed dead by his all too blase' wife, with police seeming to be dragging their feet, Cairns PI Amanda gets involved.
Crimson Lake is a fast moving book with well developed and likable characters but its strength lies in the detail; the meretricious weaving of plot threads to form a single coherent narrative results in a truly enveloping tale that races towards an edge-of-your-seat finale.
I easily give this 5/5 stars.