Sweet Valley High Super Thriller #2: On the Run
This book takes place later in the same summer as Double Jeopardy and the twins are still interns at the newspaper. Everyone is all up in arms about the DeLucca trial. Frank DeLucca is on trial in New York for murder and all the witnesses who were going to testify against him have suddenly clammed up. It’s a big national deal. At the Sweet Valley News office, reporter Dan Weeks and some new bitch intern named Darcy think nobody will come forward to testify and DeLucca will get off, but Seth Miller and Liz believe in the goodness of mankind and think if someone knows something, they’ll make sure DeLucca goes to jail. Jessica, who just helped solve a murder a few weeks ago, has “had it with law and crime and all that stuff,” so she doesn’t care one way or the other.
New bitch intern Darcy and her father just moved to Sweet Valley from Ohio. She’s really only a bitch to Liz, whom she immediately dislikes for some reason. Liz can’t figure out what she did, but she thinks something must be wrong with the girl, because that’s the only reason anyone would not like her. Every day, Darcy pulls some crap at work that makes Liz look bad. She loves Jessica though and they become friends.
The Wakefields see on the news that a doctor named William Ryan has come forward and will be testifying in the DeLucca trial. Dr. Ryan’s evidence convinces the jury to put DeLuuca away, probably for life, and Liz is suddenly worried about him. She’s sure DeLucca’s henchmen will kill him. Seth tells her not to worry, that he’ll probably go into the witness protection program and start a new life somewhere. Hmm, I wonder where he’ll end up.
A week later, Liz is getting coffee when she meets a nice guy named Eric. He and his father just moved to Sweet Valley from Ohio (just like Darcy!) and he’s working at the office building’s coffee shop for the summer. He and Liz hit it off right away. Then Darcy meets him and comes back to the office to tell the twins all about him. Liz is upset that Eric told Darcy he’s a poet and she wonders if he likes her, but then she brushes that thought aside because no way would a sensitive guy like Eric like someone like Darcy. That night, Liz stays at work late and on her way to the bus stop, Eric shows up and offers her a ride. They decide to get together the next day for dinner and a tour of Sweet Valley. Liz does not mention that she has a boyfriend, and when she talks to Jeffrey later, she does not mention Eric. She also doesn’t tell Jessica that she and Eric are friends.
There is something mysterious about Eric. You can tell by the way his face darkens whenever Liz asks him about his father or Ohio. After their tour of Sweet Valley, they stop at Secca Lake where Liz read’s Eric’s poems and he reads one of her short stories. Blah, blah, they’re both very talented. Liz thinks Eric’s poems are sad and he thinks her story is too optimistic. Meanwhile, Darcy is hanging out with Jessica. She decides to call a friend of hers from back home who lives in Cleveland, where Eric is from. The friend doesn’t know him, but she tells Darcy that two weeks ago, a teenage girl was murdered just a couple towns over.
Liz and Eric go see a movie at the mall and Liz thinks someone is following them. She mentions it to Eric without really believing it, but when Eric gets really freaked out, Liz wonders what his deal is. Then he asks her if anyone knows they’re hanging out. She says no and he says it should stay that way because it will make their friendship even more special if it’s a secret. After the movie, they go for a walk on the beach and Liz tries to sort out her feelings about Jeffrey and Eric. It’s obvious Eric wants to make out with her, but she manages to fend him off.
Darcy goes to the coffee shop one day and finds Eric sitting at a table writing in a notebook. He gets up to deal with a customer and Darcy starts looking through his notebook. He freaks out and tells her it’s poetry and he doesn’t like other people reading it. Darcy asks if it’s “love poetry” and Eric says it sort of is. Then Darcy says, “It’s for me, isn’t it?” Jeez, ego much? Eric stutters and then just tells her yes, it’s about her. Darcy waits for him to set the notebook down again, then tears out one of the poems and takes it upstairs, where she shows it to the twins. Liz can’t believe Eric has written a poem for Darcy. She feels like crap.
The twins’ dad has been helping Eric’s dad, Rich, with a business contract and has become friends with the guy. He mentions at dinner one night that Rich told him Eric talks about Liz all the time. Jessica thinks that’s weird, since she didn’t know they’d been hanging out or anything. Ned says he’s invited Eric and Rich over for a barbecue that weekend.
Darcy has talked to her friend Sue in Cleveland again. Sue has told her some things that lead Darcy to believe Eric is the one who murdered that chick. If he is, then the police are probably, you know, looking for him, but Darcy is horrified when Jessica suggests they call the police. She thinks they just need to keep an eye on him and watch out for any suspicious behavior.
Liz has been avoiding Eric, but when Seth asks her to get her some coffee, she has to go see him. She tells Eric she’s upset about him writing Darcy a poem and he tells her it was really for Liz and he just said it was for Darcy so she’d go away. Liz is all relieved until Eric says he doesn’t know what he’d do if Liz had someone else in her life. That reminds Liz she has a boyfriend. Ugh.
