by Emma Viskic
CALEB ZELIC IS ON THE HUNT FOR HIS FRIEND'S KILLER
His 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, speaks 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...
Caleb Zelic is suspected of killing his friend. Whilst he feels some guilt over Gary’s death, Caleb must prove his innocence and hunt down the killer in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Private Investigator Caleb is profoundly deaf and, as a result, has developed 'abilities'. In addition to sign language and lip-reading, he is an expert in nonverbal communication and notices much that others miss. In other words, he is a master at reading people. His condition does come with its disadvantages, not helped by Caleb’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge his disability. The way people treat him, from the first page on, is influenced by his condition, as is his behaviour.
The book opens with Caleb at the death scene having arrived too late. Gary, a family man and crime fighter, has been cruelly murdered. They were childhood friends from all the way back to their days in small town Resurrection Bay. Gary had been assisting Caleb with a case he had been investigating, into robberies. Another former cop, Frankie, helps Caleb with the trace for Gary’s killer. Frankie has her own personal troubles, something that seems to apply to many of the characters, as secrets are behind every face.
The big city setting of Melbourne is contrasted with the small town of Resurrection Bay to which the team return to, looking for answers, a town with its own personal demons so far as Caleb is concerned. His ex-wife Kat, also in peril, becomes part of the journey, and she brings some interesting cultural depth to the tale.
An early clue to go on is the name Scott, a word texted to Caleb, but at first this Scott needs identifying. Is this all related to the warehouse robberies they had been investigating? Tedesco, the cop with concerns over Gary and Caleb's integrity, doesn’t make Caleb’s life easy and things are never black and white, with double-crossing and questionable motives aplenty. Violence/action is handled well by Viskic, as is the humour, in this, her debut novel. There’s also a good twist at the end.
The main theme of communication is interestingly played out and the issues of disability, racism, sexism and addiction add layers. With secrets everywhere, it will take Caleb’s unique skills to find his friend’s killer, and keep people safe. As the pressure mounts they’ve no choice but to return to Resurrection bay.
About Emma Viskic
Emma studied Australian sign language (Auslan) in order to research the character of Caleb Zelic in RESURRECTION BAY. The second Caleb Zelic book, AND FIRE CAME DOWN, is out now in Australia. Coming soon to the US and UK...
Also a classically trained clarinettist, Emma's musical career has ranged from performing with José Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, to busking in the London Underground. She lives in Melbourne and divides her time between writing, performing, and teaching.