A rough guide to the ever-rising star of Australian crime writing, Candice Fox.
Eavesdropping played an important part in Candice Fox’s development as a storyteller. The daughter of an enthusiastic foster-carer, she spent her childhood listening around corners to tales of violence, madness and evil from the cops and childcare authorities who frequented her Bankstown, Western Sydney home.
‘We got our first family computer when I was twelve,’ she says in this interview. ‘It would have been around then that I started experimenting [with writing]. I’d always been an intense dreamer, not particularly because I was whimsical, but I became distracted and detached very easily. My home life was very chaotic and I was deeply anxious at school, so I made up little stories to escape into. I found writing brilliant for this, because I could really hone in on my fantasy world, leave the real world altogether for long periods of a time.’
After a brief stint in the Australian Navy, during her twenties Fox turned her hand to academia, and taught high school through two undergraduate and two postgraduate degrees. During this time she also continued writing. After ten years of honing her craft – which included a period of tutorship by James Forsyth – she found success with her debut novel, the Australian Crime Writers Association Ned Kelly Award-winning Hades (2014). The following year, Hades’ sequel, Eden, won the Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel, making Fox only the second author to win these accolades back to back. Several of her subsequent novels – Fall, Crimson Lake, Redemption Point and Gone by Midnight – have also been shortlisted for the prize.
In 2015 Fox began collaborating with international crime-writing powerhouse James Patterson. Their first novel together, Never Never, set in the Australian outback, went straight to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in the US and also topped the charts in the UK. Their subsequent novels Fifty Fifty, Liar Liar and Hush Hush have all been international bestsellers.
With more than ten novels published in just seven years, Fox has quickly become one of Australia’s most successful authors. As such, she has many kettles on many fires, and her bibliography is continuing to expand at a rate of knots. Here’s a brief run-down of some of her titles to date, just in case you came in late.
ARCHER & BENNETT SERIES
Hades – 2014
Homicide detective Frank Bennett feels like the luckiest man on the force when he meets his new partner, the dark and beautiful Eden Archer. But soon Frank’s wondering if she’s as dangerous as the killer they’re hunting…
Eden – 2014
Eden Archer is about to head undercover and it’s up to her partner Frank Bennett to watch over her. As the darkness around Eden gathers, Frank begins to ask himself: is Eden saving lives, or taking them?
Fall – 2015
On the city's rain-soaked running tracks, a predator is lurking. Meanwhile Frank Bennett’s new girlfriend Imogen is determined to solve the disappearance of the two young Tanner children over twenty years earlier. But the trail is leading to Eden Archer’s door.
HARRIET BLUE SERIES
Never Never (in collaboration with James Patterson) – 2016
Deep in the Western Australian desert, three young people have disappeared from the Bandya Mine. And it's Harriet Blue’s job to track them down. Still reeling from events back home, and with a secretive new partner at her side, Harry’s not sure who she can trust anymore.
Fifty Fifty (in collaboration with James Patterson) – 2017
Sam Blue stands accused of the brutal murders of three young students. Only one person believes he is innocent: his sister, Detective Harriet Blue. And she’s been banished to the outback town of Last Chance Valley (population 75), where a diary found on the roadside outlines a shocking plan: the massacre of the entire town.
Liar Liar (in collaboration with James Patterson) – 2018
Detective Harriet Blue is clear about two things. Regan Banks deserves to die. And she’ll be the one to pull the trigger. But Regan – the vicious serial killer responsible for destroying her brother’s life – has gone to ground. Then her phone rings. ‘Catch me if you can,’ Regan taunts her.
Hush Hush (in collaboration with James Patterson) – 2019
Prison is a dangerous place for a former cop – as Harriet Blue is learning on a daily basis. The last person she wants to see is Deputy Police Commissioner Joe Woods: the man who put her inside. But Woods is not there to gloat. His daughter Tonya and her two-year-old child have gone missing. He’s ready to offer Harriet a deal…
CRIMSON LAKE SERIES
Crimson Lake – 2017
Accused but not convicted of abducting a teenage girl, Detective Ted Conkaffey escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake. Private investigator Amanda Pharrell knows what it’s like to be public enemy number one, so she enlists help from the one person in town more hated than she is. But the residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move.
Redemption Point – 2018
After former detective Ted Conkaffey was wrongly accused of abducting thirteen-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. Meanwhile, in a dark roadside hovel called the Barking Frog Inn, the bodies of two young bartenders lie on the beer-sodden floor.
Gone by Midnight – 2019
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. Distrustful of the police, Sara turns to Crimson Lake's unlikeliest private investigators: disgraced cop Ted Conkaffey and convicted killer Amanda Pharrell. But dredging up the area's worst characters to find a missing boy is a perilous game…
LOS ANGELES THRILLER
Gathering Dark – 2020
A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious crime boss. A disillusioned cop. Together they’re a missing girl's only hope…
Blair Harbour, once a wealthy, respected surgeon in Los Angeles, is now an ex-con down on her luck. She’s determined to keep her nose clean to win back custody of her son. But when her former cellmate, Sneak Lawlor, begs for help to find her missing daughter, Blair is compelled to put her new-found freedom, and life, on the line.
Find out what scares #1 New York Times bestselling author Candice Fox.
Here’s what I remember.
I looked up into the eye of a gun. She’d been that quiet.
The real trouble came at midnight.
There were predators beyond the wire.
Something very bad was about to go down.
From Australia's most exciting and original crime writer comes another electrifying thriller, set in Los Angeles, introducing a new – and decidedly unconventional – team of 'detectives'.
Someone tries to kill me at least once a day.
Something was not right.