“According to the dictionary, a final girl is a “figure of speech” in horror films, particularly “slasher movies.” It refers to the last woman alive to confront the killer, and then tell the story. Carol J. Clover, who created the term suggests in her book, MEN, WOMEN, and CHAINSAWS that the viewer begins by sharing the perspective of the killer, but partway through the movie, begins identifying with final girl.”
In the novel, FINAL GIRLS(Dutton) by Riley Sager, Quincy Carpenter went on a vacation with five friends ten years ago, and came back alone, after her friends were all slaughtered by a knife wielding sociopath. She ran screaming through the woods to get away from the sicko she refers to as Him. Immediately she became part of group, no one wants to belong to – survivors, called final girls.
Lisa barely survived the massacre at her college sorority house. A college dropout with a knife locked the women in, slashing nine to death. Sam went up against the “Sack Man” during her overnight shift at the Nightlight Inn.
Quincy pops Xanax and bakes “Quincy’s Sweeties” for her food blog, has a man in her life, a fabulous apartment and Coop – the cop who was there when she came running and screaming out of the woods. All three are trying to move on with their lives, until Lisa is found dead in her bathtub. At first, it appears to be a suicide, but quickly its determined that it’s murder. Then Sam shows up at Quincy’s apartment and turns her life upside down and they team up to find the killer.
Stephen King writes FINAL GIRLS is, “the first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this.”
I don’t agree. We’ve had several best thrillers of 2017, including EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE(Atria/Emily Bestler Books) by Mindy Meija, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR(PenguinBooks) by Shari LaPena and HER EVERY FEAR(WillamMorrow) by Peter Swanson. Tuesday, B.A. Paris’ new novel, THE BREAKDOWN(St.Martin’sPress) was published and it is as good, if not better than her first thriller, the bestselling, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
FINAL GIRLS is a good ride, but it feels too long, and there are too many plot lines blogging up the payoff. I had a feeling about the ending when I started reading and turns out, I was right. I’d say its kind of disappointment, after all the hype. Perhaps, I’m thrilled-out! And really, I don’t want to be cynical, but enough with putting “girls” in the title of all these psychological thrillers.
FINAL GIRLS author, Riley Sager is a pseudonym for an author who has previously published under another name. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley is a writer, editor, and graphic designer who lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
We have one copy to giveaway. What’s the best thriller you’ve read so far this year? We’ll announce a winner next week.