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Shvoong Home>Books>Mystery & Thrillers>A Confession Found in a Prison in the Time of Charles the Second Review

A Confession Found in a Prison in the Time of Charles the Second

Book Review   by:arthurchappell     Original Author: CHARLES DICKENS
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BOOK REVIEW – CHARLES DICKENS – A CONFESSION FOUND IN A PRISON IN THE TIME OF CHARLES THE SECOND Obscure short horror story by Dickens. It is the confession of a murderer, written hurriedly in his cell just before his execution, and as the title suggests, found soon afterwards. The story is now effectively told in flashback. The doomed protagonist is a soldier, who on returning from services overseas in 1678, discovers that his brother is dying. The brothers are married to two sisters, and the protagonist hated his brother’s sister right up to er own death.  As his brother dies, he expresses a wish that the protagonist and his wife adopt their orphaned child. The protagonist does so, but he despises the boy and the feeling appears to be mutual. After an unsuccessful attempt to drown the child, the protagonist kills him with a sword, and buries the body in the garden. He is now haunted by fears that the body will somehow surface. He has nightmares about a hand or head being seen sticking out of the soil. A small company of officers with who the protagonist served visits One day, the killer and his wife, who mourns the lost child. As they dine in the garden on a summery afternoon, two dogs, bloodhounds, possibly belonging to the officers, burst into the garden and scent blood on the killer. They attack him and then frantically begin digging where the body of the dead boy lies. The soldiers immediately seize the man, and investigate, thus solving the murder. It’s a remarkably unexceptional tale – the real reasons why the killer is so filled with hatred is never specified. He kills and gets caught and that’s all there is to it. A very superficial story for a writer destined for so many greater works.  Arthur Chappell
Published: April 25, 2008   
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