cover image Bedbugs


Ben H. Winters. Quirk, $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59474-532-2

The man behind Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters returns with an original novel set in New York's Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, a tony enclave of young families, high-end strollers, and fancy cookware (in Winters's mind if not exactly in reality). The Wendts%E2%80%94infrequent artist Susan, husband Alex, and daughter Emma%E2%80%94newcomers to New York City, move into a suspiciously cheap apartment as a nearby mother rolls her twins off the roof, sparking a general turn to the creepy. Susan gradually becomes isolated as she encounters a "massive" stranger staring from the shadows of the yard, a noise of uncertain origin, a suicide close to home, and mysteries surrounding the apartment's last tenants. Increasingly troubling events culminate in a case of bedbugs that is demonic in scope. By turns gruesome and compelling, fueled by a slow-burn tension, and full of in-jokes about contemporary Brooklyn culture, Winters's breezy summer read will leave readers compulsively scratching. (Sept.)