Murder, a bitter love triangle and a mysterious inheritance. In the last of Dickens's completed novels, the power of money ultimately motivates both character and action.
One night Hexam, who makes his living pulling bodies from the Thames, pulls out a body bearing the identification of John Harmon, heir to the fortune of a 'dust-collector'.
In fact, Harmon has swapped clothes and identities with a sailor, John Rokesmith. 'Rokesmith' gets a job as secretary to Noddy Boffin and falls in love with Bella Wilfer. However Bella is intent on marrying money until events cause her to change her mind
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