“Bedbugs” by Ben H. Winters

Dude, Bedbugs are terrifying little monsters. They’ve seemingly always been around, but in recent years have re-emerged as a threat and spawned a whole bunch of new businesses, late-night TV jokes, and bouts of paranoia.

Ben H. Winters, the clever author behind “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” ventures away from literary mash-ups in his latest work, “Bedbugs.”  This book is a straight-up horror novel that manages to take this insect of terror and weave it into a novel that brings to mind both “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist.”

I know those are lofty comparisons, but I’m serious.

In this very New York story, married couple Susan and Alex Wendt decide to move themselves (and their 4 year old daughter) into a new apartment – one that seems almost too good to be believed.  Their landlady is an older woman who broke the house into two apartments after her husband’s death, so the two-story apartment in a brownstone is a deal the Wendt’s can’t not snap up.  Soon after they move in, however, things get weird for Susan.  Susan is soon convinced her new home is infested with bedbugs, though no one but her gets bitten or notices these things at all.  An exterminator dubs the place free and clear, but Susan’s mind can’t rest.  Soon, what began as a question of “bugs or no bugs” spirals into a tornado of doubt, madness, suspicion, death, and potentially even evil spirits.

Is Susan crazy, or are all these things really happening?

If she’s not crazy, how do you stop an infestation of demonic bugs?

S#7T gets real serious, real fast.

I assumed, when I got my review copy of this book, that it’d be smart and a little scary and probably quite funny.  I was not expecting it to be such a great thrill ride.  “Bedbugs” has some great characters, some terrifying moments, and will have your brain spinning with what’s actually going on in the end.

It’s a good great read.  I hope it gets a lot of play/press in the upcoming fall (read: Halloween) season.

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About JamieP

Books. Adventures. Chicago. Married. Mommy. Cat.

Posted on September 6, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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