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Dark Hollow

Anna Katharine Green

Book Overview: 

The small town of Shelby is shaken by a brutal murder. A man by the name of Etheridge was found beaten to death. A local inn-keeper, is convicted and executed for the crime. Many years later, "a woman in purple" shows up at the house of Ostrander, the respected judge who had sentenced the inn-keeper to be executed. This mysterious woman turns out to be the wife of the convicted man, but she does not believe he was guilty. She visits the Judge, to challenge him on his verdict. He listens to her plea, but reaffirms his belief in her husbands guilt. Having nowhere to go, Deborah is given the position of maid, which she secretly uses to obtain proof of her husband's innocence and the identity of the real killer. However, the initial evidence that Deborah collects points in troubling new directions.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .THE MAN WHO STOOD ON TRIAL FOR
KILLING HIM?"

Unaccustomed to be questioned, though living in an atmosphere of continual yes and no, he stared at the veiled features of one who so dared, as if he found it hard to excuse such presumption. But he answered her nevertheless, and with decided emphasis:

"Possibly because his victim was my friend and lifelong companion.
A judge fears his own prejudices."

"Possibly; but you had another reason, judge; a reason which justified you in your own eyes at the time and which justifies you in mine now and always. Am I not right? This is no court-room; the case is one of the past; it can never be reopened; the prisoner is dead. Answer me then, as one sorrowing mortal replies to another, hadn't you another reason?"

The judge, panoplied though he was or thought he was, against all conceivable attack, winced at this repetition of a ques. . . Read More