Author: Ben H. Winters
Genre: Horror, Suspense, Thriller
Release Date: September 6th
FOR RENT: Top two floors of beautifully renovated brownstone, 1300 sq. ft., 2BR 2BA, eat-in kitchen, one block to parks and playgrounds. No broker’s fee.
Susan and Alex Wendt have found their dream apartment.
Sure, the landlady is a little eccentric. And the elderly handyman drops some cryptic remarks about the basement. But the rent is so low, it’s too good to pass up.
Big mistake. Susan soon discovers that her new home is crawling with bedbugs . . . or is it? She awakens every morning with fresh bites, but neither Alex nor their daughter Emma has a single welt. An exterminator searches the property and turns up nothing. The landlady insists her building is clean. Susan fears she’s going mad—until a more sinister explanation presents itself: she may literally be confronting the bedbug problem from Hell. --Goodreads
A big thank you to Quirk Books for sending me a copy for review. This of course does not influence my opinion whatsoever, and my review is completely honest.
Gee thanks, Ben H. Winters, for not only creeping me out, but now my fear of all things “creepy-crawly” has probably become even more phobic, if that’s even possible. I already hate bugs enough as it is. As if I needed this book to remind me how high my level of fear was already. Ha. I couldn’t read this without feeling like I had something crawling up my own legs and arms at the same time, and that was down-right WEIRD. I believe I even checked my own bed a few times before allowing myself to climb in. Ha!
I like good, old-fashioned style horror thrillers. The type that make your heart race along with the characters, the story of the couple moving into a house with a mysterious story, and twists and turns that leave you guessing and flipping pages until the last one. Bedbugs delivered that classic style that I love and adore anytime I pick up a book in this genre.
The characters were very likeable and well-crafted. Because of this, I was happy, in the simple fact that I didn’t want anything bad at all to happen to them. I say this for reasons in part that I’ve read other horror books before in which I just didn’t find the characters likeable, or undeveloped, so I didn’t care at all if they “got the axe”. Not in this instance. With every turn of the page, I was almost nail-biting it, hoping that when the end came, the family would all make it out okay. Did they? I can’t say in the review or not. I promise never to give out spoilers in my reviews so you will have to read to find out for yourself.
The ending was crucial and shocking. I admit to predicting some of it ahead of time. Namely because I’ve seen the “cliché” before. However, it was pulled together fantastically. It was a heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat, spine-tingling nail biter!
I really enjoyed this book and breezed right through it, despite the creepy-crawlies.
(Ben H. Winters is also the best-selling author of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.)