»In Sophie Hannah’s The Other Woman’s House, Tana French’s Broken Harbor, Mo Hayder’s Gone, and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the danger appears to come from a husband. In Megan Abbott’s Dare Me, set in the hothouse adolescent world of competitive cheerleading, it comes from another girl. In other books, it’s an entire culture—California’s porn movie industry in Christa Faust’s Money Shot, the Arab world in Zoë Ferraris’s City of Veils, the diseased American heartland in Hoffman’s So Much Pretty.«
Fictional women use stealth, subterfuge, and hand-to-hand combat to fight back in a man’s world. Elizabeth Hand’s worth reading essay about Femininjas you will find at the Boston Review and at Salon.
»I love most about Megan Abbott’s presence in the literary landscape. What she is doing for her traditionally manly genre-of-choice is precisely this: Feelings and stuff. She spins tales of mystery and murder in pitch-perfect noir while simultaneously probing the sticky humanity pulsing underneath, bringing newfound emotional depth to the genre as a whole, thereby modernizing and elevating it.«
Natasha Post Rosow
Natasha Post Rosow on the novel Dare Me by Megan Abbott. Read her review at Los Angeles Review of Books.