Redemption Point: Redemption never comes in the way you want

Redepmtion Point by Candice Fox book review

What is this about?: Ted is back, working with Amanda on a case involving the murder of two young people in a bar in Crimson Lake.  But along with this case, Amanda has given Ted information about the man that did rape Chloe, the crime Ted is accused of and is still trying to come to terms with the consequences of. And that’s when Dale, Chloe’s father comes looking for Ted.

What else is this about?: Amanda, I think. There’s insight here into how she thinks, and works through Pip, a detective she’s working with on the case in Crimson Lake.

Blurb: 

#1 New York Times bestselling author Candice Fox delivers a compulsive new crime thriller, which sees Ted Conkaffey once again teaming up with an unlikely partner – this time the father of the girl he was accused of abducting . . .

When former police detective Ted Conkaffey was wrongly accused of abducting 13-year-old Claire Bingley, he hoped the Queensland rainforest town of Crimson Lake would be a good place to disappear. But nowhere is safe from Claire’s devastated father.

Dale Bingley has a brutal revenge plan all worked out – and if Ted doesn’t help find the real abductor, he’ll be its first casualty.

Meanwhile, in a dark roadside hovel called the Barking Frog Inn, the bodies of two young bartenders lie on the beer-sodden floor. It’s Detective Inspector Pip Sweeney’s first homicide investigation – complicated by the arrival of private detective Amanda Pharrell to ‘assist’ on the case. Amanda’s conviction for murder a decade ago has left her with some odd behavioural traits, top-to-toe tatts – and a keen eye for killers . . .

For Ted and Amanda, the hunt for the truth will draw them into a violent dance with evil. Redemption is certainly on the cards – but it may well cost them their lives . . .

Stars: 4/5

In Redemption Point, Candice Fox takes readers back to Ted and Amanda’s world in Crimson Lake, and a case involving the murder of two young kids in a bar. Ted has been treading water, still trying to find his place in a world that thinks he raped a young girl, Chloe. While this case is progressing, Chloe’s father, Dale comes to Ted’s house for revenge, and in an effort to save his life, Ted gives Dale the information Amanda found for him about the man that really did rape Chloe.

So two very compelling cases separates our intrepid duo for parts of the book, which kind of works.

Amanda and Pip

Pip is the cop in Crimson Lake that is assigned to the case of the two young kids shot dead in the bar, and while Ted is back and forth to Sydney for his case, she is left trying to decipher Amanda and how she works. Amanda is like no one Pip has ever met, and even as Fox explores a little of who Pip is, we learn to appreciate Amanda more. Pip looks at Amanda from the outside in, even moreso than Ted did in book 1, and from the POV from a cop who finds herself somewhat impressed with Amanda’s skills despite herself. 

Amanda for her part is doing her thing, with no fucks to give about anyone who doesn’t understand her. She appreciates that Pip is trying, for her part, but there’s still a bit of armor around her that doesn’t let Pip in completely.

Ted is maybe more than he was to Amanda in book 1, and you can see it in the ease with which he explains her quirks to other characters and the acceptance of them in her. 

The case itself is somewhat minor? less interesting than Ted’s, and is saved by Amanda and Pip working together. Which doesn’t actually mean that isn’t interesting, it’s just that Ted’s case has all my energy  — which is good and bad.

Ted and Dale

If there ever was an odd couple, it would be Ted and Dale. But, they do indeed start to work together to try and find the man who really did rape Chloe, inbetween their fights.  While Dale is in Crimson Lake, Ted returns to Sydney to visit his daughter and his wife, and to film a segment for a trashy news show that surprises him with another accusation levelled against him from an ex-girlfriend in high school. 

The news show has taken an interview with her, and crafted and edited it into something worse, and as Ted waits anxiously for the show to air, he finds himself having dinner with his wife, who seems to be ready for them to pick up their life again. I didn’t quite know what to do with that because she was so firmly against him, but I did wonder if this book is an attempt to set Ted’s life before Crimson Lake to rest to move him forward in the series. 

There is also the introduction of an unlikely ally in a drug dealer, whose niece he once saved. Khalid brings the muscle to the story, but also gives Ted a different link back to Sydney, even if the people in Ted’s old life don’t exactly want anything to do with him.

In addition to this impending (new) accusation, the chapters are interspersed with diary entries of the man that really did rape Chloe, providing a cold and calculating POV of a paedophile. It’s creepy, and adds an edge of urgency to Ted’s search for him. 

By the end, I finished this book with a sense of relief for the end of some of the chapters in Ted’s life in book 1 that proved so compelling. There’s only so much loathing and regret and …. utter sadness that I could take with respect to Ted or in fact any character I’m supposed to care about in a series. Amanda was enough to offset that in book 1, and much of this, but releasing Ted from his past lets his character move forward into new territory, rather than keeping him treading water over and over again in his past.

And Amanda. You will not be able to forget Amanda! 

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