Fantastic and gritty, fast-paced and thrilling, Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic is homegrown Australian crime fiction at its best. It’s perfect to get stuck into on a Friday night; a compelling read that you’ll have no trouble devouring over the weekend.
Caleb Zelic is a profoundly deaf private investigator working in Melbourne. His partner is the ageing, recovering alcoholic Frankie, tough and caustic but with a somewhat maternal attitude to Caleb when she lets her guard down (not often). When Caleb discovers the gruesome murder of his childhood friend Gary, he embarks on a wild chase from the back streets of Melbourne to his and Gary’s hometown on the coast, Resurrection bay.
Caleb is determined to find out who killed good guy and cop Gary, but the perpetrators think Caleb knows too much so it’s a case of whether he can get to them before they get to him. They know about Caleb’s beloved ex-wife Kat and his ex-junkie brother Anton, and – given the trail of destruction they’re leaving all over Melbourne – Caleb can’t bear to think what they might do to Kat if they get to her. As the mystery deepens and various clues to the mysterious Scott lead them nowhere, it seems that there are bent cops involved in the murder, meaning Caleb has nowhere to go and no one to trust.
Viskic builds up the action and takes us on a thrilling ride through Melbourne, leading us to a nail-biting and tense conclusion. Her skilful characterisation of Caleb and other key players increases the stakes. Caleb is an original and truly likeable crime hero who tries to hide his deafness from the world and this frustrates the hell out of those closest to him, particularly Kat, who he is still in love with. With Caleb, Viskic has created a compelling new character in local crime fiction and we hope we’ll be seeing much more of him.
We’re not surprised that Resurrection Bay pulled in so many of Australia’s key crime awards this year, including winner of the 2016 Ned Kelly Award for Best First fiction and winner of the 2016 Davitt Award for Best Debut Novel, Best Adult Novel and the Readers’ Choice Award. It also won iBooks Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2015.
In addition to these awards, Melbourne crime writer Emma Viskic has won two of Australia’s premier crime fiction short story awards: the Ned Kelly S.D. Harvey Award (2013) and the New England Thunderbolt Award (2013). She is also an accomplished musician – a classic clarinettist who has performed with José Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. She divides her time between writing, performing, and teaching.