Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book with the main character's name in the title
Armadale, by Wilkie Collins
This book has five, count 'em, five characters named Allan Armadale.
It's not as confusing as it sounds. The original Allan Armadale is already dead at the start of the story, and his son and godson both die early in the book, after a murderous feud over the woman they both wanted. The story is about the third generation of Allan Armadales, one of whom ran away from an abusive stepfather and changed his name to Ozias Midwinter.
The one who still goes by Allan is a good-natured and a slightly dim gentleman, mostly interested in sailing. He's very protective of his gloomy new friend Midwinter, despite the latter being tight-lipped about his own background. Midwinter is curious about their shared name, but doesn't tell Allan about it. At age 21, he receives a letter written on his father's deathbed years earlier, describing the family's deadly history and warning him to stay away from his namesake.
The other major player in this drama is Lydia Gwilt, who was a child when she helped Allan's mother elope wit the "wrong" Armadale. Years later, she first tries to blackmail Allan's mother, then comes up with a Hitchcock-worthy scheme to marry one Allan Armadale and murder the other. Only....could she be falling in love?
As with many Collins books, this one gives us several points of view, including letters between the characters, and a highly incriminating diary kept by Lydia. We see her doubts, talking herself into and out of the murder plot. Collins has a knack for making his characters believable even in wildly melodramatic situations, including a uniquely innovative murder weapon. And the ride-or-die friendship between Allan and Midwinter makes both characters a pleasure to read - even while Allan remains oblivious to how literal that "ride or die" issue is.