One Sentence Synopsis
Patricia and the members of her book club find themselves in a fight for their neighborhood when they unwittingly invite a vampire to join.
“He thinks we’re what we look like on the outside: nice Southern ladies. Let me tell you something…there’s nothing nice about Southern ladies.”
This book was an experience, y’all. I went in not knowing what to expect beyond a horror story involving vampires, but this bowled me over! We’re following a group of Southern housewives who have formed a book club. But they don’t read the classics… they focus on “trashy” true crime novels.
(Which, honestly, a book club after my own heart.)
Patricia in particular finds an escape from her daily routine in book club. She loves her children, she loves her husband, but she doesn’t feel all that fulfilled. Book club is her happy place… until a man named James Harris moves into town. James quickly insinuates himself into the entire neighborhood’s lives and Patricia is one of the first to welcome him. But there is something strange about James Harris… something that leads to a fight that none of the book club members could have expected.
You know from the beginning of this book that there are vampires involved. I mean, it’s in the title! So I was wondering how intriguing it could be when it was clear who the antagonist was going to be. Thankfully, this book wraps you up in all the neighborhood drama so tightly that throwing a vampire in there is just the cherry on top! I was hooked from the first chapter and thoroughly enjoyed myself until the very end. I will say that, if you’re not a fan of gory details, you may want to give this one a pass. If there is blood, you will hear about it and you will get a graphic description of where it came from! Still, the plot and the writing were just superb and turns this book into a creepy page-turner.
Beyond that, though, I absolutely loved the way the author developed the characters in this book. It would be easy to focus on the scary, bloody stuff at the expense of having fleshed-out characters. It’s a vampire novel, after all. Grady Hendrix made me care for these characters. He made them so real that I could envision spending a night at Patricia’s house, talking over the merits of an Ann Rule book. Patricia’s worry about her children struck home because I could put myself in her shoes. I love when characters are three dimensional and that was definitely the case with this book!
I will say I wanted to run over every, single character’s husband with my car. Especially Carter. F*ck Carter. But even my visceral hatred is a sign of a well-developed character, in my opinion!
One last thing I will note, definitely check the content/trigger warnings for this book before you go in. I mentioned that the gore is pretty detailed, but there are other things, like suicide and child abuse, that are similarly detailed, as well. Some of the scenes were a gut-punch for me, if not triggering, so I can only imagine what it might be like for someone more sensitive. So please protect your psyche and make sure you check those warnings if you’re thinking of picking this book up!
Final thoughts: This was a wild, creepy, gory ride that I thoroughly enjoyed! The characters and plot were all beautifully crafted and made this a real page-turner. Just make sure to check out content/trigger warnings!