Author: Emma Viskic
Publisher: Echo Publishing
Category: Crime/Melbourne Noir
Reviewed by: Sarah Jackson
Engaging, fast-moving, gripping
Caleb Zelic is on a mission to get his life back on track. He is re-establishing his private investigations practice after the sudden departure of his business associate Frankie. He is attempting to repair his relationship with his pregnant wife, Kat, and is in therapy to try to manage his less favourable obsessive-compulsive personality traits. He has bought himself a super new blue-tooth hearing aid and is reconnecting with his friends in the Deaf Community. But most importantly, he is striving to think before he acts and make only good decisions. It’s all going swimmingly until he decides to take on a new case.
Having received a number of cryptic emails, Caleb arranges to meet the new client at the Collingwood Children’s Farm. When he stumbles upon the man’s body, he becomes entangles in the Federal and Local police investigations into the murder and related money laundering venture. Caleb is about to walk away from the mess when it becomes apparent that his former partner, Frankie, and her equally difficult sister, Maggie are heavily involved with the case. The violent abduction of Tilda, Frankie’s nine-year-old niece, thrusts Caleb firmly into the picture.
Caleb Zelic is a wonderfully flawed character, who manages to simultaneously infuriate and endear himself to you, with his believable flaws and innate kindness. His estranged wife Kat, and extended family of charming individuals are a real treat; as are the less endearing figures of Frankie and her associates. Viskic describes Melbourne’s inner city with pinpoint accuracy. You can feel the crisp cold air, see the dark, lonely alleys, and experience Caleb’s almost soundless world as easily as if you were there yourself. The plot builds smoothly, with many jagged edges, engaging sub plots, with juicy twist and turns. The chapters are short grabs, making it easy to read and hard to put down.
“Darkness for Light” is the third instalment in the Caleb Zelic series. It reads as a stand-alone novel, but I must admit that if I wasn’t reading this book for the purpose of review, I would have immediately put it down and sourced the first two. It’s not that I needed to, but rather because I wanted the whole story immediately.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and loved pretty much everything about it. If you enjoy the works of Peter Temple, Garry Disher and Karina Kilmore, you will love “Darkness for Light” by Emma Viskic.
I received a free copy of this book through Sisters in Crime – Australia, in exchange for a fair and honest review.