Saturday, August 02, 2008

Andrew Klavan's 5 best psychological crime novels

For the Wall Street Journal, novelist Andrew Klavan named a five best list of psychological crime novels.

One title on his list:
The Lodger
by Marie Belloc Lowndes
Scribner, 1913

This is a wonderful read and a forgotten genre classic. Robert and Ellen Bunting are retired servants on the brink of disaster: The respectable fa├žade of their middle-class London life is about to collapse into poverty. Then, one night -- the same night that a serial killer called The Avenger strikes again -- the mysterious Mr. Sleuth arrives at their door and asks to rent a room. The Buntings are saved from ruin -- but is it possible that their new lodger and the murderous Avenger are one and the same? What's so mesmerizing here is not just the Bible-quoting, woman-hating, Ripper-like suspect, but the way that Mrs. Bunting's desperation to hold onto her middle-class respectability compels her to become his tacit accomplice.
Read about Number One on Klavan's list.

Klavan's latest novel, Empire of Lies (Harcourt), has just been published.

--Marshal Zeringue