After World War II, young police detective Charlie Berlin fights off post-traumatic stress disorder. While on a murder investigation, he stops at the Diggers Rest Hotel. The body of a young girl appears in the back alley, and Berlin must tear apart this small-town world to get to the bottom of this heinous crime. Australian actor Peter Byrne embodies this tough but self-doubting detective. His serious tone suits postwar Australian themes. Fans of this engaging audiobook will be glad to know that it is the first of the Charlie Berlin mysteries.
In 1947, two years after witnessing the death of a young Jewish woman in Poland, Charlie Berlin has rejoined the police force a different man. Sent to investigate a spate of robberies in rural Victoria, he soon discovers that World War II has changed even the most ordinary of places and people. When Berlin travels to Albury-Wodonga to track down the gang behind the robberies, he suspects he's a problem cop being set up to fail.
Taking a room at the Diggers Rest Hotel in Wodonga, he sets about solving a case that no one else can – with the help of feisty, ambitious journalist Rebecca Green and rookie constable Rob Roberts, the only cop in town he can trust. Then the decapitated body of a young girl turns up in a back alley, and Berlin's investigations lead him ever further through layers of small-town fears, secrets and despair.The first Charlie Berlin mystery takes us into a world of secret alliances and loyalties – and a society dealing with the effects of a war that changed men forever.
©2010 Geoffrey McGeachin (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Geoffrey McGeachin won the Ned Kelly award for this story.
I found the story of a pilot from WW11 returning to the Victorian Police Force interesting.
The story line is different, could it be original?
Just how Charlie Berlin trod the line as a policeman from Melbourne investigating a series of crimes, and, could engage the respect and interest of some of the townspeople and still get his job done was very well portrayed.
This is not a fast and furious romp like McGeachin's earlier stories. The humour is there though, coming as far more natural, where most people know most things about most people in the town. The book. while not a comedy does explore Berlin re entering life. He gets the job done too.
I expect this story to linger in my mind for a long time and well worth a second listen.
Back to the old days
Narrator does a good job with the story and it potrays life in country Victoria and the laid back Australian way
A few twists and turns along the way to the plot and the story itself makes for a great listen
Charlie - down to earth, common sense and willing to take people as he sees them
Yes - but with over 8 hours a good listen when commuting
Excellent! This novel is set in a rural area of Australia just after WWII. Charlie Berlin was the bomber pilot who is shot down and sent to a concentration camp in Poland. Eventually he returns to his job as a detective. He has terrible nightmares and daymares, but he perseveres in his investigation first of bank robberies and then of a murder. The cast of characters is great, the sense of place is great and the plot interesting. The narrator has a distinctive voice for each major character and does an excellent job. Well worth your reading/listening time.
As a fan of the Inspector Ian Rutledge series by Charles Todd- I was hoping to find something similar here in McGeachin's work. The elements seemed to be there, detective after a great war (this one set after WWII, instead of Todd's books, which are set after WWI), Detective Berlin even seems to have a touch of PTSD as does Todd's Rutledge. But there is where the similarities ended.
The mysteries here weren't hard to figure out. They were pretty straight forward, actually. I found myself waiting for the lightbulb to flash in Berlin's head far too early in the book. When everything did finally come together for DC Berlin, it was done so anti-climatically I couldn't summon the energy to care.
The book had potential, but I felt like the author spent too much time focusing on irrelevant things to make the story grab me in any significant way. McGeachin really, really wants you to know that the people of Australia were extremely racist. This is interesting, but it was frustrating that it seemed to be the actual focus of the book. That would have been fine if the book had been described as a study into the racist minds of Australian people. But it's not, it's described as a detective novel.
I just expected more, you know, detecting.
I listened for about 2 hours before requesting a return so I feel I gave it a fair shot. This story just didn't grip me. Also, the narrator doesn't come across as a storyteller, more like a movie announcer. He was good, just not the right fit for this story in my opinion.
I'm not normally a fan of stories heavily focused on war - and the memories of WW 2 are essential to this story and the characters. But the story was intriguing and well-told and the narration was outstanding. I'll definitely read more in this series. Great characters and something a bit different from all the routine mysteries out there - well worth a listen!
This is the first book by Geofrey McGeachin my husband and I have listened to. He gives gives a real sense of time and place to the story. The beginning of the story takes a little while to get going because of it. In my opinion it is time well spent. Inspector Berlin becomes a real person we come to care about. The plot moves along with interesting characters filling out the roles. There is lots of dialog and we enjoyed the humorous exchanges. The reader did a great job setting just the right tone.
i would listen to this again, even though I already know how it ends.
the different twists in the story line kept me guessing almost all the way to the end.
the different tone in his voice added to the story, I get tired of hearing myself talk. It's nice to hear someone else.
bandits in a small town, where will they hit next.
It was a good mystery, a great historical and a fine read. I felt like the author did a ton of research but didn't shovel it down our throats--only let the it shine through with the details, making the book's world vivid (and grim). I'm going to find the rest in the series. The only criticism I have is that dialogue uses names too often as in "Hello, DC Berlin" and that's not how people talk.
Some pronunciations were odd, and I wonder if it's Australian vs US (and British)
"This dreasdful narrator ruined a good story!"
NOT AT ALL, bring back Peter Hoskings! It is painful to listen to - like he is reading a shopping list. Had to stop and read actual book, ruined it for us.
Character is great, facts about Melbourne back then.
Just find someone who has a better reading voice. Someone who cares. Peter Hoskings!
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