I’ve been intending to get around to a Grady Hendrix book for a while now, I’ve got a couple of them on my Kindle, but with all that I’ve got going on, and his newest book out on Audible, I decided to enjoy it on my daily commutes. What a great decision I made!
There is something comforting or familiar about books that go back to a point in my own past, one where I recognize the music, pop culture and historical references; because, well, I was there. There are so many books that have pulled me in right from the start by capitalizing on my familiarity with the setting.
Hendrix has added a little unfamiliar to this familiar setting, a vampire. Yes, I have read my fair share of vampire books. Like zombies, vampires have been done so many times in so many different ways. The key to making it work for me is the author’s approach: make the monster new, unique, something I’ve never seen before or make it about the people and how the monster makes them act and react.
Hendrix did both. I’m not going to give you any details on our villain but trust me, this is not like any vampire you’ve seen before. However, Hendrix keeps enough of the base characteristics that it is still a vampire.
What Hendrix really mastered were the characters. He had me connect with and see from the point of view of Patricia Campbell: a southern housewife and mother of two - all things that I am definitely not. The Audible narration of Bahni Turpin was a perfect fit. I became part of Patricia’s life. I understood her frustration, her pain, and her need to destroy and protect.
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires has given me a taste for more Grady Hendrix.