Resurrection Bay
PublisherPushkin Vertigo
Date Published05 April 2018
Price£ 8.99

Resurrection Bay

by Emma Viskic

When friend and employee Gary Marsden is found with his throat cut, Caleb Zelic, boss of PI firm Trust Works, is traumatised and desperate to find the man responsible.


Caleb Zelic receives a shout for help by text from his friend and employee Gary, saying that Scott is after him, but he arrives to find Gary already dead from his wounds. The police show up and push for answers, which Caleb is unable to provide. He knows no Scott, and no reason why Gary’s work for Caleb’s PI firm Trust Works, on matters of corporate security and fraud investigation, should have led to such a terrible outcome.
Caleb’s partner at Trust Works, ex-cop Frankie Reynolds, arrives to give solace, but no answers. The pair follow up on the case Gary had been working on, a series of robberies at premises guarded by City Sentry Security, by visiting Arnie, an employee of the firm. He shows signs of a recent assault, and Caleb is sure this has taken place in Arnie’s own home, although Arnie is afraid to talk. The boss, Sean, is equally unforthcoming.
Arriving back at his apartment, Caleb is set upon by two men who he dubs ‘boxer’ and ‘grey-face’.  He manages to escape, but is unable to contact Frankie and fears she has been abducted. In desperation, he calls on his ex-wife Kat and solicits her help. Kat is willing, but as the action moves from Melbourne to Cal and Kat’s home town of Resurrection Bay, Caleb realises that his foe is without mercy and that his friends and relatives are all at risk.
The primary point of interest in this tale is the protagonist, who is at the centre of events throughout, a man profoundly deaf since the age of five. Despite functioning sufficiently well to establish Trust Works he remains deeply ashamed of his disability, and responds with confusion and anger to the difficulty in communication that is his everyday experience. With those close to him, Caleb is able to talk by sign, and with others he is a skilled lip reader. When his aids are not working, however, he is vulnerable to loss of speech from interlocutors: if they do not face him or fail to enunciate clearly, he has to resort to guesswork.
Caleb’s unresolved issues with his deafness prove to be at the bottom of his estranged relationships with Kat and others; the events in the book mean he is forced to work through his problems both to solve the crime and to get himself sorted. For much of the book, his deafness is at the forefront of his experience, generating a sense of isolation, alienation and confusion. This enhances the impression of threat and even claustrophobia which would be faced by anyone in the circumstances, making for a gripping read.

Reviewed 14 April 2018 by Chris Roberts