Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* How does a man rebuild his life after the media describes him as the pedophile who kidnapped, raped, and strangled a 13-year-old girl and left her for dead? Ted Conkaffey, a Sydney cop with a wife and baby daughter, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was unjustly accused and imprisoned for eight months until charges were set aside, leaving him in the purgatory of knowing he could be rearrested at any time. He flees to Cairns in the far north of Australia and tries to go by the name of Collins, but even there, he is recognized by two sadistic local cops, vigilantes, a sympathetic pathologist, and, eventually, the press. His supportive lawyer steers him to eccentric Amanda Pharrell, a convicted murderer, who has established herself as an investigator after getting out of prison, and the two of them start digging into the disappearance of a local celebrity author, while Conkaffey also probes his partner's past on the sly. This compelling first solo by one of James Patterson's many coauthors boasts full-bodied characters, suspense with a quirky edge, and a strong sense of place.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2018 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Sydney homicide detective Ted Conkaffey, the pariah narrator of this engrossing suspense novel from Ned Kelly Award-winner Fox (Hades), is halfway through his trial for the rape and attempted murder of a 13-year-old girl when the NSW director of public prosecutions withdraws the charges, since the evidence isn't strong enough to satisfy a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. Per Australian law, Ted could be prosecuted later if more evidence emerges. After his wife asks him for a divorce, Ted moves north to Crimson Lake, Queensland, where he hopes to remain incognito. Ted's lawyer puts him in touch with Amanda Pharrell, a convicted killer who has become a PI after serving eight years in prison. Ted and Amanda decide to partner on an investigation to find a missing bestselling author. Meanwhile, Ted wrestles with harassment from local cops, a reporter on his tail, and vigilante attacks against him. The surprising conclusion will leave the reader looking forward to Ted and Amanda's further adventures. Agent: Gaby Naher, Naher Agency (Australia). (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
This disturbing mystery is set in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, where Ted Conkaffey, a former Sydney cop, is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl and leaving her for dead. Because there is too little evidence, he is released from prison. Everyone abandons him, including his wife, who forbids him from seeing his baby daughter, so Ted moves to remote crocodile-infested Crimson Lake. For work, Ted's lawyer refers him to ex-con Amanda Pharrell, who did time for killing a school friend. She's rather eccentric but has the only PI business in town. She hires Ted to help investigate a complex case. Was local celebrity author Jake Scully murdered, did he have an accident, or did he commit suicide? It's complicated because part of his body was found in a crocodile's stomach! As the two delve into the case, they also surreptitiously probe each other's crimes. Vigilantes and corrupt cops see Ted as a pedophile and harass him. The atmospheric setting adds a prevailing sense of menace as readers are privy to not one but three criminal investigations. Verdict Those who enjoy a gritty, graphic mystery will most enjoy this offering by a Ned Kelly Award-winning author (Hades) and James Patterson coauthor (Never, Never). [See Prepub Alert, 9/25/17.]-Susan G. Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.