Three out of Five Stars
Thriller for fans of slasher films; girls-in-peril genre.
Since I’m not of fan of slasher films, I completely missed the significance of Riley Sager’s book title, The Final Girls. Aficionados of horror films know that the “final girl” is the one woman who manages to survive a bloody rampage by a serial killer.
While the novel is more of a thriller than a horror story, it still has its moments of gore, murder and madness. Final Girls follows the story of three beautiful, young women who are survivors. Lisa survives an attack by a knife wielding assailant who kills nine of her sorority sisters. Sam overwhelmed and killed “the Sack Man,” after he killed guests at the Nightlight Hotel, and Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape the nightmare of Pine Cottage and into the arms of her savior, Coop.
Years later, Lisa dies under mysterious circumstances, which catapults Quincy back into the public eye as she struggles to recover repressed memories of the killings at Pine Cottage. Sam, the second final girl, shows up unannounced on Quincy’s doorstep, totally disrupting her life. Is Sam there to offer help, or does she have her own agenda as she presses Quincy to recover her past?
The Final Girls is a pulse-pounding thriller, with many twists and turns. Although I guessed the solutions to the mysteries about one-third of the way through the book, the action and moody atmosphere kept me going to the end. I was willing to go along for the ride, and see how Sager told the tale. I was less in love with the idea that only lovely women are noteworthy, but that is something too often found in the press, suspense novels and movies.