The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires follows woman named Patricia Campbell. Patricia once worked as a nurse before giving up her job to become a housewife. Patricia’s husband Carter is a workaholic who’s busy chasing after a promotion and is rarely home. She’s left alone with her two teenage kids, Blue and Korey, who rarely have anything to say to her. Besides taking care of the home, the kids, the dog, and her elderly mother-in-law, Patricia is also part of a book club, where she and the other housewives indulge in true crime.
One evening after returning home from book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by her elderly neighbour, Ann Savage. After Ann’s passing, her nephew James Harris moves in and things start to take a turn for the worse. James is handsome, well-spoken, and incredibly charming. He easily wins over Patricia and her family. However, when children from the other side of town start to go missing and all arrows point to James, Patricia is the only one willing to investigate.
This story is set in the ’90s and takes place in the same neighbourhood as Hendrix’s other book titled My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Both stories are separate, so you don’t need to read one to understand the other. It’s just a cool nod to his previous work. There were plenty of moments in this story that made my blood run cold, twist my face in disgust, and yell in frustration because no one was listening to or taking Patricia seriously.
The husbands in this story were quick to say that their wives had wild imaginations due to the “morbid” books they read. The other housewives sided with their husbands in fear of sounding crazy, leaving Patricia wondering how she would handle this on her own. James was quick to befriend and charm his way into each household. This made him the ultimate villain and you often wondered if he would ever be defeated.
This was the most graphic horror book I’ve read to date. While I was able to get through it and ultimately enjoyed the story, this is a dark read and there are a lot of content warnings to look out for. Book Trigger Warnings does a great job outlining them all. If you are a fan of the horror genre and enjoy stories about vampires, I definitely recommend this book. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is available now on Amazon.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix