The Final Girl Support Group is a novel by Grady Hendrix. Actually, it is more like a fast moving spear tearing through characters, plot and locations. This book is the definition of fast-paced and I found it awfully hard to put down.
The plot concerns a group of women who are all survivors of slasher massacres. Psychopaths murdered their friend and family and in some cases, the killers or their stand-ins, came back for another swing at the survivor. These women have seen some shit and it fucked them up. They are part of a support group where they should be looking out for one another but familiarity has bred contempt and now they are on the verge of breaking up.
Until one of them gets killed. Oh shit.
The book does something interesting in that it imagines a world where there are both the slasher killers of Michael Myers and Jason, but also moves are created after the massacres to cash in on the horrible events. The final girls exist both as victims of horrible crimes, but also public figures where most people know exactly what happened to them. It is a fascinating comment on how society eats women up and then cannibalizes their tragedy for mass consumption and profit.
In fact, this book hit me in a very vulnerable way. The exploitation of the final girls by their loved ones, friends, the media and others is a big part of the book. It reminded me a lot of stories about child actors and how their lives get defined for them at a super young age and then the people who are supposed to look out for them use them for their own gain. Some readers might have a harder time with that than the brutal killers.
Speaking of which, this is not a book that cares much about the killers. They are there, but this story isn’t about them. After years of serial killer television shows, it is a welcome change.
All in all, I loved this book and would recommend it to any slasher fan.