Bedbugs (Quirk Books, 256 pages, $14.95) by Ben H. Winters is an urban tale about a couple of city dwellers, Alex and Susan, who get the deal of a lifetime on the top two stories of a brownstone in a fashionable area of Brooklyn. After she awakens one morning with three small bedbug bites, Susan realizes the apartment may not be such a great deal. To make matters worse, while Susan has been bitten by a bedbug, she can’t seem to find any evidence of them in the apartment. When she continues to get bitten with no evidence of the bugs in sight, Susan begins to wonder what the source of the problem actually is…
When I was about halfway finished with Bedbugs I looked across the room at my husband and said, “I’m gonna go ahead and call it now. Best book of 2011.” Then I explained what the book was about to him and he said he thought it was more of a case of a book being tailor made for me. See, I love scary books and movies, but not just any scary books and movies. They have to have certain elements: beautiful and creepy architecture, a building sense of paranoia, scary “wow” moments, and I usually prefer a female protagonist. Bedbugs has all of these elements.
Before I started reading Bedbugs I noticed it was compared Rosemary’s Baby in the blurb on the back of the book. This initially made me do an involuntary eye roll, because my favorite scary movie/book of all time is Rosemary’s Baby. In my weird little universe nothing can compare to Rosemary’s Baby. I watched it on a loop both times I was pregnant. Nothing has come close to my love for Rosemary’s Baby in the past 32 years since I watched it the first time. (Yes, I was 3 the first time I saw it.) Until now. That’s right. Bedbugs has nearly usurped Rosemary’s Baby as my favorite scary book.
Some of the scenes depicted in the book had me scratching at myself as I read them, and yes, the pictures at the top of this post are of me inspecting my bed. But this is not a reason not to read the book. Ben H. Winters is a great storyteller. Bedbugs is an excellent horror novel. One of the best I’ve read in years. Just don’t read it right before bedtime.
Click here to purchase a copy of Bedbugs from Amazon.
Check out the book trailer for Bedbugs:
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