Vampires. Ugh. So tired, so overdone. So sparkly or friendly or stilted or cleanly sexed-up for the CW. You never want to read another vampire novel as long as you live, amirite?
Well, you’re gonna want to read this one.
With his fifth novel, The Suicide Motor Club, St. Pete’s own Christopher Buehlman — a World Fantasy Award-nominated wordsmith whose first foray into vampire territory, 2014’s The Lesser Dead, earned a Shirley Jackson Award nom — breathes new, er, undeath into one of horror’s oldest bogeys. It’s a book as thrilling and dangerous as the classic muscle cars that form the central motif of its story, their amoral power and potential for mayhem an apt reflection of Buehlman’s monsters.
While on a road-trip vacation across the wide open spaces of the mid-’60s American West, Judith Lamb loses both her young son and her marriage to a horrifying random encounter. In its aftermath — and as her attackers continue their chaotic spree along the highways and backroads — Judith, whose life has always included tenuous relationships with both religion and the paranormal, attempts to find meaning in her circumstances by joining a convent. A stranger soon visits, however, to offer her not only that meaning and a chance at closure for her own personal tragedy, but also an opportunity to do God’s work by helping to rid the world of a secret evil.
And so Judith throws in with a unique yet nicely Stoker-esque band of Fearless Vampire Hunters, setting herself on a collision course with the forces that ripped her life apart and wondering if what she truly seeks is righteousness or revenge.