Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this '90s-set horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.
One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in.
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
About the Author
Grady Hendrix is a novelist and screenwriter based in New York City. He is the author of Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Paperbacks from Hell, and We Sold Our Souls, all of which received critical praise from outlets including NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the A.V. Club, Paste, Buzzfeed, and more. He has contributed to Playboy, The Village Voice, and Variety.
#1 April 2020 LibraryReads Pick
“[A] clever, addictive vampire thriller....This powerful, eclectic novel both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Hendrix cleverly sprinkles in nods to well-established vampire lore, and the fact that he's a master at conjuring heady 1990s nostalgia is just the icing on what is his best book yet. Fans of smart horror will sink their teeth into this one.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Hendrix has masterfully blended the disaffected housewife trope with a terrifying vampire tale, and the anxiety and tension are palpable...a cheeky, spot-on pick for book clubs.”—Booklist, starred review
“A vampire's hunger for blood may be insatiable, but this masterpiece novel ladles out ample thrills, chills, and relevant examples of sociopolitical injustices to satisfy any literary appetite.”—Foreword Reviews, starred review
“In turns heartwarming and enraging, bloody horror and social critique, this genre-bending vampire story helps cement horror as a frontier for feminist storytelling."—BookPage
“Like [Stephen] King, Hendrix is great at building locations, characters and tension, and [they] share that wonderful breathless, almost conversational, storytelling tone, and both can set up a feeling of dread in the reader by some well-paced foreshadowing and a killing, telling phrase.”—SF² Concatenation
“The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires is funny and warm and it's genuinely creepy and disturbing. Grady re-creates a time and place without the dangerous, distortive lens of nostalgia.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and The Cabin at the End of the World
“Grady Hendrix has cemented his place as a literary luminary with The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires. Hendrix has taken his genuine affection for housewives and their work, and folded it seamlessly into a horrifying story of social decay and community betrayal. Cancel your plans and lock your doors -- you won't be able to stop reading this one until the very end”—Sarah Gailey, Hugo-Award winning author of Magic for Liars
“Every vampire novel is going to have blood and teeth, but this one’s got that one essential ingredient that nobody else does like Grady Hendrix: heart. These aren’t characters, they’re people, and I consider myself lucky to have known them for a few pages.”—Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Only Good Indians Praise for We Sold Our Souls: Nominated for the 2018 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel A 2019 Locus Award finalist for Best Horror Novel
“A good, creepy, music-tinged thriller.”—CNET
“The quintessential horror-metal novel for our times.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“Kickass, horrifying, and smart as hell. It certainly earns my two horns up.”—Dread Central
“An addictive read for the metalhead and horror hound alike.”—Bloody Disgusting
“Hendrix’s darkest novel yet will leave readers begging for an encore.”—Booklist, starred review
“If you see me in the wild and I'm reading a book that was written by Grady Hendrix, interrupt me at your own peril.”—Sarah Gailey, Hugo-Award winning author of Magic for Liars
Praise for Paperbacks from Hell: “Pure, demented delight.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Paperbacks fromHellis as funny as it is engaging.”—The Washington Post
“The book is a true appreciation of the genre.”—Los Angeles Times
“Paperbacks from Hell is as wild as its source material.”—The A.V. Club
“Just thumbing through these pages will bring back your youth—and terrify you all over again.”—Newsday
Praise for My Best Friend’s Exorcism: “National treasure Grady Hendrix follows his classic account of a haunted IKEA-like furniture showroom, Horrorstor (2014), with a nostalgia-soaked ghost story, My Best Friend’s Exorcism.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Take The Exorcist, add some hair spray and wine coolers, and enroll it in high school in 1988 — that’ll give you My Best Friend’s Exorcism...Campy. Heartfelt. Horrifying.”—Minnesota Public Radio “Clever, heartfelt, and get-under-your-skin unnerving.”—Fangoria
“A touching story of high school friendship and, well, demonic possession.”—Bloody Disgusting
“Terrific...Sharply written...[My Best Friend’s Exorcism] makes a convincing case for [Hendrix’s] powers as a sharp observer of human behavior, filtered through a fun genre conceit that doesn’t skimp on the spooky—or the bodily fluids.”—The A.V. Club
Praise for Horrorstör: “Horrorstör delivers a crisp terror-tale...[and] Hendrix strikes a nice balance between comedy and horror.”—The Washington Post
“Disarming.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Hendrix conjures up some wonderfully gruesome imagery.”—Nerdist
“An inventive, hilarious haunted house tale.”—Bustle
“If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to put together furniture from IKEA, you’ll get a laugh out of Hendrix’s spoof mystery.”—New York Post