Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic #AWW17

The New Edition cover with it's lovely gold hardware

Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside – watching, picking up tell-tale 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’ won the Ned Kelly Best Debut and a trifecta of Davitt Awards in 2016. When you read it you can understand why.

It is a fast moving tale that gives Peter Temple a run for his money. The hero, Caleb Zelic, is a powerful addition to the genre. He was profoundly deaf since early childhood, but rather than that being the focus of his being it is used as another attribute and textually as a professional strength allowing him to watch and pick up the multiple signs people hide in a smile, a cough, or a kiss. It is a celebration of difference as strength not weakness important in today's Australia of the great homogeneity and the oppression of difference whether it be denying Marriage Equality for as long as humanly possible, vilifying refugees, or the strange desire to increase racism and discrimination through getting rid of 18C. In relation the narrative thread concerning Caleb's partner and her indigenous family is groundbreaking and to be celebrated. In Australia in 2017 we need much more diversity and many more different voices, not less.

Like J.M Peace’s ‘A Time To Run’, Emma Viskic's Caleb Zelic gives Australian crime writing a distinctive and strong central character readers can root for. Other great additions to this genre in 2016 are ‘Ghost Girls’ by Cath Ferla and ‘Bad Blood’ by Gary Kemble.

The exciting news is Viskic's next Caleb novel should be on bookshelves in August / September 2017.

Resurrection Bay will be released in the UK and the US soon.

by Sarah Ridout, Le Chateau, Echo Publishing 2016

Like I can Love by Kim Lock #AWW17

Like I can Love by Kim Lock

Pan Macmillan, 2016

Like I can Love - Cover Art:

The cover evokes the paper of the letters that make up one part of the two narratives. The red lettering like molten wax and the multilayered meaning of 'key' connected to the authors surname 'Lock'. All against the background of one of my favourite paintings.

On a hot January afternoon, Fairlie Winter receives a phone call. Her best friend has just taken her own life. Jenna Rudolph, 26 years old, has left behind a devoted husband, an adorable young son and a stunning vineyard. But Fairlie knows she should have seen this coming. Yet Fairlie doesn't know what Jenna's husband Ark is hiding, nor does she know what Jenna's mother Evelyn did to drive mother and daughter apart all those years ago. Until Fairlie opens her mail and finds a letter. In Jenna's handwriting. Along with a key. Driven to search for answers, Fairlie uncovers a horrifying past, a desperate mother, and a devastating secret kept by those she loves the most. Heartbreaking and terrifying, Like I Can Love explores love in all its forms - from the most fragile to the most dangerous - and the unthinkable things we do in its name.






On International Women's Day 2017: This is an important book taking a serious issue – the epidemic of domestic violence and murder of woman by their partners in Australia – and placing it in an accessible 'Domestic Noir' genre. It's another book I read last year that was so strong it hasn't left me. This is always a guide to good writing.

The story is told in two related narratives that intertwine and intersect cleverly.

Kim Lock masterfully reveals the insidious and unrelenting molding and destructive pressure applied by husband, Ark on the heroine, Jenna. In doing so Lock skilfully widens the lens for her audience, broadening the scope of the issue and its breadth in Australia, how it effects all walks of life, rural and city folk, alike. That while it involves, rape and abuse, it often digs deeper than surface bruises and can use mental, psychological, and financial warfare to entrap a person.

There is beautiful language and imagery combined with a gritty earthy reality connected to the land and the rural life.

With all that said 'Like I Can Love' is foremost a tightly plotted, artfully constructed narrative with great, complicated characters and a evocative South Australian Wine Country setting that should appeal to an international audience.

'Like I can Love' is about to be released in the UK and Germany. 'The Good Mother' is the novel's international title. I encourage people to read it from a great new voice on the Australian writing scene. I can't wait to read Kim's new book when it is released.

by Sarah Ridout, Le Chateau, Echo Publishing 2016