The Eye of the Bedbug

Fiction - Thriller - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 04/17/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha for Readers' Favorite

Allan Davis' The Eye of the Bedbug is a riveting piece of realistic fiction that highlights how a person's mental health and emotional compass can be affected in a fractured family setting. The narrative revolves around the lives of two children: Rebecca (an eight-year-old girl) and Bobby (her five-year-old brother). Rebecca and Bobby aren't biological siblings, but when Bobby's father, Leonard, decides to move in with his partner, Ruth (Rebecca's mother), the kids are forced to bond with each other. With Ruth's bipolar disorder taking its toll on her again and Leonard being engrossed in the farm work, Rebecca and Bobby are left to fend for themselves. When Ronald Jones, aka 'Uncle Sam', Leonard's brother, arrives to help his brother with the farm work, the barely put-together lives of Rebecca and Bobby are put to the test. Uncle Sam brings with him his disturbing experiences as a US Marine in the Vietnam War and the calamity of 'hawberry bedbugs.'

Written from the dual perspectives of Rebecca and Bobby in the first-person, this book aptly captures the inner turmoil of the siblings because of Uncle Sam and their emotionally and physically unavailable parents. The characters of both children are powerfully written. Rebecca is portrayed as a responsible and mature girl who perseveres to protect her brother amidst adversity. Bobby is portrayed as an innocent and curious boy who easily falls into Uncle Sam's trap. The author inserts a lot of foreshadowing to hint at the impending danger to the children. This aspect keeps readers on the edge of their seats and urges them to keep reading. The first-person POV enables readers to be privy to the protagonists' thoughts. Allan Davis' writing style is impressive and exciting in the way that it prompts readers to keep turning the pages until the very end. This book is riveting. I highly recommend The Eye of the Bedbug by Allan Davis, especially if you love reading about strong female characters in realistic fiction.

K.C. Finn

The Eye of the Bedbug is a work of fiction in the thriller, suspense, and psychological drama subgenres. It is best suited to an adult reading audience owing to its complex and often dark themes. Penned by author Allan Davis, the story takes readers on a poignant journey into the lives of a family grappling with mental illness, trauma, and the complexities of coping. Leonard, Ruth, Bobby, and Rebecca move to a remote farm, seeking a life off the grid. However, the idyllic dream quickly unravels as Ruth's bipolar disorder takes its toll. Leonard, working tirelessly to sustain the family, leaves the children to fend for themselves. Enter Uncle Sam, a Vietnam War veteran grappling with his own demons.

Author Allan Davis puts a lot of imagination, terror, and emotion into creating a deeply introspective exploration of trauma's enduring impact. This is a story that laughs at the conventional boundaries of family dramas, offering darker, often more painful truths about the blood ties that bind us, and some powerful metaphors that symbolize the repercussions of war and the enduring scars it leaves. The book invites readers to reflect on the complex interplay of trauma, mental illness, and resilience, and the close narrative skill that Davis puts into his characters gives you a keen understanding of the human mind when it’s put under this kind of pressure. The writing is both compassionate and thought-provoking, making it a compelling read for those interested in understanding the human psyche and the enduring impact of trauma on families, as well as those seeking a fast-paced, dark, and exciting thriller tale. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend The Eye of the Bedbug for readers seeking eerie, realistic thriller fiction that takes a cold, hard look at the human mind.

Luwi Nyakansaila

When Rebecca meets her mother Ruth's partner Leonard and his son Bobby, she thinks they would all make a great family. Leonard decides to move them to Manitoulin Island to farm and be closer to his mother and siblings. Unfortunately, Ruth's depression resurfaces, and she spends most of her time in bed, feeling miserable. To support his new family, Leonard starts working at a local hog plant, which leaves Rebecca and Bobby alone a lot. They start spending more and more time with Leonard's brother Ronald, who is nicknamed Uncle Sam because he served in the Vietnam War. Uncle Sam has a strange obsession with telling disturbing war stories and getting rid of bedbugs in the children's beds. But are the bedbugs real, or just a figment of his imagination? To discover the events that unfold, read Allan Davis' mind-blowing tale, The Eye of the Bedbug.

The Eye of the Bedbug is a thrilling story that takes readers on an emotional roller coaster. It begins as a heartwarming story about a new family's fresh start but soon turns into a sinister tale. The tension is palpable from the opening scenes, and the reader can sense that something terrible is about to happen. Allan Davis gradually builds the tension until the climactic end. The story is told from the perspectives of Rebecca and Bobby, whose thoughts and continuous plotting provide a source of hope in this dark tale. The book touches on mental disorders such as bipolar and PTSD, as well as social issues such as child neglect and abuse. The author hints at some of these issues without going into details, leaving readers to assume, which is a clever tactic as it added intrigue and kept me engrossed because I did not want to miss anything. I enjoyed this book and believe it is a must-read for everyone. Children are vulnerable and need to be protected, so let's always make an effort to ensure their safety.