Strong and satisfying debut crime novel from a local writer who clearly has a good career ahead.

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 1.34.23 PMAs good crime books do, Resurection Bay opens with a bloody, violent murder. Our hero, Caleb Zelic, is covered in blood, cradling his dead best mate Gary in his arms.

The clues that Caleb is a hero with a twist come quickly. The desperate pre-murder call for his help came by text, which puzzles investigating police – if it was that urgent, why didn’t the victim call him? – but it’s completely understandable when we realise Caleb is deaf.

It’s a relevant fact that provides an interesting shape to the way he investigates and the way he acts, without ever unduly dominating what is a smart, fast-paced, local crime story.

As Caleb starts to look into what happened, he realises the work Gary was doing for his corporate security company may have been the cause. With his business partner, ex-cop Frankie, they look deeper into something that becomes more dangerous with every question they ask.

Eventually forced to flee Melbourne to hide out at his ex-wife’s place, he discovers that the threads of childhood connections have become tangled in the mess.

This is highly enjoyable debut novel from Melbourne-based Viskic, who has won a couple of major local crime story story awards, including a Ned Kelly. Caleb looks set for – and deserves – a series.

Corinna Hente

Book published in September 2015. This review first appeared in the Herald Sun’s Weekend magazine.