Worthy Brown's Daughter
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Known for his critically acclaimed contemporary thrillers, New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin explores intriguing new territory in Worthy Brown's Daughter, a compelling historical drama, set in nineteenth-century Oregon, that combines a heartbreaking story of slavery and murder with classic Margolin plot twists.
One of a handful of lawyers in the new state of Oregon, recently widowed Matthew Penny agrees to help Worthy Brown, a newly freed slave, rescue his fifteen year old daughter, Roxanne, from their former master, a powerful Portland lawyer. Worthy's lawsuit sets in motion events that lead to Worthy's arrest for murder and create an agonizing moral dilemma that could send either Worthy or Matthew to the hangman.
At the same time, hanging judge Jed Tyler, a powerful politician with a barren personal life, becomes infatuated with a beautiful gold-digger who is scheming to murder Benjamin Gillette, Oregon's wealthiest businessman. When Gillette appears to die from natural causes, Sharon Hill produces a forged contract of marriage and Tyler must decide if he will sacrifice his reputation to defend that of the woman who inspired his irrational obsession.
At Worthy's trial, Matthew saves Worthy by producing a stunning courtroom surprise and his attempt to stop the deadly fortune hunter ends in a violent climax.
razor, a comb, blankets for the cot, and a few towels, his apartment was all rigged out. Three weeks after his trip to Phoenix, Matthew was in his law office with his coat off and his sleeves rolled up, seated on a high stool, hunched over a slanted wooden desk, making copies of court papers that had to be filed by noon. Summer was hanging on, and the sound of steamer whistles, the conversations of passersby, and the clatter of wagon wheels invaded through his open window. When he looked up from
Roxanne and is gonna keep her till the debt is paid off.” “What kind of investment does he claim to have made in your daughter?” “For clothes and feeding her and giving her a roof over her head.” “How old is Roxanne?” “Almost fifteen.” Worthy’s voice cracked. “She is a very good child, Mr. Penny, very mindful. If you can see your way to helping me . . .” Matthew saw how hard it was for Worthy Brown to ask for help, and he raised his hand to stop the man’s plea and allow him to keep his
through a red haze. Then he saw Marshal Lappeus and several other riders charging into the yard. He started to tell them that Worthy was innocent, but before he could speak a rifle butt connected with his skull and he crumpled to the ground. PART THREE WORTHY BROWN’S CHOICE CHAPTER 26 Matthew opened his eyes, but he couldn’t focus. When he turned his head toward the light, slivers of pain pierced his pupils. After he’d rested a bit, he raised his eyelids slowly, letting the sunlight in a
fighting me. I’m a poor loser. Contest my claims, and I’ll throw you out without a cent. Do the right thing, and I’ll be generous to you.” Heather rose and stared at Hill. Then she leaped forward and slapped Hill so hard that only Hill’s hatpin kept her hat attached to her head. Hill staggered backward, and Heather struck her again, sending her to the floor. Matthew sprang forward and pinned Heather’s arms to her sides. “Get out quickly, Miss Hill, quickly.” Hill struggled to her feet. Every
HE HAD CROSSED the border between morality and sin when the cobblestoned elegance of Montgomery Street gave way to muddy thoroughfares and plank sidewalks crowded with degenerates, low- and highborn, seeking out the most vile and degrading vices. As Matthew was navigating his way through the crowds that streamed past the brothels, dance halls, cheap hotels, gambling dens, pawnshops, and saloons that lined Davis Street, a queued Chinaman, his eyes glazed by opium, lurched into his path. Matthew