Geoffrey McGeachin is relatively new to the Australia crime writing scene. His detective in Diggers Rest Hotel is Charlie Berlin, an ex-bomber pilot, and the story is set in immediate post-WW2 Wodonga and the surrounding areas. The book is heavy on war memories and the “atmosphere” of that period, down to frequent use of Bex and the descriptions of advertising hoardings! It also has lots of rough-&-ready police work, corruption, drinking and the “usual” sex and infidelity. Nearly every character is flawed in some way; I wondered if this was necessary. Even though the descriptions sometimes seem a bit over-the-top, clearly a lot of care has gone into the research (I only spotted a couple of points that seemed to me to be out of line). It’s quite fun to absorb the atmosphere that’s created.
The crimes to be solved are interesting enough, and the detective work is nicely structured, with the clues all being there, and the result being determined by the traditional methods of listening and observing.