The Weaver of Blackheath
by Bronwyn Rodden

"Well, people like that, they do good works to make up for the rest I reckon."

Detective Senior Constable Ros Gordon and her partner, Detective Constable Leighton, investigate the death of an unidentified woman. She was found dead on a train with no ID on her. The detectives cannot determine if she died of a drug overdose or natural causes. Ros later discovers that Tristan Worthington died in a car accident. Coincidentally, she had met him at a party hosted by Scott and Patricia Weston-Smith. Tristan worked as an aide to David Polaris, a politician. So Mr. Worthington's sudden death comes as a shock to Ros. The detectives must figure out if it is a simple car accident or if there is more to the story.

In her work, Rodden exposes the bad behavior of some members of the wealthy and privileged class. The author points out that such people disdain anybody they believe is beneath them. For instance, in one scene, Polaris pinches Ros' bum, not having any regard for the detective's authority. As a man in power, he treats her with disrespect and seems to feel that he can do whatever pleases him, even defying the police, because of his position in society.

In addition, the author manages to capture each character's voice extremely well, and the dialogue helps define each character's personality. The book also tackles the hypocrisy of well-meaning people pretending to be tolerant. For example, Scott Weston-Smith, who is supposed to be a respectable man, insults Detective Constable Leighton using a racial slur. Overall, the book conveys the message that appearances may be deceitful. Societal position or even public opinion of a person may not accurately reflect a person's character. Fans of mysteries that also address social issues may find Rodden’s novel to be just what they are looking for.

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