BOOK CLUB: Darkness for Light

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By Emma Viskic
ISBN: 9781760685812

If Darkness For Light is your first introduction to the exciting life and exploits of Australian Private investigator Caleb Zelic, or if you have been following the award-winning series by Emma Viskic, the third instalment Darkness For Light will not disappoint. As a stand-alone novel, you will find that Viskic weaves snippets of Caleb’s past history into his current life so that the reader is not left wondering about the backstory. 

We quickly come to know that Caleb Zelic has made some “bad decisions” in the past and, as the outcome of therapy sessions, he has resolved to “only make good decisions” This becomes the constant moral reference point throughout the story as Caleb is confronted by a series of love, friendship, loyalty, duty and guilt issues both in his personal life and when he enters a violent and devious criminal network. 

Caleb has certain unique challenges when dealing with the violent criminals he encounters. Being deaf, Caleb has developed strong communication skills which require hearing aids, Auslan and reading of lips and body language to gain an accurate interpretation of the other’s words and meaning.

As you can imagine, this often presents challenges to Caleb when fighting for his life or trying to understand the messages the violent criminals are shouting from behind. Misreading lips or missing a few words causes Caleb some confusion but, with the skill of reading people’s body language and visual accuracy, he does somehow navigate his way through the underworld of thugs, betrayal and violence. 

Caleb is fortunately not a superhero with unrealistic qualities. Instead, Viskic has adeptly portrayed Caleb as an endearing, yet flawed human being who makes mistakes and takes responsibility for them. He is a man we can admire for his ability to communicate successfully in a world outside the safe haven of his deaf community. Deafness does not define this man, it gives a different perspective on dealing with events and the people he meets. 

There is a strong element of emotional confusion for Caleb when dealing with his closest female characters, his pregnant beautiful and independent Kat, his disgraced former partner Frankie and her kidnapped young niece. Once again Viskic has humanised the hero of the story so that he becomes endearing and soft hearted in a world of violence and intrigue. 

Overall Darkness For Light is a very worthwhile read which not only offers a fast-paced crime thriller storyline but also provides an in-depth insight into the main characters, their personal challenges, emotional states and moral dilemmas. In addition, Viskic’s research and representation of the challenges of the deaf community is to be applauded. 

If you are reading Darkness For Light as a stand alone book be assured that the satisfying ending is not a cliffhanger, but it does have subtle tones of an opening for another instalment. Lets hope Emma Viskic is currently writing a new Caleb Zelic thriller. 

Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review this amazing crime thriller.

2 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Darkness for Light

  1. Wow I loved this book! I didn’t realise until I was halfway through it that thus was the third instalment, but that made it great too as you could still easily follow along without having read the other books.
    I was hooked from the start, the chapters weren’t crazy long so you could put the book down if you needed too, relationships were well developed, but there was nothing predictable about the ride I was on! There were wonderful twists and turns that kept me guessing right to the end, and I loved every minute of it!
    Would definitely recommend, and will certainly be looking for the first two books as well!

  2. “Darkness for Light” is the third novel in the Caleb Zelic series, written by Emma Viskic. I greatly enjoyed reading the first two novels, “Resurrection Bay” and “And Fire Came Down”, and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to return to the world of Caleb Zelic again. In this novel, Zelic is endeavouring to keep his life on track and move on from events of the past, but he again finds himself forced to confront his demons and put his life on the line to protect others. Zelic’s situation is complicated by the fact that he is deaf, an aspect of the book which Viskic skilfully and sensitively portrays. Viskic’s strength lies in her ability to create characters with depth, who may be deeply flawed but also reflect the human condition and spirit. Viskic has also mastered the art of vividly describing events, so that I felt as though I was watching a movie at times. While this novel is part of a series, it also can be read as a stand-alone. My one regret is that it had been quite some time since I had read the first two novels, such that I found myself wanting to go back and re-visit scenes in detail to refresh my memory whenever Viskic referenced events from the earlier books. I would have preferred either to have read the three books in close succession or to have read the third novel purely as a stand-alone. This personal preference obviously does not detract from the quality of “Darkness for Light” though. As expected, this book delivered a gripping story, with fast-paced and thrilling action and three-dimensional characters. I am grateful for the opportunity to have read this book and am hopeful that we will see another Caleb Zelic novel soon.

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