The Suicide Motor Club By Christopher Buehlman

Vampires! Horror! Muscle Cars! Dark ! Gritty! Blood! Gore! aaaand Revenge!

Confession: I am frivolous enough to be lusting
after an attractive book cover. And when there's an intriguing title attached to such a cover, I stand no chance to not indulge in a harmless little tryst with a book. Just making a few things clear there as to why I hooked up with this one.
Revelation: Vampires!
Yup it was much later that I realized that this one has vampires because ahem you as I already mentioned, in lust and all....What did i know?!! I was deliberately ensared! There was no way now that I would not carry on with this little distraction amidst my other reads.

As for the plot, characters, story arc, writing style bla bla bla. I am not even going to talk about all that. For me this book checked all the criterions that I want in a book. It was absolutely perfect.

Oh and extra stars for Buehlman's freaking-ly awesome narration.

P.S: This one gave me all the feels of something that Tarantino would make. Why hasn't this been picked by some film maker already?

P.P.S: this book has a lot elements of death, violence with quite many descriptive gruesome and gory moments. All my friends who do no prefer such triggers, I'd suggest them to stay away from this one. Hardcover Review from The Speculative Herald:

The Suicide Motor Club is a visceral portrayal of the darker side of vampires. As you would expect from Buehlman, these are not the sparkly, hunky types of vampires that teenage girls swoon over. These are the things of your nightmares becoming reality. The pacing and emotions are as relentless as the vampires of the suicide motor club.

The main vampires we meet are part of what is called The Suicide Motor Club. They stalk their prey on the highways (if the word stalking can be used when they are driving over 100 miles per hour. At night, with no lights.) Choosing their victims, causing horrific crashes, and feasting on the survivors. This to me, is just a terrifying scenario. It shows a vulnerability as there is little you can do when driving down the highway if another car decides their purpose is to make you crash. Normal people are not trained or capable of evading this. The fear of crashing is honestly scary enough for me. Especially in the 1960s before there were as many safety features on cars. But then to survive the initial crash, trapped and bleeding as waiting prey for the vampires to feast on and finish the job just takes the scenario from fear to absolutely horrifying. These vampires take a cruel pleasure in the hunting and pain of humans.

But when one of their victims not only survives, but also proves immune to their glamours and mind control abilities, the hunters become the hunted. Judith may not be able to explain what she saw in terms of what other people will be willing to accept, since vampires hide their existence. But she remembers clearly who and what caused her devastating loss on that highway. Judith’s first tactic at recovery really surprised me and yet it makes perfect sense. She is is a strong woman, and when she is given an opportunity she will seize it with all her might.

Buehlman did not just do a great job with Judith’s character, but also with the characters of the vampires. The story was incredibly well balanced with enough back story and information to allow the reader to distinguish and understand each vampire as unique from the others. They all had their own motivations and personalities. There are some interesting scenarios that occur that really test faith and trust. One vampire in particular I found absolutely fascinating.

I really want to know what happens next in the characters that survive to end of this book and yet am completely satisfied with the ending. Honestly, I just thought it was fabulous. Buehlmans ability to craft words to flow so beautifully and yet paint such a terrifying tale is in full force. Pretty much, this is a fantastic story that will force you to the edge of your seat and pitch your emotions from fear to heartache to vengeance. It is a book that can be terrifying and yet will never cross you mind to set it down until the final page has been read. Hardcover Wow. Such a gritty and fuel-injected vampire/horror novel and yet so meticulous and beautifully written. How Buehlman juggles all the characters and their stories and the stories of the smaller characters too, all given such respect and proper page time, gives THE SUICIDE MOTOR CLUB the weight of a complex American epic with plenty of emotional wallop, plus thrills galore. Consider me a fan of Mr. Buehlman! Hardcover this is my 2nd read by Christopher B and I think I love him! The villains in this book and mean, mean, mean! The story is very action packed. I think for people who love reading about these types of villains, this story will be a breath of fresh air. (leaving it vague for anyone who wants to be surprised). Hardcover

The nitty-gritty: Mix the dark absurdity of Pulp Fiction with fast cars, set the story in the late 60s, add in a handful of bloodthirsty vampires and a young woman who is set on vengeance, and you have a stellar novel that is a MUST READ for horror fans.

“I don’t believe in vampires,” Sam said. “But I do believe in assholes.”

(That's my favorite quote from the book, by the way.)

