Ted Conkaffey & Amanda Pharrell

Created by Candice Fox

“My charge had been rendered ‘no billing’, meaning that the state could take it up again at any time, . . . They wanted me to slowly boil in purgatory, just above the fires of hell, hopelessly far from the clear, clean air of the earth.”
Ted in Crimson Lake. Not a happy camper.

What’s a nationally disgraced former cop to do?

When we first meet TED CONKAFFEY, he’s been accused (but not yet convicted) of the savage kidnapping and rape of a thirteen year-old girl, his marriage is over and the chances of him ever seeing his baby daughter again are slim to none. Finally, after serving eight months in prison, he’s let go, the charges dropped due to lack of evidence. But nobody seems to believe he’s innocent.

So he’s hightailed it to a cheap rented house tucked away in the swampy wetlands of Crimson Lake near Cairns in far north Queensland, hoping he can get a fresh start, and hoping nobody recognizes him.

But jobs aren’t easy to come by when, and so when his parole officer lands him a job as an investigator with a local detective agency, he doesn’t have much choice. It beats just lying down on his lawn and letting the ever-present crocodiles eat him. Or drinking himself to death.

But it turns out it’s more of a lateral move. His new boss, AMANDA PARRELL, has almost as bad a reputation as he does. She’s an ex-con herself, who served time for the brutal murder of her best friend when they were teenagers.

Come for the scenery, the psychological surf-and-turf and the knuckle-white plotting, but stay for the mutual distrust and uneasy partnership between the formerly well-respected straight arrow cop and the rough-edged, multi-tatted, damaged Amanda.


  • “Complex, human characters, and a dark, meaty story, and fine writing, and a great sense of place – this is one of the best crime thrillers of the year. Sign me up as a big-time Fox fan!”
    — Lee Child


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith

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