Audiobooks The Diggers Rest HotelAuthor Geoffrey McGeachin –

A thoroughly entertaining audio version of the novel presented a range of interesting characters, a not too obvious plot and an unexpected but sensitively rendered air of pathos Although crime fiction is not usually my preferred genre this expertly delivered audio version by Peter Byrne was the perfect accompaniment on a recent road trip Outback and I look forward to meeting Charlie Berlin again in Black Wattle Creek. I have to admit that I started reading this novel with some trepidation Historical crime fiction has never been a favourite of mine I always found the genre a bit like Enid Blyton for grown ups, with lashings of sentimentality and moral fibre However, somewhere amongst the pages of this book I was turned This book became my very own time machine Each evening as I read, I was transported back to post war 1940s rural Australia.The two world wars had scarred Australia Rationing lead to thriftyness and the front bar drinking culture was in full force Small towns had secrets, graft, and alliances and a universal distrust of foreigners Amidst this backdrop, the Charlie Berlin literary character is introduced to us He too is scarred by the war, with the horror of being a fighter pilot and POW gently teased out of him throughout the novel Charlie is a complex character, and his vulnerability and self destructive streak coupled with obvious intelligence endear him almost immediately to the reader You are on board with Charlie A very private man, where only you, the reader, are privy to Charlie s inner pain.Following the war, Charlie Berlin re joins the police force, and is sent to rural Victoria to investigate a series of armed hold ups The plot thickens when a young Chinese girl is found dead and decapitated Charlie s crime solving meanders along as he bumbles around the countryside with his assigned local sidekick, rookie constable Rob Roberts and the ambitious and beautiful journalist Rebecca Green Seemingly inocuous visits to various crime scenes, ultimately lead Charlie to piece together the puzzle, and solve the crimes.Overall a wonderfully researched historical crime fiction novel The mood of the time was fully captured There was no rose coloured reminiscing involved People made mistakes Men drank, fought and had drug addictions Police were corrupt, women flirted and teenage girls became pregnant.I feel Geoffrey McGeachin has hit a winner with Charlie Berlin A complex and enigmatic lead character, a captivating plot and as a sideline, a wonderfully enjoyable social commentary of Australia in the late 1940s I can t wait for the next installment so that I can travel back in my time machine and rejoin Charlie Berlin for a frothy in another rustic Australian front bar It s my shout Charlie In , 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 PeopleAn Ex Bomber Pilot And Former POW, Berlin Is Struggling To Fit Back In Grappling With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, The Ghosts Of His Dead Crew And His Futile Attempts To Numb The PainWhen 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 TrustThen 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 DespairThe 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 The Diggers Rest HotelI thought the story was a bit slow to start and worried that it was going to be hard work, then it started to pick up pace and I began to enjoy the way it was unfolding Given that it is the first book in a new series I figured it was laying the necessary groundwork and setting up character profiles for the follow on books.Set in post WW2 Australia, in country, Albury Wodonga 1947.DC Charlie Berlin is a likable character but a bit emotionally damaged from his recent war service in Europe as an enlisted man with the RAAF, where he flew many successive and successful flights as a bomber pilot over Germany, finally ending up being shot down and captured as a POW.After returning from his war service Charlie thought he would pick up his career with the Police Force in Melbourne where he was working prior to his enlistment He finds however that during his absence he has been left behind in the claim for career advancement and that his then, junior colleagues now outrank him.which grates a bit, and puts him in the target range for in house jokes and directives to take on theunpopular jobs.Such are the circumstances that find Charlie DC Berlin on a hastily organized private flight to Albury, to take charge of an investigation into a series of robberies which have left the local cops out of their depths.After arriving in town Charlie is picked up at the plane by his appointed assistant and driver, constable Bob Roberts, who takes him to his accommodation at The Digger s Rest Hotel in the heart of town.Things start to pick up now as Charlie takes control and begins his investigations by meeting a few of the locals, and one very attractive female reporter who happens to be in town for a story on a popular painter, artist.Investigations are suddenly interrupted when the murdered