Book review (submitted by Peter Tracey)
The Diggers Rest Hotel (Charlie Berlin #1) by Geoffrey McGeachin
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 2 has changed even the most ordinary of places and people.
An 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 pain.
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.
An excellent Australian mystery story, available at the Lithgow Library Learning Centre in paperback and talking book (CD). I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.