Sweet Valley High Super Thriller #10: A Killer on Board
Read part one of this miniseries here.
The Moral of the Story: If you hire women as prison guards, they’ll fall in love with the inmates and all hell will break loose.
This book could have been at least seventy-five pages shorter than it was. Not very much happens and fully half the damn thing takes place on horseback. There’s so much filler and pointless dialogue; I think the ghostwriter was just trying to up the word count.
John Marin is back in jail, but the Wakefields are all jumpy and freaked out. Ned arranges for everyone (except poor Steve) to take a trip to Catalina Island. Their first day there, the twins decide to go horseback riding. Unbeknownst to them, John Marin has escaped from prison with the help of a female guard who has fallen in love with him (don’t even get me started on that). Marin makes his way to Catalina Island because he’s so charming and handsome that people just can’t seem to help breaking rules for him. He finds out where the twins are and bribes a stable hand to give him a horse.
The twins, of course, leave the safety of their guided ride because it’s boring. They promptly get lost in the woods and end up on a nearly impassable rocky trail. Marin finds them and chases them for a while. Jessica’s horse balks and refuses to go anymore, so Jessica jumps on Liz’s horse, and then Liz jumps them off a thirty-foot cliff to get away from Marin. Naturally, everyone is perfectly fine after this stunt.
Ned freaks out when he realizes Marin is on the island so he also bribes the stable hand. He sets off on his horse and finds the girls. It’s about this time that Alice also freaks out and decides she’s going to join the search. Luckily, Ned and the twins arrive back at the stable before she can take yet another horse out. Ned decides they should all get off the island, so Joe the stable hand takes them to his fiancé’s mother’s house because she rents houseboats to tourists. The Wakefields set out for the mainland.
Marin somehow figures out where the Wakefields got a boat, knocks Joe’s future mother-in-law over the head and steals a small motorboat from her. When he catches up to the Wakefields’ houseboat, he cuts the motor and somehow makes it look like he’s in trouble. Ned sees the motorboat barely staying afloat in the inevitable storm that’s now raging and decides he has to help whoever’s out there. He takes a small dinghy from the houseboat to the motorboat, and when he gets there, Marin sneaks around him and steals the dinghy. Ned realizes he’s been had when he sees the motorboat has a broken radio and is filling with water.
On the houseboat, Marin threatens the womenfolk and ties them up. He splashes gasoline everywhere and starts lighting matches. He’s about to toss one onto Jessica when Ned suddenly bursts onto the scene and knocks him out. Ned gets Alice and the girls to the dinghy, then goes back for Marin because he’s too wholesome and good to just let the bastard die. It doesn’t matter though. Marin is already dead when Ned gets to him. Ned jumps into the water and swims to the dinghy. The Wakefields are finally safe.
“Liz, you have nothing to apologize for,” Todd said. “I was the jerk – for not realizing how bored you were.”
Yes, Todd. It’s your fault Liz cheated on you. Just keep telling her that to ensure that she keeps doing it. Idiot.
[Alice] folded the skimpy dress into Jessica’s light-blue suitcase…She shook her head at the thought of her own daughter wearing such a thing. But she never would have dreamed of forbidding her. In eighteen years of motherhood, Mrs. Wakefield had learned to choose her battles…Some parents flew off the handle over clothes and haircuts. But such trappings were trivial.
You don’t have to fly off the handle in order to tell your daughter not to dress like a skank.
The Cover: I think the twins are making a porno while a Sam Winchester lookalike waves his knife around. Maybe he thinks they’re demons.