Angela Savage Blog - August 5, 2012 - 5 Stars
"... dark crime fiction that also sparkles with wit and warmth."
"Reading McGeachin's new novel was like being reunited with an old friend. Within moments I was reminded of what I love about this author's work: his wit and warmth; his capacity to create complex, often endearing characters; and his talent for a cracking good yarn ... Charlie Berlin has lost none of his vulnerability, and the ever-present risk of him becoming unhinged by the ghosts of his past adds to the tension of a thrilling plot, creating genuinely frightening moments in the story ... The Diggers Rest Hotel was one of my favourite reads of 2011. I expect to say the same of Blackwattle Creek in 2012.
Full review: -
May 25, 2012
"As touching as it is terrifying" - 5 Stars
"McGeachin has created a credible, likeable character in Charlie Berlin ... the result is a gripping crime novel that is as much about suburban and family life in Australia in that decade (1957) as it is about the sinister politics and policies of the Cold War, which lead to the mystery's chilling culmination.

McGeachin's characters are commendably well-drawn, particularly charmingly erratic Hungarian immigrant Lazlo Horvay and patient, decidedly non-Stepford Rebecca ... while the mystery is embroiling, McGeachin also effectively conjures up nostalgic scenes of milk bars and jumping jacks, bodgies and widgies, bags of lollies, tombola marbles, fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and sturdy, prized Studebakers -- all in a Melbourne that seems more like a sprawling suburb than the modern metropolis it is today ... Of course, juxtaposing the cozy, almost parochial setting, is one of the gravest abuses of government and military power ever known." Echo75 - May 23, 2012
"Intelligent Aussie crime fiction" - 4 Stars
"McGeachin establishes an intriguing political and social background for Blackwattle Creek ... the historical detail the author weaves into the story is fascinating without being overwhelming, Blackwattle Creek is firmly grounded in time and place ... the Cold War is heating up and suspicion of foreigners is rife.

Charlie is a complex character, haunted by memories of his wartime experiences including the moment he lost his entire bomber crew and the forced POW march through freezing snow escorted by the SS. He has battled with alcoholism on his return and though now Rebecca and his children have proved to be a steadying force, his anger and fear is never far below the surface

A quick and easy read that kept me turning the pages ... Blackwattle Creek is an intelligent and entertaining piece of crime fiction." Shellyrae - August 2, 2012
"Excellent thriller" - 5 Stars
"A great read with a fantastic re-creation of fifties Australia and the beginnings of what eventually became the multi-cultural society we live in today. The characters are well drawn and the story hums along (I read it in two sittings). I can't wait to see what happens to Charlie Berlin next. HughH

Sunday Tasmanian - September 30, 2012
"... compelling, engrossing and ... a surprisingly touching read"
"Black Wattle Creek is a compelling, engrossing and, for a murder mystery, a surprisingly touching read, the plot racing along at a rate of knots as it surges towards an unsettling but appropriate climax ... With Charlie Berlin, McGeachin has created a remarkable character -- a flawed, emotionally scarred man whose past continues to haunt him. His back-story is equal parts horrifying and heartbreaking, and these personal demons make Charlie seem like a true flesh-and-blood person rather than merely a literary construct ... with the Charlie Berlin tales, McGeachin demonstrates extraordinary depth and insight, giving them a moral and social resonance."
David Fleming

See full review here

Readings, Carlton - 30 May, 2012
"A ripper of a dangerous read"
"McGeachin has created the kind of pitch-perfect sense of place that makes you disoriented when you put down your book and find yourself in a world of flatscreen televisions and rising petrol prices. Everything from Charlie's meals to the idea you could get a parking space anywhere near the State Library of Victoria creates a vivid Melbourne with an undercurrent of mid-century fear and grime. A ripper of a dangerous read."
Fiona Hardy, Carlton Night Manager

Fair DInkum Crime - 12 July, 2012
“A ripper of a yarn ... can’t recommend highly enough” - 41/2 Stars
“McGeachin has excelled at drawing out the small details of life that depict a time and place to perfection ... even the political environment of the time gets the same deft treatment ... finally, though in some ways most importantly, Blackwattle Creek is a ripper of a yarn. I had no idea where the story was going to take me and needing to know kept me up late into the night. For a crime fiction author to be able to generate in me the same sense of shock as was being experienced by the book’s protagonist as he uncovered the frightening (and frighteningly credible) facts of the case is a fairly rare thing these days and I revelled in it ... I can’t recommend highly enough.”
bernadetteinoz, Fair DInkum Crime

Good Reading Magazine - August 2012
"Highly recommended" 41/2 Stars
"The plot is intelligent, historically well informed and moves at a cracking pace. A great read on many levels."
Linda Irving

See full review here

AustCrime - 14 June 2012
Karen Chisholm

"McGeachin has shown himself to be skilled in more than one sub-genre, and I have a lot of respect for authors with that much versatility. I have become a fan of Charlie Berlin, and I very much hope we'll see more of him."