Tag Archives: Black Wattle Creek

Blackwattle Creek – a rereading of the Ned Kelly award winner 2013

BlackwattleBuried beneath the hysteria of last Saturday’s federal election was another vote, the 2013 Ned Kelly awards for Australian crime writing. It was a night of firsts: the first year e-books were eligible, the first time the Neddies have taken place in Brisbane, and the first under the umbrella of the recently formed Australian Crime Writers Association.

But for Geoffrey McGeachin, the recipient of the top award, Best Fiction, it was very much a matter of second time around. His winning book Blackwattle Creek focuses on Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, a policeman in fifties Melbourne. The first in the Berlin series, The Diggers Rest Hotel, took home the Neddie for best first crime fiction in 2011.

Read the rest of this piece here at the Guardian Australia’s Oz Culture Blog.

Book review: Black Wattle Creek

Black Wattle Creek is the second book by Geoffrey McGeachin to feature Detective Sergeant Charlie Berlin, a cop on the beat in fifties Melbourne. The first, The Diggers Rest Hotel, won the Ned Kelly award for best first crime fiction in 2011,

The second instalment is set in 1957. There’s hardly a mean street to be found. Melbourne slumbers, as does the rest of the country in a period of post-war peace and prosperity (the fifties are referred to by some as Australia’s ‘lost decade’). Or so it appears, as dark shadows are on the horizon, the threat of communism and growing political instability in South East Asia.

Berlin has a week’s leave owed him but any plans he has to take it easy are derailed when his wife asks him to look into the matter of a dead serviceman, the husband of a friend of hers, who turned up to his own funeral missing a leg and no one knows why.

His off the books investigation leads to a dodgy funeral parlour and to Black Wattle Creek, a former asylum for the criminally insane. When his off sider on the force is beaten and left for dead and Berlin is warned off his inquiries by a couple of thuggish Special Branch cops, we assume it is connected to whatever is going on at Black Wattle.… Read more