Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line: Veronica Mars Keeps Going

This has been a terrific year to be a Veronica Mars fan. If it wasn't enough that the cast and creator were able to give us the Veronica Mars movie after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Rob Thomas proceeded to also write a novel featuring our beloved blonde detective. I devoured my copy of The Thousand Dollar Tan Line last weekend and was thoroughly entertained.

The book picks up exactly where the movie left off, so you should watch the film before embarking on the novel if you don't want to be blindsided by any of the numerous changes in Veronica's life. It features a spring break mystery; a girl who has been partying hard in Neptune disappears and Veronica is hired to help with the case since the local Sheriff's department is proving to be massively incompetent as usual. Another girl disappears, which would be bad enough if it wasn't for the fact that Veronica is connected to her in a way that makes her investigation even more complicated. I trust that's intriguing and vague enough to pique your interest. 

The regular cast of characters are all back and reading this novel genuinely feels like you're just watching an episode of the show. Rob Thomas and co-author Jennifer Graham know these characters inside and out and you can picture them perfectly in your head as you follow their twisted exploits. The beauty of novelization is that it gives fans more access to the character's inner monologues. We always had Veronica's voiceover to give us an insight into her thought processes but now we get a richer understanding of her friends and family and just what makes them tick. It's like a brilliant piece of fan fiction, except that it's written by the guy who created these characters in the first place so it's completely credible and amazing. 

Veronica Mars was a great show, then became a great movie, and now has been turned into a great novel. The Thousand Dollar Tan Line is just the first in a series and I am fully looking forward to subsequent novels. This book is a well-written potboiler mystery that has twists and turns, cliffhangers and red herrings galore. It's not highbrow literature but it is hugely satisfying to read and fully in keeping with the Veronica Mars legacy. If fans can't see her on screen, we'll happily settle for seeing her on our bookshelves. 

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