The Wakefields’ neighbors, the Beckwiths, come to the barbecue, and Mr. Beckwith keeps saying Eric’s dad looks familiar. Rich keeps telling him they don’t know each other, but Mr. Beckwith won’t shut the fuck up and I kind of want to punch him in the face. His constant questioning makes Eric and Rich nervous and this tells Jessica she and Darcy are right in thinking Eric is the murderer from Cleveland. She goes to Darcy’s the next day to tell her everything and Darcy tells her to pretend to be Liz and get Eric’s notebook, which she thinks he uses as a diary.
Jessica goes to Eric’s house and Eric, thinking she’s Liz, asks if she wants to get together that night and meet at “the same place.” He gives her the notebook and Jessica leaves. Now she’s worried about Liz and is sure she’ll be Eric’s next victim. On her way back to Darcy’s, Jessica is followed by a black Mercedes. About a block from Darcy’s house, a man jumps out of the Mercedes, tells Jessica to stay away from Eric and snatches the notebook. Jessica tells Darcy she wants to go to the police, but Darcy says they don’t have enough evidence yet. Dumbass.
Jessica goes home to warn Liz not to see Eric anymore, but Alice says Liz is spending the weekend at Enid’s. Jessica slips a note under Enid’s door, and then she and Darcy spend all Saturday looking for her, but can’t find her anywhere. They finally end up at the Dairi Burger with some friends from school. Eric shows up and sits with them just in time to hear Aaron and Winston mention Jeffrey. When Eric finds out Jeffrey is Liz’s boyfriend, he gets pissed and storms out of the restaurant.
That night, Liz is supposed to meet Eric at the Beach Disco, but he doesn’t show up. As Liz is driving back to Enid’s, she notices a blue sedan following her. It pulls up next to her and the driver flashes an FBI identification card and starts asking her questions about Eric. Confused, Liz goes to Enid’s. Enid tells her there was a note from Jessica, but the cat must have gotten to it because it’s all mangled and unreadable. Liz decides it can wait and she keeps trying to get Eric on the phone.
Darcy gets her friend Sue to send her a copy of the composite sketch of the Cleveland murderer. It looks a lot like Eric. Thankfully, Liz is out of the office that day and far away from Eric. Jessica and Darcy have still not gone to the police. When Liz gets back to the office building, she goes straight to the coffee shop. She tells Eric they need to talk, so he grabs her by the arm and forces her outside. Jessica and Darcy are shouting and coming toward them, so Eric starts running. He and Liz end up in an alley and he puts his hand on her mouth.
This next bit is so convoluted. Darcy and Jessica go back to the office to call the police, but as soon as they get there, they see Mr. Beckwith shouting about a child who’s choking in the coffee shop. What the hell? Where did Mr. Beckwith come from? And then Eric’s dad is there too and people are screaming about the choking kid. Then Eric and Liz come in and Liz can’t figure out why Jessica is surprised she’s okay. No explanation given for why Eric was so mean and aggressive just a few minutes ago. Eric’s dad does an emergency tracheotomy on the kid and then Mr. Beckwith is shouting that he recognizes him because Eric’s dad is really Dr. Ryan, the guy who testified against Frank DeLucca. Eric and his dad leave the building and Liz follows them.
At the Ryans’ house, Liz tries to convince Dr. Ryan that they can stay in Sweet Valley because it’s the most magical place on earth and nobody would hurt them there. He tells her she’s wrong and starts packing. Then a couple of guys come in with guns. They order Liz and Eric (whose real name is Michael) upstairs so they can “talk” to Dr. Ryan. Upstairs, Liz notices they have the Good Neighbors alarm system. They press the button, which makes the alarm go off in six neighbors’ houses. One of the neighbors calls and asks Dr. Ryan for the password. He’s playing it cool for the bad guys and pretends it’s a wrong number so the neighbors will know he’s in trouble. A minute later, all the neighbors burst in and tackle the bad guys just as the cops show up. Holy crap, this is so bad. Dr. Ryan and Michael tell Liz how right she was to keep believing in people, but they need to leave Sweet Valley anyway. Michael gives Liz his notebook of poems. I’m going to throw up.
So, to wrap up, Liz is in love with both Michael/Eric and Jeffrey, Jessica doesn’t like Darcy anymore because she’s not at all apologetic for leading her astray about Eric being a murderer and the guy who really murdered the chick in Ohio is caught. We learn we should always listen to Liz when she tells us to believe in people.
I hate Super Thrillers.
“He seems so jumpy whenever you ask him anything personal.”
“That’s true,” Jessica conceded. “I thought that was the Midwestern style, I guess.”
Midwesterners are jumpy?
“You’re sure I don’t look a little–you know–voluptuous?” Darcy worried.
She did have a pretty curvy figure, but Jessica honestly had to admit she thought the redhead looked sensational.
I thought curves and voluptuousness were good things? Well, now I’m confused.
The Cover: The twins actually don’t look half bad for once, though Liz’s shirt is pretty hideous.