Author: Rob Thomas
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Shelf: Realistic fiction
As big a success as the Veronica Mars movie was, it left much to be desired, in my opinion. However, in this continuation of the project, the universe of Neptune has regained my faith and interest which had been deliberately shirked somewhere in season 3 and then again, in the movie. For a while during the onset of spring, I was an enthusiastic initiate to the fandom Of Veronica Mars; she was to me what Buffy if to the lot of you(do overlook the fact that this was only a month ago). I went through all the motions of liking, loving, always shipping and then hating the over-wrought drama. And so it is with deep satisfaction that I say that The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line was entirely free of the romantic histrionics.
It’s spring-time in Neptune, and the town with no middle-class is busy parasite-ing on the new adults on vacation from college. The corrupt justice system is intact and the rich keep getting shittier, greedier on the tourist money pouring in. Until a girl is kidnapped, and then another. Not wholly free of the backlash and media from the murder case and revelation, courtesy of Veronica, that took place in the movie, the country turns its eye towards Neptune yet again. Amid parents calling back their kids and getting delivered a loadful from practically everywhere, the town of Neptune is facing deep losses, in especial the hotel owners. In thus conditions, they hope to seek out to Keith Mars, private dick extraordinaire, but get served Veronica, starting a story that is similar, if not identical, to the episodes from season 1. (Remember, when crimes weren’t prolonged simply for the sake of prolonging?)
The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line was not what I expected: an understatement. I can’t figure out why the book was written in third person POV. One of the features the series used to be known for Mars’s trademark sass and commentary; not being written in Veronica’s direct narration fails to deliver that factor, as it focuses more on setting up the scene in Neptune and descriptions of surrounding. In itself, it’s not a bad thing; in fact, it is recommendable. Except that Veronica could have described those settings and in a manner that provides not only insight into the dick-ing, but sass that is a must, MUST for this series. That’s how the very first episode of the whole saga starts! Not to say that Veronica’s lost all hopes; she does have her moments but most times it’s like the following:
Well, Trish Turley may be an opportunistic parasite thriving off our broken criminal justice system. But she sure can throw a booster sale.
Moreover, the dynamic between Keith and Veronica was missing, in a conceivable fashion and for understandable reasons. Keith is discontent with his daughter’s decisions: dropping years of studying, hardwork and the possibility of muchos dollars for the gritty and glitzy alleys of their hometown. I used to love their relationship; the ups and downs and ‘amuse me, dammit!’ moments. There is strain and tension and tumultuous, traveled once but never again waters; their interactions are bare minimum as each avoids the other. Beyond Keith, there is the matter of Weevil. Another character whose -ship with V had me engaged; his thread from the movie I expected to be continued, expounded upon in the book. Instead in regards to his actions in the last moments of the movie, only a couple lines are included. His appearance is principally a filler and indulgence; I did not feel indulged. FAIL. And yet, I was not diametrically opposed to this overlooking of him because, let’s face it, it was more realistic. Veronica Mars is an adult now; she can’t go poking her sweet, yummy, white nose in everyone’s business, nor could she, had she done so, have gotten anywhere.
In that relation, I must admit that the book in its aspect of pragmatism is similar to the series, as it was also prevalent there, except the times when realism was shunned for Mars win.
Moving on, the mystery moves along at a pace to be expected, where several dead ends are faced. The plotting was quite nice; even though Veronica doesn’t flick a her hand and the case is solved, the multiple diversions that are encountered do not bring down the pacing, and keep one rather engaged and enraged. Trish Turley, Lianne(hello, she’s back), Sheriff Don Lamb and yes! drug cartels.
There is an elegance to the entire structure and storyline that I admired. While the writing could be considered disinterested, it was engaging and has an adult flair that gives The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line an appeal for readers who like mature mysteries. And for fans like me, you get to enjoy the decadent lack of emotional drama, including when it comes to Lianne and Keith separately! Appreciation, thy name is me! There are pent-up feelings of anger, betrayal that Veronica feels towards her mother, but goddammit people, there is a murderer to catch! Priorities.
Coming down to my favorite part: Mac, Wallace, Dick and McCormick! There is return of a character from her high school so. much. yes. I wasn’t the biggest fan of her college days. Dick remains Dick, and once rescues our damsel, Veronica, from fatally grave distress. Mac and Wallace also provide some relief from the tension w/r/t the mystery. Fans will definitely enjoy this. What they will not enjoy is the lack of shipping opportunities and opportunities, in general. Logan in off to… somewhere on his… spaceship! Anywho, there is lingering awkwardness between them and their conversations only give more reasons to sigh. Sigh. Another cookie point for being realistic, but jeez, me need my smexy guy, too!
In reiteration, The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line wasn’t what I expected, but it was fun nevertheless. A must-read for all zem fans and don’t be scared off by the first two chapters(psst they’re boring). I eagerly anticipate the next book, hoping it will pick up Weevil’s thread and also follow the drug cartels. That will be interesting: understatement.
(I’m glad I’m tall enough to be seen through peepholes. That makes me feel so much better about my height, which I only recently discovered was not 5’3 as I’d been foolishly, optimistically thinking for the past couple of years.)