Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Title: Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line
Series: Veronica Mars
Author: Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
Read copy: Paperback
Published: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0804170703
ISBN-13: 9780804170703

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person's case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.


My rating:

Nine years ago she left the town of Neptune behind and her old life behind. She'd tried living the normal life on the other coast; college, promising law career, boy-next-door boyfriend...But one phone call, a voice from the past, brought her back...

Now she's running her father's PI business, trying to make end meet, when a missing person's case is dropped into her lap...Quickly followed by another, bringing with it another ghost from her past. But when it turns out both cases might be tied to a drug cartel, Veronica Mars just might be in over her head.



"A long time ago, we used to be friends, but I haven't thought of you lately at all." That's how Veronica Mars title song starts. A long time ago me and Veronica used to be friends as well. In the sense that I was a huge fan of the TV show (or at least its first two seasons), but unlike the song, I have been thinking about her lately. All because of a movie.

I wasn't one of the backers (I heard about it too late), but I did see it...Multiple times. And I loved it, convoluted mystery, TV show feel, and all. So when I heard about the book (series), I had to read it, because I wanted to know what happened next. Was Veronica really staying, would she and Logan really give it another go, was Keith going to be okay, was Lamb going down...? I wasn't ready to let go yet. I wasn't ready to let go of Veronica yet. Because if she were real, that's the kind of friend I'd kill to have. A prickly little marshmallow.

I wasn't really expecting much from the book. Well, I was expecting something akin to a TV show episode scenario or screenplay. So I was pleasantly surprised at what I ended up with. A solid, fast-paced suspense novel with a pretty tight plot.

The mystery was intriguing, filled with red herrings, and kept me guessing until the very end. I love it when, at the end of a book, I can say "I sure didn't see that one coming." I honestly had no idea who the (final) baddie was. Kudos to Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Graham for that.

Beside the main mystery, we returned to Neptune, hung out with old friends, got a deeper (and longer) glimpse into the heroine's psyche and inner workings that, at least me, we didn't get to do via the other medium (TV), etc. And I loved the fact we got to experience the entire story through the eyes of only one character, instead of jumping back and forth between POVs. And the fact the book, despite the one POV, wasn't written in first person narrative was an added bonus. Thank you again, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Graham.

Some who saw the move kept 'complaining' about it being made mostly for fans, how non-fans wouldn't be able to grasp all the nuances, catch all the Easter eggs etc., and they might have been right (I can't say for sure, because I am a fan), but I can say that's less true about the book. There was enough information (at the beginning and throughout the story) given as far as backstory and main characters was concerned, so the reader didn't have to scratch his/her head wondering about those 'details', and the mystery itself had nothing to do with the plots of either the TV series (except for one character) or the movie, although the story is some sort of sequel to the movie.

This is a book for fans and first-timers alike that will keep them entertained, intrigued, and guessing until the end.