Thursday, March 31, 2016

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (#AWW2016)


Resurrection Bay is Australian writer Emma Viskic's first mystery novel and my first read for the Australian Woman Writer's Challenge 2016.

I purchased the paper copy through bookdepository.com and the Kindle version is available on Amazon.
From the publisher:
Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside - watching, picking up telltale signs people hide in a smile, a cough, a kiss. When a childhood friend is murdered, a sense of guilt and a determination to prove his own innocence sends Caleb on a hunt for the killer. But he can’t do it alone. Caleb and his troubled friend Frankie, an ex-cop, start with one clue: Scott, the last word the murder victim texted to Caleb. But Scott is always one step ahead.

This gripping, original and fast-paced crime thriller is set between a big city and a small coastal town, Resurrection Bay, where Caleb is forced to confront painful memories. Caleb is a memorable protagonist who refuses to let his deafness limit his opportunities, or his participation in the investigation. But does his persistence border on stubbornness? And at what cost? As he delves deeper into the investigation Caleb uncovers unwelcome truths about his murdered friend – and himself.

Resurrection Bay is the exciting debut novel by Melbourne-based award-winning crime writer Emma Viskic.
Caleb is the most interesting series sleuth that I've come across in a long time. He's deaf for starters, but it's the way he deals (or doesn't deal) with his condition that adds a fascinating layer to the investigation as well as to Caleb's life and backstory. As the blurb above states, he's been deaf since childhood and relies on lip reading, facial cues, and body language to "get by." He has aids that help him hear tone and noise, but he can't make out words distinctly.

Check out AWW2016 here
I use "get by" intentionally. There's a great scene with his estranged wife who accuses him of "passing." I often roll my eyes over a sleuth's interactions with an ex-spouse/lover, but this broken relationship seemed deeper and a more integral part of the actual story than most. (Note: the novel does not border on romance). His side-kick, Frankie, a former cop and struggling alcoholic, may sound like a stereotypical character, but she is a bit of fresh air, too.

Resurrection Bay is iBook Australia's Best Crime Novel of the Year. More importantly, book two in the series will be out in 2017 and book three in 2019. I hate waiting, but in the mean time I hope a U.S. publisher gets on this series. I don't mind ordering books from Australia, but I think Viskic could find an audience here.

Title: Resurrection Bay
Author: Emma Viskic
Publisher: Echo Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, 2015
Source: Bought it

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