Blackwattle Creek

7 hrs and 53 mins

It 's September 1957, two years 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 goo 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 stronger than he bargained for when he befriends a Melbourne funeral parlour has been burying bodies with parts missing. A Hungarian émigré hearse driver points Berlin in the right direction but it soon 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 does n'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.

Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
Blackwattle Creek
Publication Date
Published May 23rd 2012 by e-penguin

Public Commentary

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The readers of Blackwattle Creek will continue to follow Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin investigation into the funeral home.

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Geoffrey McGeachin has created a wonderfully flawed hero who continues to be haunted by his WW2 experiences as a bombe pilot in the RAF, even more than a decade later.

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Scientists become involved, and thus implicated in the secret activities of spies and wrong-doers. ( view spoiler) [ We eventually learn that the conspiracy of silence has closed around a nuclear test in the Australian outback that apparently went wrong, resulting in civilian deaths, and that a major cover-up is in place.

As Charlie peels back the layers of suspens, like onion skins, we understand that the truth is far more sinister.

I was tol of the British nuclear tests carried out in the Australian outback, with he full co-operation and encouragement of the Menzies government of the time.

( hide spoiler) ] Tha is excellen read, which left me full of deep thoughts about the truths our governments supposedly tell us.

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Blackwattle Creek is the second Charlie Berlin Mystery by Australian author, Geoffrey McGeachin.

Berlin is a protagonis with depth and appeal, so readers will be amazed to now that he appears in at least one further book, St Kilda Blues.

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Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin had been feeling battered by life – a bomber pilot in the war who had lost his whole crew and miraculously survived to become a POW – but now it was 1957, he was married to a onderful woman Rebecca, who wa literally saved him, who understood him; he had two beautiful children Peter and Sarah and the VFL Grand Final was to be played in a couple of months with his team a good hance to win the flag.

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One thing that absolutely jarred was when the author quotes the 1957 grand final.

he author mentions Barassi playing for Melbourne.

But if you like crime novels and a complex main character you may enjoy it more than I wante.

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ot veryone is going to like the hero but I think Geoffrey McGeachin does a great job of explaining exactly how Charlie Berlin has developed into character he is, what his ethical boundaries are and why, and how they apply to the situation he is in.

I ha n't around then but many things ( like kapok pillows) were still around in my childhood and I had many oh yeah moments such as remembering smaller roads being sealed, kerbed and guttered in our suburb.

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About Authors

© Nicole Waggonner