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Crimson Lake by Candace Fox

Maybe I’m just late to the party, but there is a lot of great fiction coming from Australia lately. Crimson Lake by Candace Fox is a recent example. Crimson Lake is the story of Ted Conkaffey, a Sydney detective accused of rape and attempted murder of a 13-year-old girl. The case against him is stopped halfway through the trial once it is determined that the evidence is not strong enough to convince a jury. By this time, Ted’s life is pretty much over. He’s lost his job, his wife has left him, he’s guilty in the eyes of the public and the charges against him can be reinstated at any time. Ted works his way across Australia, trying unsuccessfully to outrun his notoriety. He settles in Crimson Lake in northern Queensland.

One night, Ted rescues a wounded goose and her young goslings. The next day, Ted’s lawyer convinces him to go see Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted killer turned private investigator. Amanda’s crime is almost as notorious as Ted’s, at least locally. Ted reluctantl…

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