The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes

The Lodger, Marie Belloc Lowndes, 1913

My favorite quote: “For the first time in her life, she visioned the infinite mystery, the sadness and strangeness, of human life.”

Most interesting characters: Mr. Sleuth, the mysterious lodger who may or may not be quite what he seems

Opening scene: Middle-aged couple, Robert and Ellen Bunting, sitting in front of the fire, contemplating the poverty they’ve fallen into and wondering what to sell next

The gist: When the Buntings get a new lodger, it seems like the answer to their prayers. The man pays well and on time, but there’s something strange about him. He’s shifty, eerily silent, and he comes and goes at all hours of the night. Meanwhile, a killer stalks the streets, slashing his way ever closer toward the Buntings’ home, making the couple wonder if they might be harboring a homicidal maniac.

Greatest strengths: Its atmosphere, of course. But then, I’m a sucker for the fog, cobblestone, and gas lamps of late Victorian London

Standout achievements: The Lodger is considered the first fictional adaptation of the Jack the Ripper story

Fun Facts: In her memoirs, Marie Belloc Lowndes said she got the idea for The Lodger after overhearing a dinner conversation in which one guest told another that his mother’s butler and cook once rented rooms to Jack the Ripper

Other media: The 1927 silent film of the same name by Alfred Hitchcock

Additional thoughts: While certainly not a horror novel by today’s standards, The Lodger creeped me out — which is all I ask for in a book. Well, not ALL I ask for, but it’s a big part of it

Hit or miss: It’s a definite hit for me

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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