The Crushers: A Ros Gordon Mystery
by Bronwyn Rodden
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

"You’re in the Mountains now, copper – our territory – we have all the mates here, not you. And we know everything about you: where you came from, who you sleep with, what you had for breakfast. Everything…"

A young woman who desperately needs money to move out of her parents' house is found dead in a cave that is so far off the track that anyone would have been hard-pressed to locate it twice. The area’s newest detective, Ros Gordon, and her partner, Bill Fontani, are tasked with finding out how and why the victim’s naked body ended up in that cave and laid out in the manner that it was. A novice to the Blue Mountains, Detective Gordon is also trying to adjust to the changes in her life after moving from the big city while fending off constant reminders of the events that landed her in her new home in the first place. At the center of it all is an illustrious grand hotel as old as the town itself.

While the detectives are hard at work uncovering the mystery surrounding the young woman’s death, the author is also unpacking several contemporary themes that have been interwoven and even accentuated by the discovery of the body. The old-fashioned traditions of the good-ole-boys’ club are challenged as Ros finds herself pushing for respect and parity in a male-dominated constabulary while simultaneously dealing with her vulnerability and mental well-being. There is also an emphasis on just how gripping the power dynamics and relationships can be in a small town where all of its residents are inextricably linked. Rodden encapsulates well what life is like for those living in the vast mountainous landscape, with vivid descriptions of the physical surroundings as seen through the eyes of a newcomer as well as the tales from a time long ago kept alive by the town’s elders. Readers will race to the finish of this captivating thriller as Rodden gives them all they can handle in her debut novel.

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