REVIEW: Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox

by |December 3, 2018

gone by midnightGone by Midnight
by Candice Fox

If, after reading Crimson Lake and Redemption Point, you thought there couldn’t possibly be anything more heartwarming than tough, ruggedly stoic ex-cop Ted Conkaffey looking after his brood of pet geese … then think again! In Gone by Midnight, Candice Fox brings us tough, ruggedly stoic ex-cop Ted Conkaffey looking after his pet geese AND his tiny toddler daughter, Lillian. Let me just take a moment to warn readers everywhere … your heart will melt!

The reason I love Candice Fox so much is her amazing ability to craft perfectly paced, super addictive action/thriller/mystery plots and then fill them with highly original, ridiculously likeable characters. Plus, those characters always deliver A++ banter laced with sublime dark humour and a generous serving of offbeat charm that never fails to enchant me.

Gone by Midnight offers readers a combination of genuinely hair-raising suspense and deeply upsetting horror with moments of quirky humour and gleeful eccentricity. This is what I like to call ‘The Candice Fox Specialty Combo’! When reading a Candice Fox book you can count on clenching your jaw in rage and despair one second, and then suddenly find yourself chuckling a few seconds later. Turn a couple more pages and you’re likely to find yourself punched in the heart by an unexpectedly tender moment. Aaaaaaand then you’ll be back to being terrified again.

It’s an emotional roller coaster every time. Naturally I love it!

For example, in Gone by Midnight we are treated to a witness statement from an eight-year-old boy that almost had me in tears of laughter. Despite the tragic situation (the central mystery of this book revolves around a missing child) Candice Fox was able to catch me off guard with a surprise attack of humour.

The atmosphere of Gone by Midnight matches that of the previous two books in the series. Crimson Lake is an isolated and lonely place – sweltering hot and fraught with danger at every turn. It’s the kind of place where misfits, outcasts and criminals go to slip off the grid, where deadly crocs thrash in the mangroves and equally deadly (though occasionally lovable) bikie gangs lurk menacingly on fringes of town.

The story in Gone by Midnight hinges on the disappearance of a young boy from a hotel room. It’s a bit like an old fashioned “murder mystery in a locked room” conundrum. The boy’s disappearance makes no logical sense and finding him seems impossible … but luckily Ted Conkaffey and Amanda Pharrell excel at defying odds and achieving the impossible.

There is plenty going on in this book and all of it is awesome. As well as the intense central mystery – which kept surprising me right up until the final reveal – there is a subplot involving Amanda, her new bike, a rogue cop and some cats. (Such a crazy-amazing subplot! I relished every second.) There are countless touching moments involving Ted’s daughter (so adorable it hurts!) and a brand new character called Superfish (I ♥ Superfish). Also … crocs! It wouldn’t be a Crimson Lake book without a few croc sightings, right?

Pretty much perfect in every way imaginable, Gone by Midnight is a great new addition to a kickass series that I hope will never end. I’m already already super keen to return to Crimson Lake. Luckily in the meantime we have a new Harriet Blue book to look forward to. Hush Hush by James Patterson and Candice Fox is coming out in May 2019 and I can’t wait!

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox will be published in January 2019 and is available to order from Booktopia.


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Gone by Midnightby Candice Fox

Gone by Midnight

by Candice Fox

Crimson Lake is where bad people come to disappear – and where eight-year-old boys vanish into thin air . . .

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young friends are left alone while their parents dine downstairs. But when Sara Farrow checks on the children at midnight, her son is missing. The boys swear they stayed in their room, and CCTV confirms Richie has not left the building. Despite a thorough search, no trace of the child is found.

Distrustful of the police, Sara turns to Crimson Lake’s unlikeliest private investigators: disgraced cop Ted Conkaffey and convicted killer Amanda Pharrell. This case just the sort of twisted puzzle that gets Amanda’s blood pumping.

For Ted, the case couldn’t have come at a worse time. Two years ago a false accusation robbed him of his career, his reputation and most importantly his family. But now Lillian, the daughter he barely knows, is coming to stay in his ramshackle cottage by the lake.

Ted must dredge up the area’s worst characters to find a missing boy. And the kind of danger he uncovers could well put his own child in deadly peril . . .

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About the Contributor

Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling

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