Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Six classics with supernatural crimes at their center

Robert Masello is a former journalist, TV writer, and the bestselling author of many novels and nonfiction books, many of them supernatural thrillers with a strong historical foundation. They include The Einstein Prophecy, The Jekyll Revelation, The Romanov Cross, The Medusa Amulet, and his most recent work, The Night Crossing.

At CrimeReads Masello tagged "a half dozen of the most famous and influential supernatural novels and the intriguing, even unique, crimes central to their cores," including:
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Crime: Mortgage Fraud

Heathcliff, a man so deprived he only gets the one name, uses his ruthless temperament and financial acuity (gained somewhere in the New World, doing something mysteriously lucrative) to wind up as the owner of both Wuthering Heights, where he was at first brought as an orphan, and ultimately Thrushcross Grange, too, the estate where the love of his life, Catherine Earnshaw, once lived as the wife of the aristocratic Edgar Linton. Published in 1847, under Emily Bronte’s pen name, Ellis Bell, the book stirred up a ton of controversy with its dark, Gothic tone, its lonely ghosts wandering the moors, and its implicit challenges to traditional Victorian notions of morality. Why, Heathcliff even sneaks to the side of Catherine’s open coffin to open the locket around her neck and replace a snip of her husband’s hair with a lock of his own. Talk about chutzpah. The English poet and painter, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, had it just right when he declared Wuthering Heights to be “a fiend of a book…an incredible monster…The action is laid in hell – only it seems people and places have English names there.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

Wuthering Heights appears on André Aciman's list of five favorite books about the intensity of a once-in-a-lifetime love, Emily Temple's top ten list of literary classics we (not so) secretly hate, Cristina Merrill's list of eight of the sexiest curmudgeons in romance, Kate Hamer's list of six top novels with a strong evocation of atmosphere, Siri Hustvedt's six favorite books list, Tom Easton's top ten list of fictional "houses which themselves seem to have a personality which affects the story," Melissa Harrison's list of the ten top depictions of British rain, Meredith Borders's list of ten of the scariest gothic romances, Ed Sikov's list of eight top books that got slammed by critics, Amelia Schonbek's top five list of approachable must-read classics, Molly Schoemann-McCann's top five list of the lamest girlfriends in fiction, Becky Ferreira's list of seven of the worst wingmen in literature, Na'ima B. Robert's top ten list of Romeo and Juliet stories, Jimmy So's list of fifteen notable film adaptations of literary classics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best thunderstorms in literature, ten of the worst nightmares in literature and ten of the best foundlings in literature, Valerie Martin's list of novels about doomed marriages, Susan Cheever's list of the five best books about obsession, and Melissa Katsoulis' top 25 list of book to film adaptations. It is one of John Inverdale's six best books and Sheila Hancock's six best books.

The Page 99 Test: Wuthering Heights.

--Marshal Zeringue