“This funny and fresh take on a classic tale manages to comment on gender roles, racial disparities, and white privilege all while creeping me all the way out. So good.”—Zakiya Dalila Harris, author of The Other Black Girl
Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this New York Times best-selling horror novel about a women's book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town.
• Reading group guide for book clubs
• Hand-drawn map of Mt. Pleasant
• Annotated true-crime reading list by Grady Hendrix
• And more!
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.
When Patricia Campbell, a bored, housewife in 1990s Charleston, S.C., sighs, "Don't you wish that something exciting would happen around here?" she all but invites the chilling horrors that soon enmesh her and her friends in this clever, addictive vampire thriller from Hendrix (We Sold Our Souls). Patricia is one of a clutch of local women who assuage their ennui by forming a book club to discuss pulpy true crime chronicles. Their lives are upended by the arrival of James Harris, an outsider who easily ingratiates himself into their community, bringing an influx of money and good fortune to the town. Patricia alone finds Harris's lack of traditional identification and sensitivity to daylight peculiar. When people begin to disappear, she struggles to convince her friends that Harris is more sinister than he appears. Hendrix draws shrewd parallels between the serial killers documented in the book club's picks and Harris's apparent vampire persona, loading his gruesome story with perfectly-pitched allusions to classic horror novels and true crime accounts. This powerful, eclectic novel both pays homage to the literary vampire canon and stands singularly within it.