Evil in a small town is one of my absolute favorite horror tropes and THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES aces it!
Set in the 90's, we begin with a southern ladies book club, (surprise!), that turns from reading fiction to true crime. These are rather old fashioned ladies for the 90's, they're stay at home wives, some with children and they feel their lives are complete. Until one day, one of them, (Patricia), is attacked by an elderly neighbor. Patricia is okay, but the neighbor later dies. Soon thereafter, the neighbor's nephew comes to town and so begins this terrific tale of a vampire in a small town. Will Patricia and the rest of her book club survive? You'll have to read this to find out!
I couldn't help but be reminded of Salem's Lot while reading, but I have to say, in many ways, this book was better than that one. 400 pages never went by so fast for me. Also, we didn't have to sit through a lot of description about the town and all of its inhabitants. There was just enough so that the reader has a good idea of what life is like for the town's inhabitants-those on both the good and bad sides of town.
Even though most of the horror here is quiet, there were a few scenes that definitely reminded me of horror's heydey and authors like James Herbert; and even the "quiet" scenes were filled with suspense and dread. I think Mr. Hendrix has this horror thing down pat.
I've been a fan of Grady Hendrix since PAPERBACKS FROM HELL came out and with this book, he has made me his bitch. I will read anything this man writes from here on out. He has the writing chops, his work always seems to have a bit of humor and in a way, some of it seems like an homage to those authors from the horror boom of the late 70's and 80's. To that, I say Huzzah! (And keep them coming!)
My highest recommendation!
Available April 7, but you can pre-order here: THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB'S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES
*Thanks to Edelweiss and Quirk Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*