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Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic
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Resurrection Bay (2015)

by Emma Viskic

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This starts with the lead character Caleb, covered in blood, holding the body of his colleague Gary and doesn’t let up.

“Caleb was still holding him when the paramedics arrived. Stupid to have called an ambulance – Gary was dead. Had to be dead. Couldn’t breathe with his throat slit open like that. The ambos seemed to think so, too. They stopped short of the blood-slicked kitchen tiles, their eyes on Gary’s limp form in his arms”.

Caleb has a hearing disability since having meningitis as a five year old. He and his partner Frankie, ex police women, formed Trust Works five years ago doing corporate security and fraud investigation; they are working on a case for the insurance company. A factory robbery netted the thieves two million dollars’ worth of cigarettes. The insurance company suspect an inside job. This shouldn’t have resulted in Gary, Senior Constable Marsden, being executed with his throat slashed.

The writing is sharp and punchy. The dialogue terse and believable.

"McFarlane turned down his thick lips like a disappointed father. ‘All right, Caleb, let’s say it wasn’t you. But immediately after he received that call, Constable Marsden made two phone calls to Resurrection Bay. Do you know who he called?’
‘No.’
‘We’re talking about your hometown, Caleb. Come on, take a guess.’
‘I don’t know – his mum? Why’s it relevant, anyway? No-one in the Bay’s got anything to do with his death.’
‘Relevant.’ McFarlane’s head bobbed. ‘That’s good. You speak really well, you know. I can hardly tell you’re disabled.’
It would be stupid, very stupid, to punch a cop in a police station.
‘Thanks. Your consonants could do with some work.’ "

The body count grows and this simple insurance job starts to look very complex and menacing. Those closest to Caleb become entangled in the mystery and are increasingly in danger.

I cannot wait to follow Caleb in his next saga “And Fire Came Down” ( )
  Robert3167 | May 5, 2018 |
Really felt like I was missing events or connections. New twist on a detective that is deaf and so the four star rating. Caleb Zelic character seems a bit bumbling to me in his actions. He is struggling not only with the murder of a colleague but also corruption in the police department that is its own mystery as to who to trust. When he meets with violence and turns to his ex-wife and brother for help the threads of the story get more tangled. "A copy of this book was provided by Pushkin Press via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion." ( )
  marandajo | Apr 3, 2018 |
Author Emma Viskic's idea of creating a main character who's almost totally deaf is brilliant. Caleb lost most of his hearing as a result of a childhood illness. He depends on lipreading and replying by voice, which leads to the occasional misunderstanding, but he doesn't want his disability to be the main thing people remember about him. He's got trust issues with two of the people closest to him: his brother Anton, a recovering drug addict, and Frankie, a recovering alcoholic, and he shows it in ways guaranteed to make the two furious. Nothing like a few fireworks to move the story along, eh?

Resurrection Bay's pace is swift and sure, and Caleb's deafness is particularly effective in the action scenes; written from Caleb's point of view, they put readers off-stride and at a definite disadvantage. There's a lot to like about this book, but two things didn't sit well with me.

One-- this book is supposedly set in Australia, but it could really be anywhere. If it weren't for the occasional use of the slang "ambo" for ambulance and the fact that Caleb's ex-wife is an Aboriginal woman, you'd never know you were Down Under. Perhaps the slang and any other overt descriptions of the setting were consciously removed to make it more palatable to an international readership, but this just leached much of the color from the book for me. Two--No matter how good the story or the pacing or Caleb's deafness is, I really didn't care about anyone in the book. In fact, I was looking at all the characters with such a jaundiced eye that I guessed the big surprise well before its reveal at the end.

So... there's a lot of good storytelling to be found in Resurrection Bay as well as a very interesting main character, but it fell a bit short for me. Of course, your mileage can-- and probably will-- vary! ( )
  cathyskye | Apr 3, 2018 |
Synopsis/blurb.....

Caleb Zelic can't hear you. But he can see everything.

The prizewinning debut thriller from the new name in crime

CALEB ZELIC IS ON THE HUNT FOR HIS FRIEND'S KILLER

His childhood friend has been brutally murdered at his home in Melbourne. Tortured by guilt, Caleb vows to track down the killer. But he's profoundly deaf; missed words and misread lips can lead to confusion, and trouble.

HE NEVER FORGETS A FACE

Fortunately, Caleb knows how to read people; a sideways glance, an unconvincing smile, speak volumes. When his friend Frankie, a former cop, offers to help, they soon discover the killer is on their tail.

