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The Ballad Of Frankie Silver by Sharyn McCrumb

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Frankie Silver was arrested in 1832: a small blonde girl, only eighteen, charged with the savage murder of her husband Charlie in their frontier cabin. Lafayette Harkryder was also eighteen when he was arrested, accused of the brutal killing of two young hikers. Two violent crimes, two trials - and two people whose refusal to speak out may well send them to their deaths, separated by one hundred and fifty years of Appalachian history.

Burgess Gaither, a twenty-five-year-old-lawyer who witnessed the story from the discovery of Charlie Silver's body to the hanging of Frankie Silver, speaks for Frankie. Sherriff Spencer Arrowood, who arrested Fate Harkryder so many years ago, has been invited to his execution by the state of Tennessee. As the two stories unfold, Gaither and Arrowood both realize that both Frankie Silver and Fate Harkryder have hidden part of their stories - and may have shielded the truly guilty.

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