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Review for "Bedfellow" by Jeremy C. Shipp (2018)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Ok, the cover of this was creepy enough to make me pick it up at the library and begin reading it, but then it got really really weird and confusing, so I began skimming pages in the last quarter.
In “Bedfellow,” a typical nuclear family, the Lunds (Dad, Mom, daughter, son), is unexpectedly visited by a strange intruder who slides into their living room window late one night. The family members react to this is in calm, nonchalant way that immediately makes you uncomfortable as hell. The father, Hendrick, begins to converse with the man and eventually realizes that he “knows” him. The visitor is asked to stay the night in the guest room. The visitor is not a typical person–he vomits a lot, drinks copious amounts of Gatorade, and talks constantly about 80’s pop culture movies. Weird.
I wish that the reading experience gets easier from here but it doesn’t. Slowly, as the story progresses, each family member recalls past memories with this strange visitor as either a friend or a family member. Eventually, the visitor begins to impose his own evil agenda upon the family, from which there is little resistance. The novel is told in alternating perspectives between each member of the Lund family, who often contradict one another’s accounts.
I gave this book three stars because I can understand what the author was trying to do, which is leave just enough bread crumbs to a plot to keep you turning the pages. However, the plot was too elusive and kept wriggling out of my grasp, beyond my reach. When I finally did get a hold of what’s happening, it was too late for me to care about the characters, the story, or anything important here.
This book is a perfect example of how too much of the unusual can muck up what could be a great story. If you do read this, try to hang in there past the first 100 pages. You’ll be better off than I was.