by Emma Viskic
Penguin Random House/Pushkin Vertigo
Genre: Mystery / Crime
Resurrection Bay is a mystery with a very unique characteristic for its main hero.
The book opens on a crime scene, the paramedics finding Gary dead in the arms of Caleb. What’s special is that the hero Caleb, victim or culprit, working in corporate security and doing himself investigation with Frankie, an ex-cop, is deaf. And that adds lots of interesting elements to the story.
Another unusual character, Franki’s mother, is the first Koori doctor in Australia. In these days when we look more closely at diversity in fiction, this counts.
Caleb tries to explain that Gary was helping him in an insurance case, after robberies in big warehouses, but the cops think there’s something much more shady behind the whole thing, and that Caleb is not as innocent as he wants to look.
Caleb then has no choice but lead his own investigation, with his extra challenge of his hearing issue and Frankie who’s drunk more often than she should. As he goes ahead, dangers multiply from all sides, friends and maybe even family. As for official investigators, can he trust them? Are they for real, or corrupt? Were there important things going on in Gary’s life that Caleb knew nothing about?
The challenge of deafness certainly added extra suspense in some struggle scenes. Especially in the dark, Caleb had to rely on all his other senses to defend himself.
The author knows a lot about deafness and even though I know nothing about the experience, it sounded very real. I thought it was a really unusual and courageous author’s choice for a hero.
Otherwise, the plot didn’t totally satisfy me, maybe because a lot of the characters are not a nice crowd, to say the least.
VERDICT: A very unusual hero in a suspenseful Australian mystery.
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