The Dead Alive
  
Perhaps Wilkie Collins' editor thought ”John Jago's Ghost” sounded too much like an exciting tale of cursed, swashbuckling pirates for the alternate title of this novella to end up on the cover and instead settled for ”The Dead Alive” – arguably the most balderdash title for a piece of fiction until the Sean Penn movie ”Dead Man Walking” (1995). In the end though, the current title is somehow the more appropriate for this piece based on the infamous 1819 ”Boorn Brothers” murder trial.
An Englishman's fictional account of the first case of wrongful convictions in the history of The United States, the story centers around two brothers sentenced to death and life in prison respectively, for murdering their brother-in-law. However, the evidence is circumstantial, no body is found and how much does one brother's fiancée really know?
The first legal thriller according to author and foreword writer Scott Turow, ”The Dead Alive” serves you up a digestible platter of courtroom drama seasoned with that most delicious of spices: Based on true events. Novelist, playwright, genre pioneer, opium addict, mentee of Charles Dickens, magnificently bearded individual – dead Englishman Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) has many titles to his name. Having a knack for mystery and unconventional characters, Collins' biggest contribution to world literature comes in the forms of ”A Women in White” (1859) and ”The Moonstone” (1868), with the former being mentioned on his headstone while the latter is widely considered the first modern detective novel.
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