In order to keep my head straight and less foggy during the recent pandemic quarantine, I made it a personal task to finish one book a week. The most recent summer read that I have had the privilege to finish is a recent 2020 horror novel, by author Grady Hendrix, called The Southern Book Clubs Guide to Slaying Vampires.
Now, as much as I would like to say this book is a weird spin on Twilight with sparkling vampires and werewolves, as well as a messy love triangle, I can’t. Hendrix makes it a point in his novel to create a setting and characters with as much realism as they can possibly have so that the reader is immersed into a real world situation instead of major fantasy. That being said, I can easily make the jurisdiction that the characters and settings are, at best, not cheesy to say the least.
The novel takes place in the early 90’s, with a mother of two, Patricia Campbell, who’s husband is distant with only time for work and less for family. Her only light in life being her monthly book club meetings with her beloved friends and their even more beloved thriller novels. The novel kicks off with a stranger moving to town after the unfortunate, grotesque, death of a neighbor. As well as a slew of mystery events in a neighboring town whose children are experiencing drug-like trances and strange suicides.
Patricia Campbell seems to be the only person who sees straight through this new stranger’s facade. She works to gain the trust of her friends and neighbors in order to get to the bottom of the conflict. The novel does a great job at not candy-coating emotions as well as the adult situations that present themselves, which creates the perfect slew of intensity and excitement for the reader to absorb.
Grady Hendrix does an amazing job at creating the perfect realistic situations without ruining a good spook with tackiness. I will certainly be burying myself in more of Hendrixs’ novels during this school semester as well as during the upcoming Halloween season.