What’s up with the squashed bedbug?

Bedbugs mate through traumatic insemination. The male literally pierces the female’s body with its penis and injects its sperm into her abdominal cavity. A more evil creature Beach couldn’t imagine, except… [Excerpt from Freedom City]

Since Freedom City’s release, a few people who hadn’t yet read it have asked about the significance of the cover, which features a flattened bedbug. I’ve been cagey. It’s difficult to know how much to divulge without spoiling the story.

My response up until now: “Just read it!”

But future readers won’t always have the option of hearing me evade questions. Lest judgment of the cover discourage anyone from reading the book, a brief explanation is warranted.

Freedom City has four main characters, one of whom is an alcoholic lawyer divorcee named Beach Sands who is in a cuckold relationship with his legal assistant. Beach’s divorce was due in part to a bedbug infestation, so these insects form the baseline from which he measures all evil.

Another passage from the novel explains it best:

On the nights when he had drunk too much gin—which was most nights—he was fond of proclaiming to anyone within earshot, ‘The only thing worse than a bedbug is a hypocrite.’ Sometimes Beach replaced the word ‘hypocrite’ with other objects of his disdain: ‘racists,’ ‘fascists,’ ‘religious nuts,’ ‘Mike Pence apologists,’ and sometimes ‘Phillies fans.’

Bedbugs also play an integral role in part of the story—a role I can’t describe without spoiling it. But the one on the cover is simply an analogy for Trumpism, which Beach and his companions undertake to destroy at all costs. And that’s all I’m revealing for now.

It you want to know more—read Freedom City!


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