Emma Viskic

Resurrection Bay

"'...a truly gripping debut which feels as though written by a seasoned writer.'"


Caleb Zelic is profoundly deaf since early childhood and has always lived on the outside. Caleb gets an alarming text from his friend, Gary and finds him in his home with his throat slit. Gary was looking in to some burglaries for Caleb and now he feels a sense of guilt and a responsibility to find his killer.

Little does Caleb know that soon his loved ones will be threatened and that even his old home town of Resurrection Bay is no longer a safe haven. Soon he will understand that no one can be trusted and everyone is under suspicion.

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This multi-award winning debut from Australia finally hits the UK shores and this is certainly a standout book having read it in under twenty-four hours. Viskic’s pared back prose is reminiscent of American Noir of the forties/fifties. There are no overlong paragraphs of description or repetition here, Viskic simply gets on with the job of telling her story in an economical and enthralling manner which pulses the narrative along at an alarming rate. Those pages flew by as I careened through this novel like an out of control car. Caleb Zelic is a wonderful character who is frustrated with being inside a silent world. Frustrated when people don’t talk properly, or in some cases over pronounce their words. This leads Caleb to be an onlooker rather than a participant in life which can lead to situations where he holds back his emotions, especially with his ex, Kat. Viskic hits the perfect note with Caleb and Kat, showing two people who are estranged and yet still in love with each other which lends a deeply personal touch to her story, bringing her characters to life – a talent Viskic has in spades, making the people in her novel leap off the page fully formed. There is a bitter sweet twist towards the end of this book which knocked me off my feet, it was so unexpected. By the time I closed Viskic’s book, I felt as exhausted as Caleb, having felt I’d run a marathon in my head. Viskic’s novel is the reason why I love reviewing. It is wonderful to discover a book that captures your imagination and enraptures you within the first few pages. It is no wonder this has already won five awards. I bet there will be a few more added to that total by the time ‘Resurrection Bay’ has gone global. This is a truly gripping debut which feels as though written by a seasoned writer. Mesmerising.

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