Dark Hollow is a fascinating tale by Green – full of horror and spine-chilling suspense.
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 husband’s 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories. Green has been called “the mother of the detective novel.”
Green is credited with shaping detective fiction into its classic form, and developing the series detective. Her main character was detective Ebenezer Gryce of the New York Metropolitan Police Force, but in three novels he is assisted by the nosy society spinster Amelia Butterworth, the prototype for Miss Marple, Miss Silver and other creations. She also invented the ‘girl detective:’ in the character of Violet Strange, a debutante with a secret life as a sleuth. Indeed, as journalist Kathy Hickman writes, Green “stamped the mystery genre with the distinctive features that would influence writers from Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle to contemporary authors of suspenseful “whodunits”. In addition to creating elderly spinster and young female sleuths, Green’s innovative plot devices included dead bodies in libraries, newspaper clippings as “clews”, the coroner’s inquest, and expert witnesses. Yale Law School once used her books to demonstrate how damaging it can be to rely on circumstantial evidence. Written in 1878, her first book, The Leavenworth Case: A Lawyer’s Story, sparked a debate in the Pennsylvania State Senate over whether the book could “really have been written by a woman.”
Green was in some ways a progressive woman for her time—succeeding in a genre dominated by male writers—but she did not approve of many of her feminist contemporaries, and she was opposed to women’s suffrage.