Riley Sager’s thriller “Final Girls” will have you hooked

By: Lindsey Pfeffer, Columnist

Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.

4/5  ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

With October well on it’s way, we’re getting into the depths of the spooky season. That means all our favorite mysteries and thrillers are resurfacing just in time for Halloween. This week I’m going to be reviewing Riley Sager’s award-winning thriller “Final Girls.” 

“Final Girls” by Sager is a book from the perspective of a final girl; the last girl standing after a mass murder. There are two other girls who are also final girls, from different mass murderings, and together they make up a sort of media spectacle. When one of the final girls, Lisa, is found dead in her bathtub by her own means, life gets turbulent for Quincy. 

Quincy is the most recent final girl having gone to a cabin in the woods with her friends and walked out as the only one still living. Before Lisa’s death, Quincy had been living quietly; a nice fiancé with a boring, safe guy, and a nice apartment where she spends most of her time making content for her baking blog. The police officer who found her the night she ran from a killer still keeps up with her, checking in and helping her feel safe.

As we continue into her life now, we realize Quincy has sort of hidden herself away from the world, with as little contact as possible with anything that would disturb her little bubble of peace. But with Lisa’s death, the world comes knocking on Quincy’s door. The media, adding to her fears and paranoia; Coop, the policeman who saved her; and, unexpectedly, Sam. 

Sam is the second final girl, who went up against a serial killer and won. She’s even more reclusive than Quincy and has very few pictures released to the public. When Sam comes knocking, this story swirls and forces Quincy to rethink and reevaluate, forcing her to start questioning things she thought she couldn’t remember. 

Questions abound and we see Quincy questioning everyone in her life, questioning if she even has been living, wondering if anyone is who they say they are. 

This book was one of the best thrillers I have consumed; I don’t really have an opinion on horror, but I love a good thriller. It’s the unraveling of a story, the detective elements coming together with the intrigue and horror of human kind that makes it so good. 

This book took a while to pick up, with a lot of hazy events happening, as they correlate with Quincy’s hazy perception of things, but once it picks up, you won’t be able to put it down. 

The author is great at leading you to false answers where you think you really know who the killer is, who did what, who that person really is, only to come out in the final act and make you realize the signs were there all along. That’s one of the reasons I loved this book; I thought I was so smart and knew what Sager was alluding to, only to later realize she put it there on purpose as a red herring.

This book is a good read reminiscent of a game of Clue, with elements of slasher flicks like Scream woven throughout. You’ll get that thriller feeling of begging Quincy, “Please don’t go in the closet!!” while still feeling grounded in reality. To me, that is why this book deserves a 4/5. 

The ending is believable, which is hard to find when authors depend on using false plots to try and fake you out of the whodunnit. It feels like it could exist in our world, and doesn’t get too gory or violent. 

My only issue with this book is how long it takes to pick up, but once you get there, the story takes on a life of its own. 

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