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Publisher's Summary

It's September 1957, two days before the VFL grand final, and Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, former bomber pilot and ex-POW, finally has some time off. But there's no rest for Charlie, a decent but damaged man still troubled by his wartime experiences. A recently widowed friend asks a favour and he's dropped into something a hell of a lot bigger than he bargained for when he discovers a Melbourne funeral parlour has been burying bodies with parts missing. A Hungarian émigré hearse driver points Berlin in the right direction but it quickly becomes obvious anyone asking the wrong questions is in real danger. With his offsider beaten and left for dead, witnesses warned off, Special Branch on his case, and people he doesn't know watching his every move, Berlin realises even his young family may be in danger.

His pursuit of the truth leads him to Blackwattle Creek, once an asylum for the criminally insane and now a foreboding home to even darker evils. And if Berlin thought government machinations during World War II were devious, those of the Cold War leave them for dead.

Richly evocative of the period, Blackwattle Creek is a rattling good tale with a dry wit and a sobering core.

©2012 Geoffrey McGeachin (P)2012 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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super noir

this selection of books by Geoffrey McGeachin are excellent noir detective tales. evocative of the era. well drawn characters. interesting stories. give us more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Is anything as it appears? A Cold War mystery.

This is a pretty good mystery, although the plot seems to stretch credibility at times. The story is well-told, although, even as police procedural, it unfolded more slowly than I would have liked. The action takes place in Australia during the days of H-bomb testing and hysteria about the spread of communism (as if it were a virus.) I liked the way the craziness was brought down to a personal level. The parallels between the Nazis and Detective Sergeant Berlin's antagonists are all too obvious. Nevertheless, I wonder whether zealots ever had as much influence over Western governments at this story suggests. In any case, whether by design or by luck, the world has somehow managed to survive another 60 years.

I found the reader, Peter Hoskings, to be very good and easy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathleen
  • Minneapolis, MN, USA
  • 08-26-12

Australia. A Charlie Berlin thriller.

It's September 1957, two days before the VFL grand final, and Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, former bomber pilot and ex-POW, finally has some time
off. But there's no rest for Charlie, a decent but damaged man still troubled by his wartime experiences. A recently widowed friend asks a favour and he's
dropped into something a hell of a lot bigger than he bargained for when he discovers a Melbourne funeral parlour has been burying bodies with parts missing.
A Hungarian émigré hearse driver points Berlin in the right direction but it quickly becomes obvious anyone asking the wrong questions is in real danger.
With his offsider beaten and left for dead, witnesses warned off, Special Branch on his case, and people he doesn't know watching his every move, Berlin
realises even his young family may be in danger. His pursuit of the truth leads him to Blackwattle Creek, once an asylum for the criminally insane and
now a foreboding home to even darker evils. And if Berlin thought government machinations during World War II were devious, those of the Cold War leave
them for dead. Richly evocative of the period, Blackwattle Creek is a rattling good tale with a dry wit and a sobering core. Peter Hosking reads this book in an easy manner, too slow for me, but still in a very story-telling fashion that works.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Enough with "broken", ineffective cops!

I'm a combat veteran and disaster mental health specialist so I'm familiar with the effects of wartime trauma. I'm supportive of and sympathetic to the plight of those affected by trauma. BUT.....the idea that Australia, (or any other country) might have policemen carrying the rank of detective inspector running around in such a confused state of mind is terrifying. DI Berlin's nearly complete isolation from other policemen, his apparent confusion about rather straightforward clues and his inability to be prepared to carry out his duties makes this a story moved forward by mistake and incompetence rather than a well thought out plot. Furthermore, dialogue is written in a manner that annoys not only DI Berlin but the reader as well. I had to fast forward through much of the story to get to a totally improbable and unsatisfying conclusion.

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loved it...

very entertaining and always unpredictable....just loved every minute of it..love the narrator ..very well done

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