By: Ben H. Winters
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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.
Remember those Quirk Books that literally redefined the classics of Sense & Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice by adding sea monsters and zombies? Ben Winters even wrote/rewrote Android Karenina...which I did enjoy as much as I did the classic Tolstoy version.
Anyway here is a book he wrote all by himself. A thriller with bedbugs at the core of the plot. It was heart-wrenching watching Susan lose her sanity inch by inch. No one close to her believed she had bedbugs but then people farther away started shutting her out just in case. I have heard they are making a comeback so that made this book extra creepy. You will get itchy reading it. And I don't recommend reading it in bed.
Fast paced, well written, and most important very scary. Characters are all well developed and either likable or creepy...whatever they need to be. Susan finally finds and ally who comes to her aid after Susan loses it and attacks her husband. The "exterminatrix" comes to her aid, and when Susan tells her what she did the lady laughs and says "Well, you know, infestations place extraordinary strain upon a relationship."
Great ending that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end. I'm so very grateful to Quirk Books for letting me read this one.