• The Diggers Rest Hotel

  • Charlie Berlin, Book 1
  • By: Geoffrey McGeachin
  • Narrated by: Peter Byrne
  • Series: Charlie Berlin, Book 1
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 22-11-2010
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (33 ratings)

Editorial Reviews

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By jpatrickp on 04-04-2015

Most enjoyable

McGeachin's stories are new to me even though he's a local Victorian author. His writing superbly captures iconic Australian characters (and rural landscapes) of the post-war WWII era. In his first novel about DC Charlie Berlin, McGeachin paints a believable portrait about a veteran battling what we know as PTSD. The character is endearing in a tragic scary way, who somehow manages to effectively solve the crimes whilst battling his 'demons', alcoholism and prejudice. He is ably assisted by a sharp young country PC and an outrageous (for the time) female reporter (Rebecca) who becomes his love interest. There's lot's of good Aussie humour and action mixed with tragedy and despair of the period.
The only disappointment with the book was that it ended too soon and we are left wondering about what happens next and in particular whether Charlie and Rebecca could make something more permanent of their relationship. I'm looking forward to the sequel, which interestingly is 10 years on in Berlin's life.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By sarah on 09-09-2017

Great Australian humour

loved the narration. the story is a well paced drama and so aussie. worth a listen. some of the detective's hunches come out of left field and you're not sure how he got there but overall a great start to a series

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Anniebligh on 06-08-2012

Won the Austrailian Crime Writers Award for 2011

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.

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49 of 55 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Phillip on 21-09-2012

Very enjoyable

What made the experience of listening to The Diggers Rest Hotel the most enjoyable?

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


Who was your favorite character and why?

Charlie - down to earth, common sense and willing to take people as he sees them

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes - but with over 8 hours a good listen when commuting

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30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ian W on 07-09-2014

This dreasdful narrator ruined a good story!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Diggers Rest Hotel to be better than the print version?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

Character is great, facts about Melbourne back then.

How could the performance have been better?

Just find someone who has a better reading voice. Someone who cares. Peter Hoskings!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Not sure

Any additional comments?

Great story.

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