BOOK REVIEW - Final Girls by Riley Sager

I've read a few psychological thrillers lately, but this one really had me transfixed. It moves along at a startling pace, and has you wondering what happened, right up until the final few chapters and its startling conclusion. 

Quincy and five of her friends from college, have gone up a cabin for their friend Janelle's birthday weekend. It's meant to be a weekend of fun; hiking, cooking, drinking and partying. However, it all seems to go wrong when they go for a hike up to a rock at the top of the hill. On the return they spot someone outside the cabin. He's around their age and claims to have broken down. They invite him to join them as night is falling. After getting ready for dinner and eating, the partying commences. So does the nightmare. All of Quincy's friends are murdered that night, leaving her the sole survivor of the Pine Cottage Massacre. 

A few years before Pine Cottage, two other women - Lisa who survived a college sorority mass murder spree, and Sam, who was the only person to escape with her life after a massacre at a motel - also endured and survived horrible massacres. As they were the only survivors of similar situations, the press nicknamed them "The Final Girls". 

Eight years after the event, Quincy still has no memory of what happened that night, and is suffering from repressed memory syndrome. She's managed to start afresh and runs a successful baking blog, lives with her boyfriend Jeff, and has a guardian angel in the form of police officer Coop. Sam went off grid and Lisa was living a nice life in a small country town. This all changed the day Lisa was found dead. Now only two final girls remain. 

None of them had ever met, until one day, not long after Lisa's death, when Samantha turns up out of the blue on Quincy's doorstep. Sam seems intent on making Quincy remember what happened at Pine Cottage all those years ago. Which makes Quincy wonder what she really wants, and whether she's hiding something? When the media breaks new details about Lisa's death, Quincy starts to try to untangle the messy web of what Sam wants and where she's been, Lisa's death, and what actually happened that grim night at Pine Cottage. 

Final Girls is an intriguing, twisty and utterly compelling novel. It's extremely well written, with the characters slowly showing more sides to themselves, which pulls you further and further into the book. It's written from the first person point of view, apart from the chapters which flash back to the day leading up to the massacre and the following police interviews, which are in third person. 

It's an easy, yet gritty and brilliant read, which will see you flying through the chapters wanting to know more about what happened at the cabin that night. I ended up second guessing each character along the way, with the many turns the story takes. By the end of the book I felt like I had had the rug ripped out from underneath me; there are more than a few gasp out loud moments. Highly recommended to all fans of dark and suspenseful thrillers. 

Available from Ebury Books on July 11 2017.