Sometimes a book comes along that reminds me why I love reading, and The Suicide Motor Club is one of these rare books. I have to admit I’ve been feeling a little blah about reading and blogging lately, mostly due to an extremely busy schedule in other areas of my life. Writing reviews especially has felt like a chore, and even though I realize that reviews are the reason I started this blog in the first place, sometimes I just don’t feel like writing them. But then I read Buehlman’s latest and I couldn’t wait to sit down and tell you all about it! First of all, you should know this is a vampire story, but these are unlike any vampires I’ve ever come across before. They are familiar in some ways—they drink blood from humans, they can’t go outside during the day, and they have miraculous healing powers. But I found them to be horrifically terrifying and honestly more like serial killers than supernatural creatures. Buehlman’s vampires are undead nasties who hole up during the day in abandoned mines and dilapidated shelters of one sort or another, but by night they cruise the dark streets of America in their hot rods, causing horrific car accidents and feasting on the crash victims. There’s a car on the book cover for a good reason: cars play a central role in the story, both in the machinations of the killings, and the characters' love of big engines and shiny paint jobs.

Judith Lamb and her family are driving one night when a car with its head lights off pulls up beside them. Judith is horrified when a deathly pale man in the backseat reaches through the window and grabs her son Glendon, yanking him into the car. The ’67 Camaro peels off into the night before Judith or her husband Robert can react, but the worst is yet to come. Following close behind, a red GTO rams into their car and causes a grisly accident, killing Robert and gravely injuring Judith.

When Judith wakes up in the hospital, her husband is dead and her son has been kidnapped and is likely dead as well. Survivor’s guilt and lots of soul-searching lead Judith to joining a convent in the hopes of becoming a nun someday. But now, two years later, a stranger comes to visit her, claiming that he is a member of a group of vampire hunters called the Bereaved, men who have been watching and studying groups of vampires for years in the hopes of destroying them some day. Their leader, Phillip Wicklow, asks Judith to leave the convent and join them in their fight, explaining that her connection to the convent gives her a holy status that could be a powerful force against the creatures.

Judith’s desire for revenge leads her to accept Wicklow’s offer, but killing vampires is a nearly impossible—not to mention deadly—task. As Judith prepares for the battle ahead, she’s going to need all her faith to survive, as well as the physical skills she’s learned from her father. Because these vampires are mean. And tricky. And worst of all, they’re hell on wheels…

Wow, where to start? First of all, this book is a flawless example of how to write a horror story, and it’s one of the best of that genre that I’ve ever read (and that’s saying something—I’ve read a lot of horror fiction). Buehlman’s writing is part poetry and part nasty Southern Gothic drawl. Each sentence is perfectly timed and perfectly placed. Buehlman just understands the rhythms in writing, and it’s a rare thing. I also have to mention that the way he writes a character’s inner dialogue reminded me so much of Stephen King, except that Buelhman’s prose is so much better.

Word of warning: if you don’t like reading about car crashes, then this might not be the book for you. There are some pretty hairy scenes that involve fatal crashes, and what’s even more terrifying is the fact that Luther and his vamp friends deliberately cause these accidents. As I mentioned before, the horror in The Suicide Motor Club is more of the human variety, which makes these characters even scarier. Yes, the vampires have sharp teeth and they drink blood, but they also shoot guns and wield knives, and they do it with shit-eating grins on their faces. These aren’t the sort of folks you want to encounter at night on a lonely stretch of road.

Another of Buehlman’s strengths is his ability to write deep and sympathetic characters, and even the meanest of the vampires, a piece of work named Luther, has a past life as a race car driver, who even now as a vampire loves cars. I loved these little details, the character traits that make even the worst and nastiest characters come across as human. (Although there is a vampire named Calcutta who didn’t have any redeeming qualities, from what I could tell. She was one of the scariest characters I’ve ever encountered!)

And then there is Judith, who has lost everything and doesn’t know where to turn. The fact that she takes steps to become a nun, of all things, gives her the strength she needs to fight the vampires. Judith seems meek and helpless in the beginning scenes, especially after her son is taken so brutally. But she rallies back with a dark purpose when she’s given the chance to exact vengeance, and this side of Judith really surprised me. Buehlman gives us wonderful back-story details about growing up with a father who not only taught her how to shoot and fight, but imparted important life lessons to her at the same time. Judith isn’t a flashy character, but she’s one I’ll remember for a very long time.

Buehlman frames his story by dividing it into five main sections, each one becoming increasingly more tense as the story goes along. By the time we’re introduced to a new vampire character named Clayton, I had the dreaded feeling of just where things were headed, and I was right. I suddenly felt like I was in the speeding car, unable to prevent what was coming. And these are the magical moments in storytelling that are so elusive. The last page of the story gave me chills, the good kind that you get when everything comes together just right in the end. Every aspiring writer should read this book and take notes—this is how it’s done.

Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. This review originally appeared on Books, Bones & Buffy


“Rising horror star”* Christopher Buehlman, author of The Lesser Dead, returns with a chilling and thrilling tale of dark evil lurking on the lonely, open road...
Bram Stoker, quoting the ballad “Lenore,” said, “The dead travel fast.”
Those words have never rung more true...
Remember that car that passed you near midnight on Route 66, doing 105 with its lights off? You wondered where it was going so quickly on that dark, dusty stretch of road, motor roaring, the driver glancing out the window as he blew by.
Did his greedy eyes shine silver like a coyote’s? Did he make you feel like prey?
You can’t remember now.
You just saw the founder of the Suicide Motor Club. Be grateful his brake lights never flashed. Be grateful his car was already full.
They roam America, littering the highways with smashed cars and bled-out bodies, a gruesome reflection of the unsettled sixties. But to anyone unlucky enough to meet them in the lonely hours of the night, they’re just a blurry memory.
That is—to all but one...
Two years ago, they left a witness in the mangled wreck of her family car, her husband dead, her son taken. She remembers their awful faces, despite their tricks and glamours. And she’s coming for them—her thirst for vengeance even more powerful than their hunger for blood.
On the deserted highways of America, the hunters are about to become the hunted... The Suicide Motor Club

4.5/5 stars!

Vampires and American muscle cars. It's like this book was tailored to me personally. And on top of that, it ROCKED!

A family is on a road trip on an American highway one night, with their young son in the back seat. A car with no lights on pulls up next to them, grabs the arm of the boy, (he had his arm out the window), and poof, the boy is gone. Next thing you know, the car is crashed on the side of the road, with both mom and dad badly injured. Where did the boy go? Who took him? Will he ever see his father and mother again? You'll have to read this to find out.

There's no sparkling here and there's no romance, (well, maybe a little, but it's a different type of romance.) Instead, these vamps traveled in a pack during the late 60's. For me, the time period was a perfect, refreshing setting because: 1. the cars were all American,(this was a time before the invasion of imported cars), 2. I'm an American car gal AND I love muscle cars and 3. there were no cell phones or other technologies distracting me from the story.

At this point in my horror-reading life, I'm vampired out. It takes a special book to get me excited about them, and this one was it. I loved the return of vampires with hypnotizing skills, (remember when Dracula did that hypnotizing thing?), ones that can make you do his/her bidding and then forget you ever saw them. I enjoyed the fact that these vampires had other special skills which I'll leave you to discover on your own, (but trust me the skills were COOL). I loved that these monsters were just that: MONSTERS in capital letters. Lastly, I also loved the fact that the protagonist was strong and female, never exactly sure of her strength but pressing on just the same. Jude was one to root for and root I did.

Now I'm sad that I only have one Christopher Buehlman book left to read. If you're out there, sir, I hope you're working on something new!

If you haven't read any of Mr. Buehlman's work as of yet, you should rectify that-and quickly! I doubt you'd be disappointed with any of them, but I highly recommend The Suicide Motor Club! It might just restore your faith in vampire horror stories and give you a new author to read!

You can get your copy here: The Suicide Motor Club

*I obtained my copy through my awesome public library because I'm usually broke. Libraries RULE* Hardcover V8 Mayhem Imbroglio! Vampires vs Nun in Muscle Car Cage Fight!: Yes, we went there. Get the nuns on the front line vs the undead! Its about time they pulled their weight. - Subterranean Sentinel.

Not at all like the movie 'Grease!'

While there's sex, violence and fast cars with big V8s, Danny is a necrophilic vampire wannabee and Sandy is the local vampire hottie who's just stringing Danny along...

One of the best books I've read this year, and the best of Christopher Buehlman that I have read, (i.e. better than The Lesser Dead).

Luther Nixon's gang of vampires are as brutal, vile and sadistic as they come. Delighting in the suffering of others, they dress up one of their many victims (and there are many) as Lady Liberty on the 4th of July, before draining her dry in a symbolic F*** You! to everything bright and good.

Opposing them is Judith, one of the more interesting and nuanced characters I have ever met in the pages of a book. Devastated by the loss of her family, she is offered the opportunity to strike back, but who is making the offer? What are their secrets? What sacrifices will she have to make to achieve justice for her family and peace for her own soul?

Is there a god and who is their instrument?

Read this book and find out for yourself.

Note: Contains graphic violence and gore.

Strongly Recommended, five 'don't mess with the nun stars.'

P.s. Just for the record, this book does not contain any paranormal romance. Hardcover I am going with 3.5 stars for the The Suicide Motor Club!

