Bethlehem Road by Anne Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was one of the more complex of the Thomas and Charlotte series. The story begins when a Member of Parliament is found on Westminster Bridge with his throat slit. There seems to be no reason for his death until a second Member of Parliament is killed in the same way. Suspicion falls on the suffragettes and especially one woman in particular who has been greviously wronged by one of the victims, her estranged husband.
As this series continues, Anne Perry is giving a riviting description of the state of women during the Victorian era when husbands had complete control of their wives including their money and children. At the time of this novel, laws had just been passed to consider a woman in her own right and not as chattel to her husband. She was also in control of her own money, but things were not a whole lot better. The prime suspect has had her children taken from her including her 6 year old daughter and was cast out without any resources never to see her children again. She was considered an unfit mother because she was a suffragette and, because she did not have independent means, was left to the mercy of friends or a life on the street. Some of the most extreme Victorian attitudes are fleshed out in this story making for some very interesting reading.
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