Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters


Three stars.

I could not wait to begin this novel after receiving this book from Quirk Books (through Goodreads' First Reads).

Ben H. Winters drew me in right away with the warm, vivid description of what at first appeared to be the dream house for Alex and Susan, and their daughter Emma. It's cheaply priced, bigger than their old place, within transit for Alex. The brownstone on Cranberry Street genuinely seems to good to be true....

Unfortunately, from Susan's eyes, it was too good to be. Before their boxes are even unpacked, a murder takes place in the neighborhood, taking the lives of two infants. Not to mention, it isn't long before the house seems to be falling apart before her eyes; cracks she hadn't noticed, floor boards that aren't quite safe, a God awful stench in the "bonus" room that she wanted to put her studio in. And of course, the mysterious bites that began to appear on her flesh- and no one else's.

Cursed by these bed bug bites (even though everyone around her doubts their existence) and motivated by a series of mysterious website posts and an even more strange book, Susan feels that something bad has happened in this house, and that it is up to her to find out what that "something" was, and more importantly, who is to blame. Maybe then, and only then, will the bed bugs leave her be.


This book is written with an ominous, mysterious undertone from start to finish, which leaves the reader wondering what is to come. Whether it be in the form of Angela, the old, sharp and widowed landlady who always seems to say something odd or Louis, the old "handyman" seen lurking about at the oddest places, there is always someone or something that has a tone of darkness about them. It paints a haunting shadow over the text of the story, making the reader turn each page cautiously, as though the horror of these small, vampiric insects may crawl out from the very pages themselves.

I found this book to be well written, intriguing, and creepy. If you can read this without feeling an itch or two on your own skin, then you've a stronger mind than I. All in all, it is a psychological horror/thriller novel that is definitely worth the read.... Good luck falling asleep tonight- they don't bite.... Much.


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