IT MIGHT JUST SAVE HIS LIFE

Sensing that his ex-wife may also be in danger, Caleb insists they return to their hometown of Resurrection Bay. But here he learns that everyone - including his murdered friend - is hiding something. And the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets...
-----------------
My take.......

My first time with Emma Viskic and her protagonist Caleb Zelic, but after reading this one definitely not my last encounter.

We open with Zelec cradling the still warm body of his dead friend Gary, ambulances and police are flocking to the scene. Caleb had received an urgent message from Gary, asking him to come to his house and warning him about “Scott.” Caleb doesn’t know a Scott.

Caleb Zelic is an unusual lead in that he is deaf. He can talk well and mainly relies upon reading lips to interact normally with people. He is very conscious of his deafness. He signs with friends, uses a hearing aid sparingly and has issues in how he presents as a deaf person functioning in society. There’s a reluctance to acknowledge his condition and make allowances for it when interacting every day, both for his own benefit and those he is trying to communicate with.

Caleb works an investigation business with Frankie, an ex-cop and alcoholic. Gary was a police officer and Caleb’s friend since childhood and on occasions he helped with the business. Caleb has concerns that a recent insurance investigation into a warehouse heist, one he asked Gary to help look into was the cause of the murder. He’s helping the police – good cop, Tedesco and bad cop McFarlane -with a witness statement and further interview, but Frankie and Caleb are going to be doing some digging on their own to help track down Gary’s killer – the mysterious Scott.

I really enjoyed this one. Caleb is an intriguing protagonist and his deafness adds another level to the investigation. Conversations are often open to misinterpretation and confusion.

As the investigation unfolds, Caleb reconnects with his ex-wife and junkie brother. There’s an escalation, further murders occur with Scott and his henchmen covering tracks. Caleb himself is attacked and injured.

Viskic really ramps up the tension, a few well timed twists help. There’s a sense of danger prevalent on almost every page. Zelic fears for his ex-wife, his brother less so as suspicion, distrust and a barely controlled paranoia take over.

Excellent pacing, I loved the plot, the characters and their interactions. Enjoyed the setting too. Fantastic conclusion which delivered.

4.5 from 5

Emma Viskic has her website here. http://www.emma-viskic.com/
Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/emma.viskic/
and Twitter - @EmmaViskic https://twitter.com/EmmaViskic

Resurrection Bay is her debut novel and unsurprisingly snared a few awards, including the Ned Kelly for Best Debut. The second in her Zelic series And Fire Came Down will be published soon by Pushkin Vertigo.

Read in September, 2017
Published – 2015 originally, my edition was the 2017 Pushkin Vertigo release.
Page count – 288
Source – review copy from publisher
Format - paperback

https://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/emma-viskic-resurrection-bay-2015.html ( )
  col2910 | Oct 5, 2017 |
That Resurrection Bay is ‘a thriller of substance’ is the least indulgent sounding response I can give, which is fitting because ‘indulgent’ is the opposite of Emma Viskic's approach to her character’s traits — and that fact is what I admire most. Much will be said about the decision to cast a deaf character in the PI profession... Read full review >> ( )
  BookloverBookReviews | Jul 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Viskic has written a rattling plot-driven thriller that is not for the faint-hearted. It is, however, definitely one for those who appreciate a well-crafted sentence that never takes a predictable turn.
 
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Caleb was still holding him when the paramedics arrived.
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The acclaimed debut thriller from Australia's most exciting new crimewriting talent.The 2nd Caleb Zelic title, AND FIRE CAME DOWN, will be published October, 2018, and the author is already writing a 3rd installment. Caleb Zelic can't hear you but he sees everything. CALEB ZELIC IS ON THE HUNT FOR HIS FRIEND'S KILLER Caleb Zelic's childhood friend has been brutally murdered - fingers broken, throat slit - at his home in Melbourne. Tortured by guilt, Caleb vows to track down the killer. But he's profoundly deaf; missed words and misread lips can lead to confusion, and trouble. HE NEVER FORGETS A FACE Fortunately, Caleb knows how to read people; a sideways glance, an unconvincing smile, speak volumes. When his friend Frankie, a former cop, offers to help, they soon discover the killer is on their tail. IT MIGHT JUST SAVE HIS LIFE Sensing that his ex-wife may also be in danger, Caleb insists they return to their hometown of Resurrection Bay. But here he learns that everyone - including his murdered friend - is hiding something. And the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets...… (more)

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