The thousand dollar tan line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

cover image

Veronica Mars bk 1. Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781760112363
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Recommended for Veronica Mars fans. Mystery. Murder. Drugs. Alcohol. After the success of the Veronica Mars TV series and movie, Rob Thomas, with Jennifer Graham, has come up with the first in the series starring Veronica Mars. Back in Jupiter, she is investigating the disappearance of two college students, who have been partying hard during the college spring break. Both girls had last been seen in the house of men with ties to the drug world and the case is not one of a simple missing person search.
I came fresh to the book not having watched either the TV or the movie. After reading part way through I got the movie which did give me background to the book, as it is set soon after the action in the movie. However it could be read as a stand-alone for those new to Veronica Mars.
It is a well written mystery with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing as to the perpetrators of the crimes. There are the usual suspects - sons of drug lords, an inept and corrupt sheriff, and rich boyfriends. Throw into the mix the fact that Veronica's mother makes an appearance from the past and there is plenty of angst to keep the reader interested in the characters. Logan, Veronica's love interest is away on duty, so the love interest is minimal, instead the plot relies on the way that Veronica decides to take on the Mars Investigation office and try and find the two missing girls and those who took them. There is also action galore, with Veronica throwing herself into harm's way, usually with no back-up but her mobile phone.
This is sure to appeal to fans of the TV and movie who will be delighted to read more of the adventures of Veronica. Wild parties, drugs and alcohol may make it more suitable for the older adolescent. Another book in the series, Mr Kiss and Tell is in the pipeline.
Pat Pledger