Amanda Pharrell & Ted Conkaffey

Created by Candice Fox

“My charge had been rendered ‘no billing’, meaning that the state could take it up again at any time, . . . They wanted me to slowly boil in purgatory, just above the fires of hell, hopelessly far from the clear, clean air of the earth.”
Ted in Crimson Lake. Not a happy camper.

What’s a nationally disgraced former cop to do?

When we first meet TED CONKAFFEY, he’s been accused (but not yet convicted) of the savage kidnapping and rape of a thirteen year-old girl, his marriage is over and the chances of him ever seeing his baby daughter again are slim to fucking none. Finally, after serving eight months in prison, he’s let go, the charges dropped due to lack of evidence. But nobody seems to believe he’s innocent.

So he’s hightailed it to a cheap rented house tucked away in the swampy wetlands of Crimson Lake near Cairns in far north Queensland, hoping he can get a fresh start, and hoping nobody recognizes him.

But jobs aren’t easy to come by when, and he’s offered a job as a “consultant” with a local detective agency, he figures he doesn’t have much choice. It beats just lying down on his lawn and letting the ever-present crocodiles eat him.

Or drinking himself to death.

But it turns out it’s more of a lateral move. His new boss, AMANDA PARRELL, has possibly a worse reputation than he does. She’s an ex-con herself, who served time for the brutal murder of her best friend when they were both teenagers.

Come for the scenery, the psychological surf-and-turf and the knuckle-white plotting, but stay for the mutual distrust and uneasy partnership between the formerly well-respected, straight arrow cop and the rough-edged, multi-tatted, damaged local pariah Amanda.

With all that angst, perhaps it’s not surprising it was soon adapted for Australian television, starring Thomas Jane as Ted and Nicole Chamoun as Amanda. Troppo, based on the first book, Crimson Lake (2018), made its debut in 2022, and was soon picked up by Amazon’s fledgling streaming service Freevee (formerly the IMDB app).


Candice Fox is an Australian novelist who won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Novel for Hades, and the creator of the Ted Conkaffey & Amanda Pharrell private eye series. She was born in the western suburbs of Sydney into a large family. She spent a brief period in the Royal Australian Navy before studying and teaching at university level. Since 2015, she has been collaborating on various projects with James Patterson, including the Harriet Blue series and a standalone (so far) P.I. novel, The 2 Sister Detective Agency.


  • “Complex, human characters, and a dark, meaty story, and fine writing, and a great sense of place – this is one of the best crime thrillers of the year. Sign me up as a big-time Fox fan!”
    — Lee Child



    (2022, ABC [Australia])
    8 episodes
    Based on the novel Crimson Lake by Candice Fox
    Writers: Yolanda Ramke, Jane Allen, Andrew Lee, Blake Ayshford, Kodie Bedford, Penelope Chai, Craig Irvin
    Directors: Grant Brown, Ben Howling, Catherine Millar, Jocelyn Moorhouse, Yolanda Ramke
    Showrunner: Yolanda Ramke
    Starring Thomas Jane as TED CONKAFFEY
    and Nicole Chamoun as AMANDA PHARRELL
    Also starring David Lyons, Sun Park, Yerin Ha, Ling Cooper Tang, Kate Beahan, Cramer Cain, Peta Wilson, Angela Punch McGregor, Damien Garvey, Josh Helman, Radha Mitchell

    • “Episode One” (February 27, 2022)
    • “Episode Two” (March 6, 2022)
    • “Episode Three” (March 13, 2022)
    • “Episode Four” (March 20, 2022)
    • “Episode Five” (March 27, 2022)
    • “Episode Six” (April 3, 2022)
    • “Episode Seven” (April 3, 2022)
    • “Episode Eight” (April 3, 2022)



  • April , 2023
    The Bottom Line: These moody, mismatched Aussie ex-con P.I.s don’t get along with people—or each other, and it’s all played out in the swampy wetlands of Queensland. Watch out for crocs!
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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