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Gone by Midnight: A Crimson Lake Novel

Review

Gone by Midnight: A Crimson Lake Novel

One day in the area of Crimson Lake, Australia, 13-year-old Claire Bingley is waiting at a bus stop while police detective Ted Conkaffey parks his car there for an unrelated reason. Claire is never seen again, and Ted is stripped of his badge and put on trial for child abduction and possible murder. He swears he is innocent, and his attorney puts private investigator Amanda Pharrell on the case. Even though Ted is cleared of all charges, many still consider him to be a pedophile.

Ted finds himself teaming up with Amanda as he joins the PI business. Amanda herself has been labeled a murderer based on something that happened when she was 17. As Ted and Amanda work a case together, a popular police officer named Pip Sweeney is killed, with the blame in the eyes of some members of the police force falling on Amanda. You now have been caught up on CRIMSON LAKE and REDEMPTION POINT, the first two novels in Candice Fox’s outstanding Crimson Lake series. If you have not heard of the author or read any of her work yet, you are in for a treat.

"Plot twist after plot twist will leave readers reeling.... GONE BY MIDNIGHT is an excellent novel that will keep you guessing straight through. When you have two protagonists like Ted and Amanda, who are both so broken, it is difficult not to find yourself rooting along with them."

GONE BY MIDNIGHT, the latest installment, finds Ted and Amanda working a very unique missing child case. Three couples, traveling with their children, are staying at a hotel for a few days as they take in the sights. Everything is going as planned until one of the mothers, Sara Farrow, comes bolting out of her room screaming that her son Richie is missing. After a day of sightseeing fun, the parents would hit the bar/restaurant in the hotel lobby while the kids all hung out in their rooms doing whatever children do. One of the parents would check in on them every hour or so. It seemed like a perfect plan until Richie disappeared.

Before being drawn into this drama, Ted had been dealing with his own family issues. His ex-wife is actually leaving on a spa retreat with her new-age boyfriend, and it will be the first time that their infant daughter, Lillian, will be left alone with him. He has a friend all set up to babysit if he has to go to work. Because the police force is fairly thin, Chief Damien Clark calls in the additional assistance of Ted and Amanda against his better judgment. After speaking with all of the parents, more info is gathered on the Farrows. It seems they had lost a child to a peculiar form of crib death prior to having Richie. Currently, the two are also not seeing eye to eye, and their son’s disappearance just intensifies those feelings.

Meanwhile, Ted and Amanda look to the local citizens who may be on the pedophile list --- which is ironic, after what Ted himself had gone through. Suspects from the pizza delivery guy who was in contact with the children when they were alone to a hotel maintenance man named Dylan Hogan get a good look from everyone. It is also discovered that the kids did not stay in their rooms the entire time the adults were away. They explored the hotel and snuck back into their rooms before the next parent check-in. Everything begins to fall at the feet of Hogan, a former homeless wanderer with a record who recently had made a purchase at a hardware store that made him look like Dexter Morgan preparing for a body disposal.

Plot twist after plot twist will leave readers reeling. Suspects are killed, new red herrings are thrown around, and a vengeful police officer named Joanna Fischer has a big chip on her shoulder regarding Amanda and the role she may have played in the death of her last partner, Pip. GONE BY MIDNIGHT is an excellent novel that will keep you guessing straight through. When you have two protagonists like Ted and Amanda, who are both so broken, it is difficult not to find yourself rooting along with them. Make this your next mystery/thriller series to read.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on April 3, 2020

Gone by Midnight: A Crimson Lake Novel
by Candice Fox

  • Publication Date: March 10, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250317584
  • ISBN-13: 9781250317582