The Lodger by Marie Belloc LowndesThere 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 Lowndes novel is based on-
The Lodger Theory
Belloc Lowndes is supposed to have gotten the idea for her story after overhearing a dinner conversation- where a guest was telling another- that his mothers butler and cook claimed to have once rented rooms to Jack the Ripper, and after reading THE LODGER- this fictional account seems to be a mix of Walter Sickert (a German Artist), G. Wentworth Bell Smith (a Canadian religious fanatic), and Francis Tumblety (an Irish/American- physician/quack). All visiting London during the Ripper murders...all lodgers...
Ellen and Robert Bunting have fallen on hard times. After spending years in service- they sunk their life savings on a house and furnishings. They had hoped to rent out rooms to make a nice living in their old age, but now are within weeks of losing everything.
One night a stranger comes to the Bunting home looking for lodgings. His name -Mr. Sleuth, and Ellen in particular takes to him. He seems a bit eccentric, but he pays her in advance- takes two rooms and settles in for the long haul. The Buntings breathe a sigh of relief and start to relax into their new good fortune...but not for long...
The arrival of Mr Sleuth coincides with crimes happening in the area. The London newspapers have been covering the story of a group of murders. The victims- women. The killer- a man calling himself- The Avenger. With a slow building horror, Ellen Bunting realizes that her upstairs lodger could be the mysterious killer, and eventually- her husband Robert Bunting is having that feeling too.
The Lodger is a story of psychological suspense as two people are faced with the sickening possibility that they may be harboring a murderer. The pace is very slow. There is no gore, but what it is...is quietly terrifying- if as you are reading it- you put yourself in the Buntings place and think about what it would be like living with a serial killer upstairs.
The Big Con: Crackpot Economics and the Fleecing of America
American politics has been hijacked. With dark, engaging wit, Jonathan Chait reveals how these canny zealots first took over the Republican Party and then gamed the political system and the media so that once unthinkable policies—without a shred of academic, expert, or even popular support—now drive the political agenda, regardless of which party is in power. Why have these ideas succeeded in Washington? And why do their outlandish ideas still determine policy despite repeated electoral setbacks? Chait tells the outrageous and eye-opening story, expertly explaining just how politics and economics work in Washington.
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Five years into the Iraq war, it is hard to remember that George W. Bush once was controversial for something that had nothing to do with terrorism or the Middle East. Though their true agenda, tax cuts for the rich, was both economically unsound and politically unpopular, Chait writes, Bush and his conservative foot soldiers deceived the public and the press before pushing their policy — four huge tax cuts in six years, in case you lost count — on an enfeebled and corrupted Congress. Any writer who accuses his adversaries of being paranoid extremist nuts epithets like this appear frequently in the book runs the risk of seeming like a paranoid extremist nut himself. But Chait sets out to disarm us on the first page.