body of a local girl is discovered in a nearby lane andsince he is already in town, DC Berlin is put in charge of solving this case also.With lots of pressure from higher up to solve these cases ASAP, Charlie is stymied by the incompetence of the local police officer in charge of this small town as well as many of its emotionally flawed residentswho have their own crosses to bear.I thoroughly enjoyed this old fashioned type of investigative crime story It was very easy to read and kept the pace going with plenty of action going on all the time.It reminded me of the old black and white detective movies, which always held your attention.The descriptions of the vehicles in particular, as well as much of the equipment of the time, and some of the household goods and corner shop items are very accurately depicted to give a real authentic and nostalgic feel to the story.Highly recommended for crime enthusiasts and others 4 s It s always interesting to see a favoured author head off in another direction, and THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL is a big directional switch for Geoffrey McGeachin Moving away from the madcap all Australian James Bond of the Alby Murdoch books, we are introduced to a new character, a new timeframe and a very different approach.Set in post World War II Victoria THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL introduces Charlie Berlin A pilot during the war, back to the police on his return, Charlie is deeply traumatised Sent to Albury Wodonga to investigate a series of robberies that have suddenly become violent, this is also a story of the after affects of war Alongside the robbery, a subsequent murder and Charlie s own story, there are glimpses of the damage done on the home front as well The man whose son was a victim of a brutal death, and the brother who survived The young Australian photographer and would be newspaper reporter, who has her own family tales of difficulty for her German born parents The information that came with this book highlights how the author has used the stories of his own father s wartime experiences as both an airman and a POW in Europe, as well as his childhood recollections of growing up in country town Australia It s a very realistic portrayal of country Australia be it in the late 1940 s or evenrecently well in this reader s memory anyway Balance that small town, closed environment, and the changes that are coming over a society traumatised and profoundly changed by the war and those who did and didn t return, against the individual story of one man who was so profoundly affected by events in Europe, and well, you end up with something that s entertaining, moving and affecting.THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL isn t a straight up police procedural, this book is about a man who, as damaged and fragile as he is, is an observationist Along with the personal perspective that this book is built upon, there is also an investigation finding the motorbike riding gang who have terrorised and robbed multiple Railway locations, and then the horrific murder of a young Chinese girl in the town There is also a fragile and tentative love story There is also some stark examples of the differences between acceptable social conventions then, and now Domestic violence, racism, thuggery, sexism, double standards they are all touched upon, displayed but not dwelled upon Undoubtedly the great strength of THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL is the character study of Charlie Berlin, followed very closely by the affects of war on everyone, even in a small country town deep within Australia on the border of New South Wales and Victoria Charlie Berlin is a wonderfully flawed human policeman, doing his duty, falling apart and picking himself back up again THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL really does remind you that in the days post World War II there wasn t counselling, there wasn t retraining, there wasn t support There was just the demons, and the jobs that had to be done, and alcohol and there were those that found a way to fit back in, and those that never did. This story featuring a detective named Berlin went nowhere It is set in Australia after WWII Berlin goes to a small town to investigate a series of armed robberies by a motorcycle gang Then a 16 year old girl is murdered Instead of hearing details about the crimes, it seemed most of this book describes how macho these Aussie men are, how much they fight and goes on and on about the war So little was spent on investigating the crimes In the end, Berlin barely had to do anything to find the guilty I have now decided to avoid unknown audiobooks and spend my time listening to books I actually want to read A bargain isn t a bargain if you don t like it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story of Charlie Berlin, a recently returned fighter pilot from WW2 still suffering from the trauma experienced, settling back into his job as a detective constable He is sent to Albury Wodonga to investigate a series