Skip to main content

Book Review: The Lodger by Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes

The Lodger is a psychological suspense novel by the English author Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes. It was written around 1913, and loosely based on the theme of ‘Jack the Ripper’.

In a costly city London, Ellen Bunting and Robert Bunting having tough time managing their needs, they are financially limited. Once they were in service but have given up that long. To tide over their needs, they now have allowed some rooms of their house for lodgers. But, Ellen is quite peculiar with her preferences and choices. Soon, they get Mr. Sleuth as a lodger – he is a silent gentleman. Though nothing is bad about him, but he sounds clumsy. He has paid the rent in advance. Where did he come from is arcane. He wakes up anytime, reads quote from Bibles especially that goes against women. He says that he is a man of science, so on the gas stove he boils some or other thing anytime at night. Parallel to this story, newspapers are full of horrid murders of women. A serial killer kills drunkard women and pins a note from Bible on their bodies. Ellen Bunting has grown fearful of these stories and often avoids discussing it with her husband. Gradually, she grows suspicion about Mr. Sleuth as a serial killer. But there is a dilemma, if she reports his behavior to the police, they may land up in trouble, or what the lodger is an innocent man with clumsy outlook.

The novel is staged against the famous London fog and one night Robert Bunting watches Mr. Sleuth taking walk wearing rubber-soled shoes. And newspapers reports and police investigation all point to one fact that the murderer wears rubber shoes. Robert grows suspicious of him all the more. It is a dark story; things grow more mysterious when Daisy, Buntings’ daughter arrives home before Christmas.

One day both Buntings move out of the home without informing one another for some shopping. When they confront each other, their faces go pale, and they very well know what’s going in their minds, they share the same fear. They run back for Daisy. She is fine in the house. There are many elements and personal assumptions (like newspapers reports, fog, rubber shoes, acrid smell) that add darker aspects to the novel and all together made it a murder mystery. The writing style of the author is neither simple nor lucid. It is a good read, but the way the author has tumulted the story is something special that makes it more thrilling than anything else.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blueumbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a small …

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Sparrows by K. A. Abbas – A Story about Hidden Kindness

K. A. Abbas was a master at writing short stories, presumably influenced by O. Henry. His work presents a different picture of India and is mainly based on humanity. He was the contemporary writer of that colonial India when the cinema used to run in black and white. Reading K.A. Abbas means exploring the old culture of India.
‘Sparrows’ is a brilliant short story. Once, the story ‘Sparrows’ was conscripted in the world’s best stories along with ‘The Lost Child’, written by Mulk Raj Anand.
A bit about Sparrows
Rahim Khan, the protagonist, is a stolid figure, almost devoid of emotions. He lives alone and the whole village is fearful of him because he brutally beats children and men on slightest pretexts. With time, he has grown so obtrusive and rough that streaks of humanity have left him. Why is he like that?
During the magnificence of his youth there was no one who could compete with him in the wrestling and other sports. It's his deepest desire to join Circus folk. In addition …