Being away from work for anything more than a week is bad idea. I am completely inundated with stuff to do so I am going to keep the reading light and reviewing even lighter. The current edition of The Economist includes an article titled A New Debugger, which you could easily mistake for a piece on finding errors in programming code. It is however about a different sort of bug, a real live vampire that grew and prospered with the rise of humanity. Bedbugs did exceedingly well until the early 20th century when a host of chemical insecticides largely eliminated them in the developed world that is until their current resurgence. They have become increasingly resistant to insecticides and worldwide airline travel is fueling their rise. Hotels in New York are apparently badly affected. I don't think people in India are as jumpy about the critters (they smell like raspberries - which other insect sucks your blood and makes your house smell pleasant?) . They probably have enough of other kinds blood-sucking vermin to worry about. I remember that a year ago, we had a bedbug scare in my house (it was a false alarm). But, our mislaid apprehensions probably came from a healthy exposure to American attitudes towards pests.
Which brings me to the book, Winters shouldn't have called it Bedbugs. It gives the game away. The minute the Wendt family, Susan, Alex and their four year old daughter move into their dream apartment in Brooklyn, the countdown to the inevitable appearance of bedbugs begins. The plot is somewhat simplistic but Winters manages to effectively capture Susan's ever increasing paranoia about the presence of bedbugs in her new home and despite the subject, the book is mildly creepy (or was that just revulsion?). Everything goes pear-shaped when a really silly supernatural twist is introduced. Thankfully the book ends soon after.
Bedbugs is definitely not a novel for those who dislike parasitic insects or are creeped out easily.
Note: the image of the bedbug used in this post is in the public domain and is sourced from CDC/ Harvard University (http://phil.cdc.gov/phil).