The Suicide Motor Club starts off with an attack on Judith Lamb, her husband and child one dark night on a lonely road in the middle of the Southwest. Something grabs her child from the moving vehicle and she never sees her little boy again.

But she remembers teeth, glowing eyes and predators that night and will never be the same.
The Suicide Motor Club was a new telling of vampires and evil that's hunts in the middle of the night. The vampires in this book hunt their prey by cars and the faster the car, the better.
Don't plan on reading this book for some romantic vampires. Christopher Buehlman wrote them gritty, evil and mean as hell!

The only issue that I had with this wasn't the characters or plot. It was the writing.
It was a bit disconnected and confusing at times. I had a hard time trying to figure out which vampire was speaking in the chapter along with what was going on. I had to go back multiple times to read a previous paragraph or sentence to understand what was going on in the plot.
I think if the writing had a better flow that I would have rated this higher.

Definitely recommend this to horror and vampire fans! It had a fantastic and epic ending! Hardcover Ο Buehlman αποτελεί ένα από τα ευτυχή, βιβλιοφιλικά μου συναπαντήματα. Κινείται με χάρη ανάμεσα στον τρόμο και την περιπέτεια, δίχως να κάνει ουδέποτε εκπτώσεις στις προσωπικές του επιδιώξεις και την καλή γραφή. Και όταν η γραφή κατευθύνει την δημιουργικότητα, και όχι οι προσταγές των συμβάσεων, το αποτέλεσμα είναι καλό. Ωστόσο, σε τέτοιες περιπτώσεις ο αναγνώστης καλό είναι να αποτινάξει τις παρωπίδες των προσδοκιών.

Ήταν καλό το βιβλίο; Ήταν καλό βάσει της ταμπέλας υπό την οποία κυκλοφορεί; Ή, μήπως, ήταν καλό υπό το όνομα; Buehlman;

Αν κάποιος περιμένει αδυσώπητο τρόμο εδώ, μάλλον θα φύγει μουδιασμένος. Το βιβλίο είναι μια περιπέτεια καταδίωξης, μια εντυπωσιακή ανακατασκευή της Αμερικής του '60, των μεγάλων, έρημων εθνικών, των γρήγορων αυτοκινήτων, των άτσαλων, άμπαλων αστυνομικών και σερίφηδων. Πάνω απ΄όλα είναι μια ιστορία μιας ομάδας εγκλήματιών που λυμαίνονται τους δρόμους και τρέφονται με τους άτυχους οδηγούς. Γρήγορα αμάξια, λάστιχα που καίγονται, σμπαραλιασμένες λαμαρίνες, πυροβολισμοί - όλα τούτα, καθώς και μια νέα γυναίκα που θέλει να πάρει εκδίκηση, φεύγει από την μονή που είχε βρει καταφύγιο, και ενδεδυμένη το σχήμα της, καταδιώκει τα εγκληματικά βαμπίρ για τον χαμός του γιου της.

Το βιβλίο ακούγεται σαν μια ονείρωξη σπαγκέτι ουέστερν, ένα πράμα που θα μπορούσε να συλλάβει ο Ταραντίνο. Είναι, όμως, κάτι παραπάνω από αυτό, γιατί είναι βιβλίο, και τα βιβλία είναι πολλά παραπάνω από τις εκκωφαντικές, κινηματογραφικές διηγήσεις. Τα βαμπίρ αποτυπώνονται πιο γλαφυρά από ποτέ, ακολουθούν τις συμβάσεις του βαμπιρισμού, αλλά έχουν το κάτιτις παραπάνω, αλλά με σεβασμό στον μύθο τους.

Ο Buehlman πρέπει να ακουστεί, να διαδοθεί και να διαβαστεί. Είναι μεγάλο ταλέντο. Hardcover 1969

See that sleek black Trans-Am coasting down the oil slicked interstate with its lights off and engine growling? You'll wish you hadn't.

It appears that vampires are on the prowl in the good ole' US of A snatching victims in their travels but there is something, or should I say someone, they hadn't considered when they grabbed their latest victim.


Jude is a wife and mother who fought these bloodsuckers in an epic game of tug of war with her son but she loses her grip and he's as good as gone. The commotion causes her husband to crash their vehicle, killing him. Jude makes it out alive though she hasn't much reason to live anymore. One thing she'll never forget are their hideous faces and how they destroyed her life. It's time they pay for what they did to her and her family. She's coming for them.

Vampires are frightening enough but a mother hellbent on revenge is a force to be reckoned with and this rag tag group of ghouls is about to find out what a mothers love is capable of. It's time to buckle up and put the pedal to the medal. Vroom! 4 stars! Hardcover


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