Melbourne, Australia circa 1967 is rocked with the multiple disappearances of young women. Detective Charlie Berlin is tasked to find one of these in a parallel investigation covertly running alongside the public police hunt.
The missing teenager is the daughter of a prominent local identity with important political connections. To aid Berlin’s quest to track down the missing teen is the dapper detective with questionable allegiances Bob Roberts. The duo makes for interesting reading with one clearly on the take while the other is by-the-book and a seemingly honest hardworking cop.
As the two swim through the current of Melbourne’s underbelly they learn more about the depths of despair drowning many a family who are enduring a loss equal to that of the lead investigation. When one of the missing girls is found dead, the pressure mounts from the public and secretive sides of the investigation ultimately sending Berlin down a spiralling path that leads him to confront some of his past horrors.
ST KILDA BLUES is the third book to feature Charlie Berlin and despite not being familiar with the previous books, I found ST KILDA BLUES to be an easily readable standalone.
There is a lot to take in with author Geoffrey McGeachin going to great lengths to provide an insight into the criminal mind as well as articulating Berlin’s POW and confrontation flash blacks. Whilst adding context it did have a tendency to dilute the primary story.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of ST KILDA BLUES is the fact that it goes beyond the standard issue police procedural with the later stages in particular providing a great amount of emotional turmoil for some of the characters.
Having read ST KILDA BLUES, I’ll certainly be looking to track down copies of THE DIGGERS REST HOTEL (published 2010) and BLACKWATTLE CREEK (2012).