The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a supernatural thriller set in a suburban community in Southern USA. The story centres around Patricia, a housewife who has recently moved to the area with her family, but is dissatisfied with her quiet suburban life. The one saving grace is her weekly book club meetings with the other wives in the neighbourhood, where they discuss true-crime and suspense novels. Then, a newcomer arrives in the neighbourhood and Patricia’s life is turned upside down. She, and her book club, are the only things standing in the way of a dangerous and terrifying threat.
I’d never read Grady Hendrix before, but I certainly will again. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a real gem. The plot is strong, while the supernatural horror elements are really effective without being overly gory, and the writing is just phenomenal.
I also think the characters are brilliant. I could have read an entire book about Patricia and the other women just going about their daily lives and having their book club meetings, without any of the more intricate plot developments – that’s how good they are.
Some parts of the story were really frustrating. Namely, the husbands showing up and spoiling everything (of course). But the key reason it was so frustrating was that I was so invested in the characters and their story. Even the women who backed down against their husbands and didn’t help Patricia for the majority of the book were somehow still likeable, and it was easy to understand why they didn’t want to get involved. But, ultimately, this is a book of female solidarity and sisterhood (plus vampires), and I loved it.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.