“Grady Hendrix somehow makes horror charming. His style of writing — unrelenting humanity in the face of real terror, of both the supernatural and everyday varieties — is in top form here. He’s one of a handful of authors whose new work I devour as soon as I get my hands on it. Hendrix knows how to terrify you, but more importantly, he knows how to make you feel like you can potentially overcome the thing that scares you the most.”
— Colin Sneed, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC
The New York Times Best Seller #1 April LibraryReads Pick April Indie Next Pick Goodreads Big Book of Spring 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.
Included in The New York Times Book Review's 2020 Summer Reading issue! Amazon Best Mystery & Thriller of 2020 So Far Amazon Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2020 So Far #1 April 2020 LibraryReads Pick April 2020 Indie Next Pick Amazon Best Book of April 2020 A Library Journal Editors' Pick for April 2020 The A.V. Club Best Book of April 2020 POPSUGAR Best of April 2020 Goodreads Big Book of Spring 2020
“Ghosts of the past have also inspired one of the most rollicking, addictive novels I’ve read in years: THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES by Grady Hendrix,a tale of housewives battling vampires that is sweetly painful, like hard candy that breaks a tooth.”—Danielle Trussoni for The New York Times Book Review
“A delight...its incisive social commentary and meaningful character development make The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires not just a palatable read for non-horror fans, but a winning one.”—USA Today, 3.5 out of 4 star review
“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.”—Fangoria
“[Hendrix] remains excellent at staging page-turning sequences of excitement and anxiety...[and] a master of adding little details that fill in the landscape of his Southern-fried world.”—The A.V. Club
“[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
“A refreshing change from the usual moldy castle escapee of a vampire tale....these Southern Stepford wives will match Scarlett O’Hara for sheer determination and surpass Buffy the Vampire Slayer with their courage, while giving the reader an unexpected ironic chuckle or two along the way."—New York Journal of Books
“Book Club lures you in with the bucolic setting, charming women, and Southern affect, but when it turns, it does a hairpin one-eighty, goes and spins sedys in the police parking lot while screaming obscenities, then turns around and delivers the vigilante-style vindication that we—and Patricia—so desperately deserve.”—Tor.com
“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
“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 More praise for Grady Hendrix: “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, on My Best Friend’s Exorcism
“Pure, demented delight.”—The New York Times Book Review, on Paperbacks from Hell
“Horrorstör delivers a crisp terror-tale...[and] Hendrix strikes a nice balance between comedy and horror.”—The Washington Post, on Horrorstör
“Terrific... Sharply written... [My Best Friend’s Exorcism] makes a convincing case for [Hendrix’s] powers as a sharp observer of human behavior.”—The A.V. Club, on My Best Friend’s Exorcism
“Hendrix’s darkest novel yet will leave readers begging for an encore.”—Booklist, starred review, on We Sold Our Souls
“A true appreciation of the genre.”—Los Angeles Times, on Paperbacks from Hell
“Campy. Heartfelt. Horrifying.”—Minnesota Public Radio, on My Best Friend’s Exorcism
“An inventive, hilarious haunted house tale.”—Bustle, on Horrorstör
“Clever, heartfelt, and get-under-your-skin unnerving.”—Fangoria, on My Best Friend’s Exorcism
“A good, creepy, music-tinged thriller.”—CNET, on We Sold Our Souls