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The Lodger

Marie Belloc Lowndes

Book Overview: 

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes was inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders. An older couple, the Buntings, are forced to take in lodgers to make ends meet. They are on the verge of starvation when a mysterious man, Mr. Sleuth, appears at their door and asks for lodging, paying in advance. However, when the murders of young women in London attributed to a man known only as “The Avenger” continue, the Buntings, particularly Mrs. Bunting, grow fearful that their lodger may be the murderer.

Recommended for fans of James Patterson, Clive Barker, Janet Evanovich and David Baldacci.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .And then, coming back to the matter in hand, he added hastily, "Perhaps you could do my room when I go upstairs, about five o'clock—if that time is convenient to you, that is?"

"Oh, yes, sir! That'll do nicely!"

Mrs. Bunting went downstairs, and as she did so she took herself wordlessly, ruthlessly to task, but she did not face—even in her inmost heart—the strange tenors and tremors which had so shaken her. She only repeated to herself again and again, "I've got upset —that's what I've done," and then she spoke aloud, "I must get myself a dose at the chemist's next time I'm out. That's what I must do."

And just as she murmured the word "do," there came a loud double knock on the front door.

It was only the postman's knock, but the postman was an unfamiliar visitor in that house, and Mrs. Bunting started violently. She was nervous, that's what was the matter wi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A deliciously creepy thriller reminiscent of an old Vincent Price movie. Its the kind of book you read with black and white pictures forming in your mind. Very atmospheric and spooky.

IN A NUTSHELL :
A destitute couple who own a small lodging house (empty of guests) are gradually pawning their belo...more

A lost quality in modern psychological suspense - the key word is subtlety. An intriguing look at the infamous Jack The Ripper case told through the eyes of his landlady Mrs. Bunting, an impoverished women with her back to the wall. I won’t mislead, not much happens, zero gore. It’s a character s...more

Set in a late nineteenth century foggy London, this dark psychological thriller slowly builds up clues (like an Agatha Christie novel) to identify the serial killer who signs his name The Avenger. This haunting tale begins when the Bunting's, a strange couple to say the least, take in a much need...more

There have been many theories about who Jack the Ripper was...

There was The Royal Conspiracy Theory

The Jack Was A Jill Theory

The Crazy Doctor With A Big Mustache Theory

Or the theory that Marie Belloc Lownde's novel is based on-

The Lodger Theory

Belloc Lowndes is supposed to have gotten the idea fo...more

”’Do you think to escape the consequences of your hideous treachery. I trusted you, Mrs. Bunting, and you betrayed me! But I am protected by a higher power, for I still have much to do.’ Then, his voice sinking to a whisper, he hissed out ‘Your end will be bitter as wormwood and sharp as a two-ed...more

In Marie Belloc Lowndes brilliant novel the reader is introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, a middle-aged couple, both previously from domestic service who have retired to run a lodging house.
When we meet them they are in severe financial trouble and on the verge of giving up hope of ever renting...more

Gosh, absolutely eerie. Compelling and disturbing read. Highly recommended!

Rating Clarification: 3.5 Stars

The Lodger was written around 1914 by London-born Marie Belloc Lowndes, who lived in the city during the killing spree of serial killer Jack the Ripper some 20+ years previously. Surely Lowndes stored up many impressions of that time, and used them to craft this sub...more

Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

A lodger arrives. Unbeknown to him, he has appeared just in time to save his new landlady and landlord, Ellen and Robert Bunting, from destitution. With the safety of coin in their pocket they welcome the new lodger into their home with open arms. But, just outside of th...more

The Lodger has long been one of my favorite novels; reading it again a second time proved no less suspenseful than it did the first time through.

Marie Belloc Lowndes based her novel very loosely on the story of Jack the Ripper, and the novel is set in London at a time when a series of horrific m...more

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