- The Good: Housewife uprising, plus a vampire
- The Bad: Simple, predictable story; horror elements entirely based on abuse of women and children
- The Literary: Lots of literary references to Dracula
Patricia Campbell gave up being a nurse to become a mother in a suburban community outside of Charleston in the nineties. Her favorite time of the week is book club, where true-crime, suspenseful fiction, gossip, and wine come together. When a mysterious and handsome new neighbor becomes the talk of the town, everyone is smitten. But when some local children go missing, Patricia begins her own investigation, assuming the culprit is a drug dealer or child molester, but what she uncovers is more supernatural.
This book is exactly what is sounds like—pure entertainment. A sensitive, rich, handsome stranger moves to town. But he turns out to be evil, and because he tricks most of the townsfolk, it’s the housewives who end up hunting down the vampire. The nineties is a great setting for a book club obsessed with serial killers and cults; and along with the blanket conformity, there is a preference to deal with familial dissent as quietly as possible, with medication or mental hospitals. Still, I do wish there were more nineties benchmarks.
Usually I don’t have the patience for woe-is-me housewife tales. There’s no sense in sitting around complaining about a life you chose for yourself. If you hate your life so much, get a divorce and do what you want. And while there is a little of this at the beginning, Patricia’s descent into obsession with her neighbor is also her journey out of her housewife lifestyle. Plus, instead of the housewives always jealously bickering, they form a team, even if they still tell each other what they really think.
There are many liberties taken with the attributes and powers of this particular vampire, but that’s nothing new. Be warned, there are some pretty scary and uncomfortable scenes, including vampire rape and vampire sex with teenagers. But this vampire interpretation represents the abuse and control a man can exert over his family, physically, psychologically, and emotionally, taking whatever he wants without giving in return, and generally thinking he is the most important person in the world.
If you enjoy horror and urban fantasy, check out this bloody, campy, man-hating novel!