The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix — Book Review
Set in the same town as My Best Friend’s Exorcism, The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires (henceforth referred to as SBG) follows Patricia, mother of two, and the other gals in her book club. When children start disappearing around town, Patricia’s knowledge of criminal pulp leads her to believe that the new neighbor, James Harris is responsible.
James Harris has to be one of my favorite vampires, right up there with Nosferatu and George RR Martin’s Joshua York from Fevre Dream. Harris’s Ted Bundy-esque charisma is so likeable that it’s almost impossible to believe he’d harm a fly. I found it interesting how Hendrix departed from some vampire tropes/motifs while staying loyal to others.
Rule #1: NEVER INVITE ONE INTO YOUR HOUSE.
“Would you like to meet my family?” she asked.
“I don’t want to interrupt your meal,” he said.
“I’d consider it a personal favor if you did.”
He regarded her for a split second, expressionless, sizing her up, and then he matched her smile.
“Only if it’s a real invitation,” he said.
“Consider yourself invited,” she said, standing aside.
After a moment he stepped over her threshold and into the dark front hall.
Hendrix, Grady. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires (pp. 74-75). Quirk Books. Kindle Edition.
This might be my favorite work from Hendrix to date. The interpersonal relationships and stakes reminded me much of Anne River Siddon’s The House Next Door, and (to a lesser extent) Stephen King’s The Outsider. I also found it somewhat ironic how the silliest concept for a Hendrix novel turned out to be the darkest entry in his oeuvre yet.