Lisa, Sam, and Quincy are three women who have each survived a horrific massacre. No matter how much they try to move on from their traumatic past, the world will never let them forget that they are final girls (the last woman standing in a horror movie).
Years later, Lisa is found dead in her apartment. Sam, who had gone off the grid, is driven to seek out Quincy. But Quincy soon learns that there may be an ulterior motive to Sam’s actions. She seems to be hiding far more than she is letting on.
Horror? HORROR? How in the world is this book tagged as a horror read? I couldn’t even glimpse the ‘h’ of horror in this murder mystery.
This is a first – being super disappointed with a Riley Sager book. After the astounding twists and turns in Lock Every Door and the rollercoaster of a read that Home Before Dark was, Final Girls pales in comparison.
Right from the beginning, I felt that something was off about Quincy. And this has nothing to do with her substance abuse or kleptomania but more so to do with the inconsistencies in her behaviour.
She is quite vociferous about not wanting to work through her repressed memories or be called a final girl, and yet she welcomes Sam into her home no questions asked. Even when Sam goads her to be angry, to take action, Quincy doesn’t really put her foot down. Considering the train of her thoughts, of course, a part of her was deluding herself into thinking that her life has a semblance of normalcy.
That’s something Sam plays a significant role in – in shattering that delusion.
I didn’t like any of the characters. I wasn’t thrilled while reading the book. Yes, the usual emphasis on atmospheric visuals is present in the writing, which is something you’ll find in Riley Sager’s works. But even those elements did nothing to improve the pace or add to the ambience.
When authors take a while to establish the context and introduce the characters before the story picks up pace, I don’t mind it as long as the subsequent chapters redeem the slowness in plot execution. In this case, however, it just felt tepid throughout. The novel just kept going back and forth between Quincy finding Sam to be suspicious and then going along with her.
I felt that some of the dialogues also had a peculiar tone to them. Characters would, at random, say the most inappropriate things, which often received the most nonchalant responses. Moreover, I found quite a few interactions and statements to be distasteful.
The final girl is not the only trope employed in the storytelling. There are toxic friendships, estranged families, and the protagonist turning semi-sleuth to get to the bottom of the mystery.
On the whole, it was disappointing. The only reason I even kept reading was to know who the culprit is, and even that wasn’t worth the wait. The ending not only lacks conviction but is put together in a rather haphazard manner.
This is not to say I will stop reading Riley Sager’s books because God knows I’ve enjoyed Home Before Dark far too much to give up reading the author’s works. Next on my reading list is The Last Time I Lied. I hope it’s better than Final Girls.