A sinister masterpiece, Our Mutual Friend was Dickens' last completed novel. It is perhaps his ultimate vision of a dark, macabre London and the corrupting power of money. Opening with a father and daughter scavenging for corpses on the Thames, the chilling tale unfolds around drownings, disguises and doubles; violence, murder, and triumphant love. Young John Harmon, presumed killed on his return home to England, is very much alive. The heir to a dust merchant's fortune, he goes to work under an assumed name for his father's current heirs, the amiable, elderly Boffins-who are about to be blackmailed by the unscrupulous one-legged Wegg. So begins the intrigue in a novel that is quintessentially Dickensian in flavor-in its grotesque caricatures, its rich symbolism, and the astonishing realism of its heroine, Bella Wilfer, among Dickens' most splendid female characters.