Resurrection Bay (Emma Viskic, Echo Publishing)
Caleb Zelic’s deafness has made him an astute observer of the minute details of the world around him, and of people in particular, a skill he has parlayed into a career as a private investigator. He runs a small agency in Melbourne with Frankie, an ex-cop and recovering alcoholic. Caleb calls on his childhood friend Gary to help with a case, using his contacts as a police officer. Now Gary has been brutally murdered, and among the last calls on his phone were Caleb and Caleb’s estranged brother Anton in Resurrection Bay, the town they grew up in. Caleb can’t walk away from this case, but his investigation will take him places he’d rather not go, including his mate’s past, his estranged wife, and his hometown. Viskic’s novel is a fine example of modern noir, a dark tale of crime, betrayals, secrets and bad decisions. Caleb is a compelling protagonist, equal parts tenacious, observant, proud and stubborn, but never unsympathetic. His deafness informs both his character and the story in a range of intriguing ways. Debut author Emma Viskic deftly captures not only a grimy side of Melbourne but also the air of a slowly dying seaside town. This is a compelling, highly recommended read.
Heath Graham is a teacher and former bookseller