Darkness For Light, Emma Viskic

Reviewed By
Gordon Duncan

‘He slowed as he took the bend, then sped up and pulled into the kerb. Door half-open, eyes on the mirror. The black sedan rounded the corner. It drew nearer, headlights off, the driver a hazy silhouette. Closer, nearly level. Passing. It kept going, the brakelights flashing once as it reached the next bend, then it was gone. He breathed again. Just someone taking the same traffic-avoiding route across town. Nothing to do with him, or a dead man with his face shot off.’ 


Caleb Zelic returns in Emma Viskic’s third novel Darkness For Light. It’s now a few months since fire ravaged end of And Fire Came Down and Caleb is slowly putting his life and his business back together. He’s seeing a therapist, his ex-wife Kat is speaking to him, his ex-partner Frankie is nowhere to be seen and he’s re-connected with the deaf community. ‘Make good decisions’ would appear to be his new mantra, but this is Caleb and bad decisions are never too far away. 


When a prospective client he was due to meet is murdered and Frankie’s niece Tilda is kidnapped, Caleb is not only drawn back into a world he doesn’t want to be a part of, he must also join up again with Frankie and that’s definitely not a good decision. To make matters worse Frankie has a file which everyone seems to want, and Caleb is being blackmailed into handing over Frankie or the file. Caleb however is only interested in saving Tilda and if he’s lucky, he may just redeem himself as well. 


Caleb Zelic is a great character and Emma Viskic vividly brings him to life. At the recent launch of Darkness For Light Emma spoke about a question which was asked during the recent book tour of the United States she undertook with Sulari Gentill, Jock Serong and Robert Gott. They were asked about the difference between American and Australian readers. The consensus was that Australians love the underdog, or the loser as Emma put it. Although I wouldn’t go so far as to describe him as a loser, I would say that Caleb Zelic is a man who spends his life constantly tripping over his own good intentions. Now that’s something we can all relate to.   

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After a lifetime of bad decisions troubled PI Caleb Zelic is finally making good ones. He's in therapy, reconnecting with the Deaf community, and reconciling with his beloved wife.

But he can’t escape his past.

A violent confrontation forces Caleb back into contact with his double-crossing partner, Frankie. When her niece is kidnapped, Frankie and Caleb must work together to save the child’s life. But their efforts will risk everything, including their own lives.

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