Narrated By: Bahni Turpin
Duration: 13 hours and 49 minutes
What to expect
Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a real monster.
Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her ambitious husband is too busy to give her a goodbye kiss in the morning, her kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on thank-you notes and her endless list of chores. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime and paperback fiction. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are marriage, motherhood, and neighborhood gossip.
This predictable pattern is upended when Patricia meets James Harris, a handsome stranger who moves into the neighborhood to take care of his elderly aunt and ends up joining the book club. James is sensitive and well-read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in twenty years. But there’s something off about him. He doesn’t have a bank account, he doesn’t like going out during the day, and Patricia’s mother-in-law insists that she knew him when she was a girl—an impossibility.
When local children go missing, Patricia and the book club members start to suspect James is more of a Bundy than a Beatnik—but no one outside of the book club believes them. Have they read too many true crime books, or have they invited a real monster into their homes?
Thriller / suspense fiction, Horror and supernatural fiction, Horror and supernatural fiction, Fiction: general and literary, Narrative theme: Sense of place
Listen to a sample
“One of the most rollicking, addictive novels I’ve read in years…a tale of housewives battling vampires that is sweetly painful, like hard candy that breaks a tooth.”
“It feels weird to call a blood-soaked horror novel writhing with creepy-crawlies a delight, but these are strange times, and indie horror writer Grady Hendrix…is the patron saint of strange.”
“Funny, heartbreaking, scary, and fun.”
“The novel is a charming testament to friendships and life’s imperfections, with dashes of rot and savagery to earn its keep in horror literature…It’s a rollercoaster [that] lands as a vampire story concreted in vileness and Southern charm.”
“[Hendrix’s] best book yet. Fans of smart horror will sink their teeth into this one.”
“This masterpiece novel ladles out ample thrills, chills, and relevant examples of sociopolitical injustices to satisfy any literary appetite.”
“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.”
"[A] clever, addictive vampire thriller…[with] perfectly-pitched allusions to classic horror novels and true crime accounts. This powerful, eclectic novel both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.”
“This genre-bending vampire story helps cement horror as a frontier for feminist storytelling.”
“Grady Hendrix has cemented his place as a literary luminary…Cancel your plans and lock your doors-you won’t be able to stop reading this one until the very end.”
“The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is funny and warm and it’s genuinely creepy and disturbing. Grady recreates a time and place without the dangerous, distortive lens of nostalgia.”
“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.”