Sadly, I’ve never had the pleasure of venturing to the east coast, but after reading this well-crafted book, I feel like I’ve been to South Carolina in the summertime, where folks do all their shopping when the sun goes down to avoid the unbearable heat of the day. One such character in this book only ventures out at night year-round, preying on innocent children in a neighboring town. This nightmarish character has everyone in Mt. Pleasant fooled, though, including the main character’s husband.
Patricia, our main character in The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a stay-at-home wife and mother who begins attending a macabre book club with other like-minded women in a small neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, called Old Village. The knowledge obtained from the true-crime books these ladies read every month comes in handy when a seemingly friendly James Harris moves into Old Village. Patricia is the only person in town who can see James for who he truly is, and this creates insurmountable tension between her and her husband and two children, and between Patricia and the ladies in her book club. All of the ladies’ husbands have befriended this new stranger—so has Patricia’s family—yet the children in Six Mile, a neighboring town, are still dying.
When those closest to her become victims of the manipulative fiend, James Harris, Patricia makes it her mission to take him down, only to find herself in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse where one squeal could be her last. She realizes quickly that she cannot do this on her own. Since her husband has completely lost faith in her, Patricia must convince her friends and fellow book-club members that James Harris is a deadly threat to all they hold dear, but will they listen? Will Patricia’s friends be there when she needs them most?
As Grady Hendrix says in his introduction, “…by the time this story is over, they will be covered in blood. Some of it will be theirs. Some of it will belong to others. But they will drip with it. They will swim in it. They will drown in it.”
And he isn’t kidding.
If you’re a fan of the horror genre with stomach-wrenching gore and sensitive material, this book is for you. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a fast-paced thrill ride, so I made it through this 404-page book in less than three weeks, which is fast for a busy-bee like me.