of robberies The murder of a young Chinese girl turns the heat up in his investigations Throughout this he meets Rebecca, a young lady determined to carve out a career as a photo journalist The development of this relationship is wonderfully realised by the author as are the depictions of life in 1940s country Australia with its prejudices and social problems.The story starts off reasonably slowly but once it gets going the pace is turned up I look forward to readingin this series and would recommend this to anyone looking for a well written police procedural. The Diggers Rest Hotel is book one of the Charlie Berlin series by Geoffrey McGeachin One morning Detective Constable Charlie Berlin came to work and was dispatch to Albury Wodonga straight away with only the case file to stop the group who is robbing trains However, Detective Constable Charlie Berlin started to think he was sent to investigate the robberies to fail The readers of The Diggers Rest Hotel will follow the twist and turns in Detective Constable Charlie Berlin investigation into the thefts and see if Charlie fails or closes the case The Diggers Rest Hotel is historical crime mystery set in Albury Wodonga in the late 1940 s, and I did enjoy reading it I loved Geoffrey McGeachin portrayal of Charlie Berlin and the way he intertwined Charlie with his other characters Diggers Rest Hotel is well written and research by Geoffrey McGeachin I was engaged with the characters, and the plot of The Diggers Rest Hotel from the beginning and I will differently read other books in this series The readers of The Diggers Rest Hotel will start to understand the problems POW s can have when they come home after the end of WWWII The Diggers Rest Hotel highlights the financial hardships rural communities went through after the ending of WWWII I recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in Geoffrey McGeachin s Charlie Berlin series Set just after WW2 in 1947, Charlie is a returned pilot and POW Clearly suffering PTSD as a result of losing his plane and crew on a bombing raid to Berlin followed by the atrocities he experienced and saw as a POW, he struggles with nightmares, flashbacks and occasional blackouts He has returned to his previous career as a police detective in Melbourne and in this novel is sent to Wodonga in country Victoria to investigate a series of armed payroll robberies carried out by a gang on ex army motorbikes.For me the mystery itself wasn t the main interest in this story I really enjoyed the historical detail of life after WW2, showing how even in a small town like Wodonga the after effects of the war had repercussions on the men who returned as well as the people left behind The author did a terrific job of researching and capturing the mood and feel of the time with great descriptions of Aussie country life the rooms at the hotel, the men drinking in the pub, the rationing, the type of food that was served and social attitudes to women, immigrants and Aboriginals Charlie Berlin is a great character, damaged and hurting but ultimately a good man with a strong moral sense, but a man who is compassionate and able to turn a blind eye to minor misdemeanors when needed I also liked Rebecca Green, not a typical woman of her time but as well as being feisty and gutsy one who is keen to hold onto her independence won through her work during the war An excellent read and I hope there will be manyin the series. The Diggers Rest Hotel is the first Charlie Berlin Mystery by Australian author, Geoffrey McGeachin It is 1947, and ex bomber pilot, Charlie Berlin has returned from the war bodily if not psychologically intact to resume his police career DC Berlin, now 27 years old, is a bit of a loner, a misfit, still subject to blackouts, nightmares and flashbacks, a legacy of his time as a pilot and POW His boss sends him to Wodonga to investigate a series of payroll robberies that have left local police baffled.He learns the robberies are committed by a gang of five balaclava d motorcycle riders toting sub machine guns, but there is a dearth of further clues While Rob Roberts, the young constable assigned to him, has some ideas, he is offered some valuable information by a journalist for The Argus, in town to interview Russell Drysdale The other local police are uncooperative, and the witness accounts less than helpful Then, the corpse of a beheaded young Chinese girl is discovered in an alley, and Berlin finds his detecting talents under extra pressure McGeachin gives the reader an excellent plot with a few red herrings and the odd twist or two Charlie s crime scene investigation is, of course, basic the use of DNA, microscopic trace evidence, computers and mobile phones all far into the future McGeachin expertly captures the feel of post war country Victoria, the moods and attitudes of the people his characters are believable and their dialogue is natural Berlin is a character with depth and appeal, so readers will be pleased to know that he appears in at least two further books This is excellent historical crime fiction.