Those Who Perish

Emma Viskic. Pushkin Vertigo, $14.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-78227-632-6

In Viskic’s superb fourth mystery featuring deaf Australian PI Caleb Zelic (after 2019’s Darkness for Light), Zelic has pulled his life together after multiple traumas, including a devastating personal betrayal. Now, he and his wife, Kat, are hoping their latest pregnancy will be the first successful one. Then he gets an anonymous text that his younger brother, Anton, who has struggled for years with substance abuse and hasn’t been in touch with Zelic for weeks, is in danger. When Zelic arrives at the location the message directs him to on the outskirts of Resurrection Bay, he finds Anton the target of an unseen sniper. The brothers manage to escape, only to remain under threat from a foe targeting the rehab clinic Anton has been attending. Zelic ends up with multiple murders to solve and as a suspect himself. The author’s remarkable gift for enabling hearing readers to imagine Zelic’s often silent or inaudible world lifts this above the pack. This impressive page-turner enables even newcomers to feel an immediate affinity with Viskic’s flawed lead, who repeatedly makes serious mistakes in his most important relationships, as well in his investigation. (July)
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