Super Thriller #1: Double Jeopardy

16 Oct

Estimated Time Elapsed: 5 weeks (summer vacation)

Summary/Overview:

The twins are summer interns at the Sweet Valley News. Their main duties are copying and getting coffee, but Liz hopes that by the end of the summer her boss Mr. Robb will let her do a story.  Jessica isn’t really focused on the news aspect of it until she decides that ace reporter Seth Miller is worth her attention, and then she starts fabricating stories trying to get his attention.  It does get his attention, but mostly because he’s pissed at her for making shit up and getting him into trouble.

Steven’s friend Adam Maitland is staying with the Wakefields for the summer because he’s poor but has an internship in Sweet Valley.  Jessica decides that Adam is the perfect distraction for Liz while Jeffrey’s gone (and will keep her from getting interested in the gorgeous Seth), so she really pushes Liz to hang out with him.  She also fabricates a letter from Adam to Liz that confesses his love for her.  In it, he vows to break up with his secret fiancee Laurie.  Liz finds it and worries, then tries to pretend like the letter never existed.

When Jessica works late one night at the newspaper, she witnesses a man loading a body into the trunk of a car in the parking garage.  This man gets a glimpse of Jessica before she races away in the Fiat.  Jessica goes home to an empty house and promptly freaks out, so she calls Seth, and after begging and crying for a while, she finally convinces him that she saw something.  He comes over and the two of them go back to the garage, but the white Trans Am that Jessica saw is gone.

Back at the Wakefield house, Ma and Pa Wakefield are extremely reluctant to believe Jessica’s story until the police call and say that they found the body of Laurie in the trunk of Adam Maitland’s car.  Everyone is shocked, but then they believe Jessica.  Adam is going to be tried for the murder of his fiancee unless they can find evidence that says otherwise, or whatever.

Liz is uncomfortable because she thinks the letter he wrote to her is motive, so she gives it to the police.  Jessica has to go to the station and confess about faking the note, but she doesn’t want Liz to know about that.  Seth Miller and Jessica work hard to get Adam to help them with the case, because apparently he’s given up on his life.  We’re supposed to care, but I don’t.  Adam finally tells them that Tom Winslow, the guy who Laurie’s grandfather wanted her to marry, was kind of crazy.  Maybe he killed Laurie?

Jessica and Liz have been forbidden from driving the Fiat until the police catch the guy in the white Trans Am.  The girls are told to always stick together, especially on the way to the newspaper office party.  But of course the police call and need Jessica to meet with them immediately, so Liz has to go alone.  She can’t get Steven’s car to start and the wait for a taxi is too long, so she takes the Fiat.  This will end well.

The newspaper office party is in full swing and Liz isn’t there yet.  Jessica gets introduced to a blond young man…who happens to be Tom Winslow.  She freaks but then tries to stall him from going into the parking garage where Liz could arrive at any moment.  Steven shows up at the party (seriously, these guys will let anyone in) and demands to know why the Fiat is gone.  Jessica puts two and two together and tells Steve and Seth to get the police.

At any rate, Tom enters the garage at the same time that Liz is finding a parking space.  He recognizes the car and thinks Liz is Jessica, and he tries to attack her.  She lays on the horn, Jessica comes running, and Tom is confused about there being two of them but then tries to kill them both anyway.  Jessica pulls the fire alarm, the police and guards show up, whatever I don’t even care.  They’ve caught the real killer!

Memorable Quotes:

  • “That’s okay, Liz.  It’s different for you–you want to be a features writer, not an investigative reporter.  You’re not interested in the sleuthing side of things.” (27)
  • “Nothing like this has ever happened in Sweet Valley.  I’ve been with this department for 25 years, and we’ve never had a murder here before.” (88) [ORLY Officer?  Justin Belson might have something to say about that.]

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Liz has a Do No Disturb sign on her door.  Loser.
  • Seth Miller is 22 and apparently graduated from high school at 16, then went on to get his Master’s in journalism, and writes mystery novels in his spare time under the pen name Lester Ames.
  • Lila went to finishing camp when she was younger and likes to watch soap operas on a Watchman.  I didn’t even know this thing existed until I googled it.  Holy shit! Why didn’t I have one as a kid?
  • Los Vistas is a town about 10 miles from Sweet Valley.  Allegedly.
  • Tom Winslow is the third jerkface to drive a Trans Am.  I AM SENSING A PATTERN, PEOPLE.

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

This book was 215 pages of crap.  There was no real motivation for the murder.  Wouldn’t Tom have wanted to go after Adam and not Laurie, the woman he loved?  What kind of crack police force can’t find a white Trans Am that’s being driven all over town?  Why does this book exist?

One can only assume that the SVH Powers That Be came up with the idea of a super thriller (which is similar to a super edition, except with 50% more murder) because of the success of mystery novels like Nancy Drew.  The problem with this one is that there is no real mystery.  From the first mention of Tom Winslow, the reader knows it was him.  Isn’t the big reveal supposed to happen at the very end?  Isn’t that kind of…the point?

Also, what kind of parents would allow their sixteen year old to go out with a twenty-two year old?  Really?

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2 Responses to “Super Thriller #1: Double Jeopardy”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Super Thriller #2: On the Run « A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - November 14, 2010

    […] The twins are still working at the Sweet Valley News as summer interns.  In addition to a new, annoying intern named Darcy, the whole office is obsessed with a murder trial taking place on the East Coast.  The defendant, Frank DeLucca, has been accused of a whole bunch of shit, but nothing’s sticking because witnesses keep dying and everyone’s afraid to come forward.  The office talks about the inherent goodness of people for a while, and I try not to throw up.  Anyway, at the eleventh hour, a doctor comes forward with new information about the case, and after he gives testimony, he goes into the witness protection program. […]

  2. SVH #104: Love and Death in London | A Critical Analysis of Sweet Valley's Most Famous Twins - June 25, 2014

    […] are heading to London to intern at a newspaper there.  You know, because it went so well for them the last time.  Upon arriving at their hostel, a place for international students that all the same seems to […]

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