Review: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

There was quite a buzz around The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. It got me very curious! I do like a good fantasy story. This book is not available in Dutch (yet), so I read the English e-book. To be honest, I don’t mind reading books in the language they were written in. Albeit, I must be able to understand the language. 😉 What did I think of this book? Let’s find out!

The book cover of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller.  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. 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?

My first impression

Because of how people talked about this book, I thought it was a funny book too. However, apart from one part in the beginning, it’s not that funny. Or does the funny come back a few chapters later? I don’t know, I am puzzled by this. However, it is a mysterious read and I am curious to find out what happens! Something seems off about James Harris, but he could still be a good guy.

The story

Patricia Campbell is a housewife that looks forward to her bookclub meetings. However, she doesn’t really read the books. That changes when she and some other women start a new bookclub. They read true-crime novels.

When a new neighbor joins the neighborhood, everyone is a fan of him. However, it isn’t long before Patricia doesn’t really trust him. The new neighbor, James, seems to be nice. When Patricia voices her concerns, everyone turns against her and choses James’s side. Even her husband belittles her. When things turn even darker later in the book, they turn really dark. Exponentially.

My opinion

Honestly, what did I just read?! The book starts off kinda funny, then becomes kinda annoying and sexist, then becomes extremely dark. Like, horrific. In my opinion, this book is all over the place. It is so different from what I expected! I was not prepared for this. There were parts that were enjoyable, but how the story evolves towards the end is just weird and over the top.

Conclusion of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

The story definitely had potential, but the over the top dark ending left me confused. I did like one of the last decisions Patricia made though. The writing was not consistent enough, thus the book changes the tone too much. Therefore, I would not really recommend this book. However, I was intrigued enough to finish it.


Written by Roos Bergers