Crimson Lake

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This book reminded me a lot of "Faithful Place" by Tana French. I'm not much of a crime/mystery reader - maybe three a year. I listened to it on audio, and maybe for that I had a little trouble keeping a few of the characters straight. I was also reading a hard copy of "Horns" by Joe Hill during the same time. Normally if I'm doing multiple books I try to choose different themes but these books wound up being rather similar (crudeness, false accusations) so that I sometimes got confused.

One thing that I did think was unique about this book was that it was three mysteries in one. There was the current crime that investigators Ted and Amanda were trying to solve. But each of them had a back story with a crime that also needed solving.

On a scale of 1 - 5 (5 being a lot of examples/instances):

Sex: 4

Religion: 0

Gruesome: 2

Suspense: 2

Morality: 4

Traditional: 2

Sex - I don't recall any actual male/female coitus but there are quite a few instances of sex-related talk, especially regarding pedophile behavior. It's not graphic in a detailed sort of way - but, in my opinion, the entire subject is somewhat sickening so that even the word feels graphic to me.

Religion - no mentions at all

Gruesome - there is blood and loss of life, but it is not highly detailed and therefore not highly gruesome

Suspense - I was curious about how things would turn out, but not so inspired that I felt like sitting in the car or inventing a destination just to hear more.

Morality - At it's heart, this is a book about believing in people. It's a book that shows how quickly a public will rush to judgement and condemn an innocent person, continuing punishment even after due process.

Traditional - there are examples of traditional lifestyles, or desires for traditional lifestyles, but what stands out to me more is the non-traditional - the subtle plot-lines of homosexuality, the edgy, tattooed character, and the police corruption and abuse of power.

Discussion Questions

What do the swans add to the story? Was it significant that they were swans and not some other animal?

It seemed that Ted had a possibility of four different romantic partners: Amanda (the investigator), Fabiana (the journalist), reconciling with Kelly (his ex-wife) and I-forget-her-name (the coroner). Did he wind up with the right one?

Were you satisfied with the resolution of Jake's murder? Did you suspect the real killer?

Did you believe Amanda was innocent? Were you satisfied with the resolution of her case?

Did Ted's story come to a sufficient conclusion? Should he reconcile with Kelly?

At the end, Amanda tells herself she'll have to trust Ted. Will she? What do you think happens next?

(If you really want to know, there is a sequel - "Redemption".)

Theme Ideas

Sorry - I got nothing here, there wasn't a lot of food talk, maybe just a mention of coffee or tea or drinking in a bar. Perhaps serve Australian food or snacks.