Tag: Resurrection Bay

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To Reread

Today’s challenge from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, is books we might want to reread. Which is funny, because this January it’s #VintageSciFi month and I was planning on delving into my somewhat extensive library and digging out a few sci-fi books to reread. But when it comes to murder-mysteries or thrillers? Hmm, I don’t know about you, but my wish list is as long as now until eternity so there’s not much chance of me actually rereading anything any time soon.

That said, I can tell you about 10 books I would love to have time to reread, and those include in no particular order:

  • BURY YOUR DEAD by Louise Penny — yes, I know, another Louise Penny, but hey, she’s one of my favourite authors. And I love this one not because it’s a riveting story, but because it is set here, in the beautiful city where I live: Québec City. And, it was the first Louise Penny book I ever read.
  • COLD STORAGE by David Koepp — this one will be one of those books I would enjoy rereading because of the characters, the situation with an outstandingly creepy opening, and one of the best throw away lines I’ve ever read in a book, “the deer just took the lift!” Very funny.
  • DEJA DEAD by Kathy Reichs — this was the first book by Kathy Reichs that I ever read, way back when, and started me reading her series. Back then the books were thicker, had more story depth, and had a whole other Temperance Brennan than emerges in later books. Back at the beginning she was still fighting her alcohol addiction, and was much more of an interesting character.
  • DEEP DOWN DEAD by Steph Broadribb — another great series by another talented author, writing about a female bounty hunter with plenty of grit, this is the book that started it all rolling. Like burnt rubber on the asphalt, this one leave the adrenaline pumping.
  • THE DEFENCE by Steve Cavanagh — still my favourite and the first Eddie Flynn and, I believe, the first book by Steve Cavanagh. This one, like most of Cavanagh’s Eddie Flynn series, is packed with clever twists, action, and devious villains. This one is fun, fast and will always have a small space on my nightstand.
  • THE DIME by Kathleen Kent — another first novel in a series that caught my attention because of a kick ass female detective, and a twisty, clever plot that grabbed me from the get go. Another well-written book that’s a fast, pounding read.
  • THE DRY by Jane Harper — not really a full-on series yet, nonetheless, THE DRY kicked off Harper’s rise to fame and if you read this one you will see why. Her writing, setting, sense of place and characters make for an outstanding read. So hot it made my skin blister!
  • RESURRECTION BAY by Emma Viskic — like all of the above this is one I can read and read again because the author has crafted such a great character and put him in such a unique setting, that I read this one in just a couple of sittings. Another thorough well written series that needs shouting out about.
  • THE MISSING INFORMANT by Anders de la Motte — written by a Swedish ex-jurno, set in Sweden, featuring another super flawed but absorbing character delving into a very clever mystery that starts with a dead man, and then? Spirals into a huge cover-up and conspiracy with such a clever and twisted ending you will never see it coming.
  • A GRAVE TALENT by Laurie R. King — the first in the Kate Martinelli series from another skilled author with a talent for clever plots, artful mis-direction, and a character you are drawn too.

So there you have it, ten excellent reads that stayed with me long afterwards so much so I’m happy to say I would reread them in a heartbeat. And you? What books would we find on your list? Leave a comment and a link so we can find you.

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Reads

5 Well-Executed Murder-Mysteries

Everybody who reads murder-mysteries probably has their favourite books as well as their favourite go-to authors. Well, for this last week leading up to Halloween, I want to share with you 5 of my favourites—yes, I know it’s supposed to be Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m sure That Artsy Reader Girl will forgive me my transgression here

THE ART OF DETECTION by Laurie R. King — The last book in the Kate Martinelli series, this one was a fun read because King has Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, on the trail of a killer who may have trained with the greatest detective of them all, Sherlock, yes … Sherlock Holmes!

“Kate Martinelli has seen her share of peculiar things as a San Francisco cop, but never anything quite like this: an ornate Victorian sitting room straight out of a Sherlock Holmes story–complete with violin, tobacco-filled Persian slipper, and gunshots in the wallpaper that spell out the initials of the late queen.

Philip Gilbert was a true Holmes fanatic, from his antiquated décor to his vintage wardrobe. And no mere fan of fiction’s great detective, but a leading expert with a collection of priceless memorabilia that some would kill for.

And perhaps someone did: In his collection is a century-old manuscript purportedly written by Holmes himself–a manuscript that eerily echoes details of Gilbert’s own murder.”

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny — One of my all-time favourite authors, Penny is into her sixteenth or is that, seventeenth Three Pines story featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of the Sûreté du Québec. In The Nature of the Beast, Gamache and his wife, Reine Marie, are now living in the not so quiet village of Three Pines when a terrible tragedy occurs.

“Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn’t cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. But when the boy disappears the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true. And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.”

RESURRECTION BAY by Emma Viskic — The Caleb Zelic series has been one of the best series I’ve come across in a long while. Viskic’s Caleb Zelic is no ordinary investigator, and not your usual character, he’s deaf. But it’s not just Viskic’s unusual character that make this an outstanding series, but her writing style that utterly compliments her character’s disability. Sharp, jagged, and brilliantly written, you cannot go wrong joining Caleb as he solves a series of murders in his own, stubborn, unique way.

“Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside—watching, picking up telltale 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.”

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS by Barbara Nickless — This is book one in another new series I just recently discovered and, fell in love with. The writing in this debut is outstanding, as is the plotting, characters, and the murder-mystery it self. All so well written and thought through that I’ve already bought books 2 and 3 in the series.

“A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim’s fiancé, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can’t shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.

In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde―both haunted by their time in Iraq―descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and a series of shocking crimes. Crimes that threaten everything Parnell holds dear. As the search for the truth puts her directly in the path of the killer, Parnell must struggle with a deadly question: Can she fight monsters without becoming one herself?”

CRITICAL MASS by Sara Paretsky — Sara Paretsky has been writing the V. I. Warshawski series for a while now, and each and every murder that Vic finds herself caught up in is always a nail-biting read. What I loved about Critical Mass in particular is Paretsky has twin timelines on the go. One in which Vic finds herself drawn into a series of secrets and lie stretching all the way back to the Second World War. Which is where the second timeline is set—a heartbreaking thread set in Nazi war-torn Austria.

“V.I. Warshawski’s closest friend in Chicago is the Viennese-born doctor Lotty Herschel, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust. Lotty escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder. As young women, the two both moved on to Chicago, where they find that a shared past isn’t enough to make them friends. They lead separate lives, but when Kitty’s daughter finds her life is in danger, the younger woman calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V.I. to help. The daughter’s troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of lies, secrets, and silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition among America, Germany, Japan and England to develop the first atomic bomb. The secrets are old, but the people who continue to guard them today will not let go of them without a fight.”

And you, what are some of your current favourites?

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

Book Summary

Caleb Zelic can’t hear you. But he sees everything.

His childhood friend has been brutally murdered—fingers broken, throat slit—at his home in Melbourne. Tortured by guilt, Caleb vows to track down the killer. But he’s profoundly deaf; missed words and misread lips can lead to confusion, and trouble.

Fortunately, Caleb knows how to read people; a sideways glance, an unconvincing smile, speaks volumes. When his friend Frankie, a former cop, offers to help, they soon discover the killer is on their tail

Sensing that his ex-wife may also be in danger, Caleb insists they return to their hometown of Resurrection Bay. But here he learns that everyone—including his murdered friend—is hiding something. And the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets…

What I Thought

First of all, let me just begin by saying this debut novel by Aussie author, Emma Viskic, is outstanding. Truly a remarkable novel on just about every level. It’s not long, at just 280 pages, so I read this in one frantic, page-turning day! 

Let’s start with the well crafted, well delineated characters. I love Caleb Zelic who narrates the story. He’s such a great down-to-earth character, feisty and oh so different from the usual MC in that he just happens to be deaf. This makes for a wholly unique POV both in the visuals and descriptions, and more, the dialogue. 

Choppy and jarring, we see the world how Caleb hears it. With broken sentences that obviously make for a few comic and laugh out loud moments. And, of course, because of this handicap, we feel every ounce of Caleb’s frustration. His determination to not to give in, stubborn to the last. Which inevitably causes clashes with both his work partner, Frankie—who, by the way, is another excellently flawed character—and his ex-wife, Kat. It’s only when we learn why Kat and Caleb spilt that we understand the weight of emotions involved. 

This thread of the plot is wonderfully written. The tug and pull between the two characters are at the heart of Caleb’s state of mind. And provide a lot of the backstory to Caleb. And I love Kat as a character too, along with her family, of whom I’m sure, we’ll see a lot more of. I especially want more of Kat’s mother, Maria!

And then there’s Frankie—Caleb’s 57 year-old, ex-cop partner and on the wagon drunk—with an acerbic wit who’s a great counterbalance to Caleb. Throw in a clutch of secondary characters that were so well written, I felt like I knew them. And Viskic has assembled the perfect cast for this taught, tense mystery full of twists and turns I was caught out several times.

The plotting is superb, as we follow Caleb and Frankie trying to figure out why Caleb’s friend, Gary, has been murdered while investigating a fraud case. What on the surface seems straightforward enough, becomes a deadly race against time, as one by one, people close to the case begin turning up dead. 

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Resurrection Bay and the almost, at times, poetic descriptions Viskic writes:

“. . . she was a study in tones: her skin a smooth wash of burnt umber, sienna touches to her hair, the unexpected flash of blue eyes. The genes from all her Koori ancestors distilled to a heady perfection.”

There are moments of heart-pounding terror, as seen through Caleb’s eyes, to moments of joy and heartbreak with ex-wife, Kat. And some very funny moments with Frankie, that keep this one light and entertaining, counterbalancing the moments of off-camera violence when the heavies start to slice-and-dice people. And then, there’s an ending I never saw coming, as Viskic throws in a cleverly disguised curve-ball that threw me for a loop.

This is an amazing debut, with believable characters, brisk pacing and plotting that might make your head turn in the wrong direction. Hang on for the ride. Now, I can’t wait to read the second in the series, And Fire Came Down.

RESURRECTION BAY
Emma Viskic
Pushkin Press
9781782273622
Crime Fiction