The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer GrahamThe Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1) by Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
Published by Vintage Books on March 25th 2014
Pages: 324

From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

SPOILER ALERT: If you aren’t up-to-date with all the Veronica Mars TV episodes or more importantly, haven’t seen the Veronica Mars movie, you might not want to read this review.

My first question after finishing Thousand-Dollar Tan Line: When can we expect the next Veronica Mars book?!! Minus the briefly mentioned Dick Casablancas spin-off web series, and the fact that a movie sequel, which hasn’t been confirmed, would take 1+ years, the book(s) are what’s going to keep the Veronica Mars flame alive and current.

Thousand-Dollar Tan Line was great, bafflingly so. I tend to avoid books that spring from TV shows, say, Buffy, because they aren’t exactly cannon. Although I can appreciate a good fanfic, I have a hard time believing in or loving anything that doesn’t come straight from the creators or writers of the show. Which, Thousand-Dollar Tan Line luckily doesn’t suffer from, because it was plotted by Veronica Mars creator, Rob Thomas.

Taking place about 2 months after the Veronica Mars movie, Veronica is working small and boring cases in the absence of her recovering father. Mac, the brainy and always witty sidekick, is now a sort of joint receptionist-hacker for Mars Investigations. Thousand-Dollar Tan Line sees Veronica jumping on the case of a missing girl who happened to have gone MIA during Neptune’s busiest season: Spring Break. Thousands of students flock to Neptune this time of year, which makes the search for the missing girl, even harder. I won’t get into the details, but trust me, this book was just as good as any episode of the Veronica Mars TV show. The author Jennifer Graham, got the character’s mannerisms and dialogue down perfectly. Reading this book was like sitting down to an episode of Veronica Mars. The case(s) were original and intricate with twisty leads and shocking reveals.

Unfortunately some of our (read: mine) favorites didn’t get much line-time like Weevil and Logan, but at least in the case of the latter, if you’ve seen the Veronica Mars movie you’d understand why. Although I loved the movie, it was apparent that Rob Thomas tried to cram in as many show-favorites as possible, unlike Thousand-Dollar Tan Line, which treated the story like a regular episode of the original show, where only the essentials or characters that made sense, appeared.

Overall I was very pleased with this book. I hope it’s the first of many more to come, just as long as they remain nail-biting and true to the show. If you’re an old Marshmallow or semi-new Marshmallow like myself, you’re going to speed right through this book.