Book: “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendrix
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Part supernatural and part deep south drama, “The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendrix was published in April 2020. The novel centers on Patricia, a mom living in Charleston with her husband and teenage kids. Her life is filled with mundane tasks and people, until she’s attacked by an older woman one night after leaving a book club meeting. Enter James Harris. James is the handsome nephew of the elderly woman who attacked Patricia. He’s well read, educated and charming… but when young kids from the town go missing, Patricia starts to worry that there is more to this man that meets the eye.
Author Grady Hendrix delivers a story that reads as a mix between horror and mystery with little snippets of humor woven throughout the story. Author Grady Hendrix’s writing is easy to read and transports you into the mind of Patricia. He also is a master with descriptive language and sets the scene expertly. As a reader, prepare to be immersed in the deep south and stalked by a vampire.
For those who enjoy suspense and thrillers, this one is definitely for you! I found myself looking over my shoulder at night while listening to this book. However, the bone chilling moments of terror are threaded between fragments of southern gossip so it makes reading the book feel like riding a rollercoaster.
While reading there were a few issues that I had with the book. Although these items didn’t keep me from enjoying the book, I found them to be annoying and distracting while reading.
Carter (Patricia’s husband) is completely absent for most of the story, and then when he is present he acts dismissively and is just an all around terrible husband. This made me feel more disconnected from the tale. I found it difficult to understand this spouse dynamic. However, it does relate to the other problem I had with the book which was Patricia’s self deprecating behavior. Patricia actually thinks to herself that she’s just “a stupid little housewife.” Come on now. The woman in me was disheartened to read this. Patricia is being stalked by a killer. She feels it in her bones but she’s not strong enough to speak up and stand up for herself. That was just flat out disappointing.
Recommendations: This book is entertaining and good for readers who enjoy mysteries or southern gothic horror novels. However, readers beware… if you are looking for a strong female lead, this is not the book for you!