Unexpected duo | BookishFirst

Unexpected duo

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VERDICT: The crocs may not be the most dangerous creatures in this rough Australian environment. An unexpected duo of investigators experience it first-hand. Haunting.
Australian thrillers can be really good. Crimson Lake, this new series I have just discovered, is another proof of it.

In Crimson Lake, we little by little get to know Ted, a former cop on drug squad, who just fled his home town for this out of nowhere place in Northern Australia. This seems the only safe place for him, far away from the media and people looking for revenge, but for how long? Indeed, Ted was jailed for the rape of Claire, 13.
But he was released for lack of evidence. Still, everyone considers him guilty and a monster, including his own wife, the mother of their very young girl Lillian.
The only person still trusting him is his lawyer. Sean sends him to meet Amanda, who turns out to be a convicted killer, now working as a private investigator.

Amanda allows him to follow her in her present case: a local celebrity gone missing, and his ring found in a croc!

I really got to enjoy this original duo, each with his/her own wounds and how they help each other face life. But can they? Can they even trust each other?

I also enjoyed the rough environment. Ted saving a young family of geese from the teeth of the crocs was an important touch to bring some humanity amidst all the cruelty and injustice featured here at many levels.

The book makes you feel you learn a lot about the psychology of killers. Fascinating and scary.
And there’s a lot more of that in Book 2 in the series: Redemption Point. The beginning presents a summary of book 1, but I think it’s definitely much better to read Crimson Lake first, to get all the background on the major characters.

Apart from the Ted-Amanda duo, at work here on another case — a couple of young people found dead in a bar — we are in the presence of a totally unexpected “team”, between Dale, Claire’s father, and Ted.
It starts in a rough way, with Dale breaking in and violently hitting Ted with a bat. Another important character is the DI Philippa Sweeney, already met in book 1.

The narrative around Amanda-Ted’s present case and Ted trying to clear up his past, is interspersed with chapters written in italics, featuring Kevin’s diary. Kevin is 25 and sounds very sick.

There were even more and better description of the rainforest environment.

I really liked the way the investigation was detailed, and how Kevin’s story evolved.

There are lots of many other layers to the story, and much more suspense.

If I enjoyed book 1, I was totally fascinated by the richness of book 2. We can feel the author really found her voice in this second volume, and I’ll be looking forward to more adventures with our unexpected team of investigators in Book 3, Gone By Midnight, to be released in March 2020 in the US.

It will be interesting to see how the author takes them from where they are at, at the end of book 2.