Sunday, March 8, 2020

Gone by Midnight

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox
Tor/Forge: 3/10/20
eBook review copy; 352 pages
Queensland Series #3 

Gone by Midnight by Candice Fox is a highly recommended investigative thriller and the third book in the Queensland series.

When Sara Farrow’s son, eight-year-old Richie, goes missing from the motel where they are staying while on vacation in Crimson Lake, Queensland, in Australian, she asks for help from private investigators Ted Conkaffey and Amanda Pharrell. Ted and Amanda are an unlikely pair of investigators as Ted is a disgraced cop and Amanda is a convicted killer. Both are pariahs in Crimson Lake, but together they are successful investigators. Amanda is immediately intrigued and begins using her unique perspective to gain insight on the case. Ted is also looking into the case, but has other complications. This is the first time his daughter, two-year-old Lillian, is staying with him for a week. He wants to find Richie, but he needs to establish a relationship with Lillian.

Ted and Amanda are simply put, great characters. They are wildly unique, flawed, astute, quirky, and complement each other's style perfectly. They are both damaged in different ways, but wonderfully human. Their relationship and the varied animosity from the police toward them create a hostility right at the start and it doesn't ease up. All the other characters are portrayed as unique individuals too.

The writing was excellent. Fox does a skillful job with the pacing of the plot and keeping the tension mounting in the narrative. There are twists and unexpected complications along the way. Between Ted's personal juggling of his life, the personal vendetta against Amanda, the search for the missing boy, and the strained interactions with the local police, the stress and intrigue keep increasing incrementally throughout this compelling novel.

I was unsure about starting the series with book three, but I had no problem following along and am anxious to read the first two books now. Now that I have discovered them, I'll be looking for future Ted Conkaffey and Amanda Pharrell novels.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Macmillian.

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