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The Dead Alive

Wilkie Collins

Book Overview: 

Ill feelings exist between the Meadowcroft sons and John Jago, the foreman of the Meadowcroft estate. Then, John Jago disappears, and a body is found in a kiln. The Meadowcroft brothers stand accused of the crime, but are they guilty? The Dead Alive is a novel written by Wilkie Collins based on the true-life Boorn Brothers murder conviction case. Jesse and Stephen Boorn were sentenced to death for the murder of their brother-in-law, but were they wrongly convicted?

Recommended for fans of John Grisham, Scott Turow, Michael Connelly, Janet Evanovich and David Baldacci.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .If things go well, I mean to marry Ambrose."

"If things go well," I repeated. "What does that mean? Money?"

She shook her head.

"It means a fear that I have in my own mind," she answered—"a fear, Mr. Lefrank, of matters taking a bad turn among the men here—the wicked, hard-hearted, unfeeling men. I don't mean Ambrose, sir; I mean his brother Silas, and John Jago. Did you notice Silas's hand? John Jago did that, sir, with a knife."

"By accident?" I asked.

"On purpose," she answered. "In return for a blow."

This plain revelation of the state of things at Morwick Farm rather staggered me—blows and knives under the rich and respectable roof-tree of old Mr. Meadowcroft—blows and knives, not among the laborers, but among the masters! My first impression was like your first impression, no doubt. I could hardly believe it.

"Are you sure of what you say?" I inquired.

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