Sunshine Coast writer Candice Fox's latest crime
SUNSHINE Coasters love to meet an author and we can thank Annie Grossman of Annie's Books at Peregian for bringing us some of the country's big literary names.
Annie constantly harasses publishers to convince authors on book tours to take a detour from the big cities and find their way to Peregian.
She succeeds because of sheer determination.
Annie's footpath soirees have become much-loved in Peregian with the pavement outside her small bookshop packed with people nibbling cheese and drinking wine while listening to their favourite authors.
Last month saw Sydney crime writer Candice Fox come to the Coast, thanks to Annie.
Candice has written a gripping crime novel set in Cairns where a man's life is shattered just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Six minutes - that's all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey's life when he stopped to check something in his car near a bus stop where 13 year old Claire Bingley stood alone.
Six minutes later Claire had disappeared, and Ted, accused but not convicted of her abduction, escapes north to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake in Cairns.
It is a gripping read from page one.
Candice Fox is just 31, already winner of back-to-back Ned Kelly awards for her first two novels, Hades and Eden.
She says she has to call on her 'strange' side to write such dark crime novels.
"I have led a weird life," she said.
"I've always been a bit strange.
"I saw quite a lot of crime in my childhood.
"My mother was foster (parent) to about 150 children.
"I have always been interested in crime, especially in accusations made at celebrities - Robert Hughes, Rolf Harris, Bill Cosby.
"I paid attention to those because people think they can look at someone and see an evil person and think there is a certain type.
But there isn't."
Candice has managed to capture all the steamy humidity and oppressive heat of a Cairns summer in her novel.
The pages almost sweat such is her talent for descriptive passages, even though she has not lived in Cairns.
"I lived in the Sunshine Coast hinterland," she said.
"I know it is not the same, but I lived in the rainforest, big pythons occasionally turned up.
"I would frequently go to Cairns for a trip.
"I love it up there.
"It is kind of whimsical.
"I found it sinister in a way."
Candice has also collaborated with celebrated crime author James Patterson on the blockbuster Never Never set in the Australian Outback.
Crimson Lake, By Candice Fox, available at Annie's Books on Peregian. Penguin: $32.99.