And Fire Came Down, Emma Viskic

Reviewed By
Gordon Duncan

“…last night’s dreams had slipped into waking hours again, plucking at his thoughts with their blood-stained fingers.”

With her first novel, Resurrection Bay, Emma Viskic not only announced herself as a novelist to watch she also created a lead character in Caleb Zelic who you hoped could be sustained through a series of novels. That hope does however place a weight of expectation on subsequent novels and when I sat down to read And Fire Came Down, the second Caleb Zelic novel, I wondered if it would carry that expectation? I certainly think it does, and then some.

Firstly, Caleb Zelic is not only an excellent character, he is for many reasons not a particularly likeable one. He is prone to causing ‘train wrecks’ and it is often those closest to him who are injured, either physically or emotionally. He is also not a patient person and although some of this is due to his deafness, he has reckless determination to find answers whatever the cost doesn’t always endear him a character. He is not however a boring character and the same can be said for many of the supporting characters. Novels can sometimes have so much invested in the main character that the other characters are dull and lifeless, this is definitely not the case with And Fire Came Down. The story line is also very good and there are times when it moves at a cracking pace and, I think more importantly, there are also times when the story is slowed down allowing it and the reader time to breathe. 

In conclusion And Fire Came Down is an excellent follow-up to Resurrection Bay and I’m looking forward to the next Emma Viskic novel with an eager anticipation.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Deaf since early childhood, Caleb Zelic is used to meeting life head-on. Now, he’s struggling just to get through the day. His best mate is dead, his ex-wife, Kat, is avoiding him, and nightmares haunt his waking hours.

But when a young woman is killed, after pleading for his help in sign language, Caleb is determined to find out who she was. The trail leads Caleb back to his hometown, Resurrection Bay. The town is on bushfire alert, and simmering with racial tensions. As Caleb delves deeper, he uncovers secrets that could ruin any chance of reuniting with Kat, and even threaten his life. Driven by his own demons, he pushes on. But who is he willing to sacrifice along the way?

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