Sweet Valley High Super Thriller- Double Jeopardy

I never read many of the Super Thrillers as a kid, but I remember loving this one I know I read it at least 20 times between 5th and 8th grade. Not sure why I didn’t read that many other Super Thrillers. Maybe it’s the same reason why I barely read any of the Baby Sitters Club Mystery books.  Well on to the recap, shall we?

Jessica and Elizabeth have just started their internship at the Sweet Valley News, a newspaper in case you weren’t aware. Jessica is not exactly thrilled that Ned and Alice Wakefield made her take on this internship, as she planned to have a lazy summer. Whereas Elizabeth is thrilled to have nabbed this internship, as she aspires to be a journalist as we are told time and time again. The only thing Jessica likes about the internship is Seth Miller, a 22 year old prodigy who finished college in three years and is also a mystery writer. Jessica really wants to get with Seth ( which since he’s 22 and she’s 16 seems sorta wrong) so to get Seth intrigued Jessica begins making up ” mysteries” in town for Seth to write about in the newspaper. First Jessica cames that a simple grease fire at the Box Tree Cafe was arson,but when Seth goes out to check out the story, the owner pretty much laughs in Seth’s face and is all ” sorry it was totally just a grease fire.” Then Jessica makes up a cockamamie story that Seth actually falls far that ” Old Man Bennett” as Jess and Elizabeth call their elderly neighbor because Jessica and Elizabeth are so sensitive, is actually a bank robber- Mr. Bennett was gardening and Jessica made up this story that he was burying bank robbery money. Since Seth is a moron,he never bothers to actually do any investigating into this story and just takes Jessica’s word for it and WRITES IT UP IN THE NEWSPAPER!!! Mr. Robb, the newspaper editor, is wicked pissed and almost fires Seth until Jessica says it was her fault. So Jessica is stuck doing data entry for a homely woman in her thirties named Sondra as punishment.

Meanwhile, a college friend of Steven’s named Adam Maitland is staying with the Wakefields’ for the summer while he interns at a law firm, as like Steven, Adam wants to be a lawyer. Adam also wants to stay in Sweet Valley to be close to his girlfriend Laurie Hamilton. Laurie is the granddaughter of a very rich man named Tucker Hamilton, and Tucker is pissed that Laurie is dating Adam because Adam’s parents are farmers and don’t have much money. Tucker told Laurie  if she continues to date Adam he will cut her off without a cent, but Laurie doesn’t care as growing up, her grandpa that raised her barely gave her any love, and Adam loves her as no one else can. Meanwhile, Jeffrey French is a camp counselor for the summer, so he’s away from Elizabeth. Jessica decides that Laurie is a drag, and that Elizabeth is way too serious about Jeffrey, so Jessica tries to hook up Elizabeth with Adam, but Liz so isn’t having it. So Jessica decides to type up a letter on Elizabeth’s typewriter that is  ” from Adam” telling Elizabeth that he can’t help it, but he loves Elizabeth and doesn’t know what to do because Laurie is so vulnerable, but if he can’t figure out what to do soon, he ” may do something drastic.” This becomes important later.

One night, Jessica has to work late for the dreaded Sondra, and when she leaves work very few cars are in the garage. Jessica is spooked because the night security guard is not in his booth. Jessica then sees a  blonde man come out of a silver Trans- Am. The man is carrying a blanket with what appears to be something big underneath. Jessica thinks she’s just imagining things, but then sees an arm dangling out of the blanket!!! The man then places the body in the trunk of Adam Maitland’s car- Adam is also working late,a nd his law firm is in the same building as Sweet Valley News.  The man’s eyes “bore into” Jessica before she speeds off in the Fiat.

Jessica comes home and no one is home. Jessica can’t be alone so she calls Seth. Seth doesn’t believe Jessica but when he hears the panic in her voice, he comes right over. Jessica then tells her parents, Steven and Liz what happened that night and Elizabeth asks Jessica if she’s sure this isn’t yet another story she made up to impress Seth. Elizabeth realizes Jessica means business when she has a nightmare that night and is screaming.  Adam doesn’t come home all night and Mrs. Wakefield is really worried. After Jessica and Mr. Wakefield tell the police what Jessica saw,  Ned Wakefield learns that Adam was arrested for the murder of Laurie Hamilton- Laurie’s body was found in the trunk of Adam’s car!  And Adam is the prime suspect in the case!!!  There isn’t much evidence at first, but then Elizabeth remembers the letter Adam wrote ( that we know Jess wrote) and Elizabeth remembers how Adam writes he may have to ” do something drastic” and much as she doesn’t want to,she decides she has to turn the letter in to police. Ned Wakefield is representing Adam, and once this letter comes to light even Ned realizes that it doesn’t look very good for Adam at all. Jessica keeps saying she knows it wasn’t Adam that killed Laurie as she saw that blond man and will never forget his face.

Jessica and Seth ask Adam if there’s anyone who may want to hurt Laurie. Adam mentions that there is a man that Tucker Hamilton wanted Laurie to marry named Thomas Winslow. Thomas is mentally unstable and is in and out of mental hospitals, and Laurie wanted to be Thomas’s friend but did not want to marry him, and Thomas was upset but Adam says he loved Laurie and he doesn’t think Thomas would ever hurt Laurie. Then one day, Jessica is driving home from work and the blonde man follows Jessica and she freaks. Mr. Wakefield says that to avoid this man following either twin, they are not to drive the Fiat- they can take the bus to work, or get rides with friends, but no using the Fiat!!! Of course this is very upsetting for Jessica. 

After much time has elapsed, Jessica finally confesses to Ned that she wrote that letter to Elizabeth and not Adam. Ned is sworn to secrecy over this. Ned tells this to the police, but there is not enough evidence to disprove that Adam is the murderer, even with the letter being a fake. They do obtain a picture of Thomas Winslow, though, and Jessica knows Thomas and the blond man are one and the same!!

The night of the Sweet Valley News company party is the same night that Jessica is asked to look at Tom Winslow’s picture. Jessica is driven to the party by the police, Ned and Alice Wakefield are out with friends, ( yep Alice and Ned are paranoid for the twins to drive anywhere and fear for their safety but why should that stop their fun?) and Steven is on a date with Cara Walker, and Cara picked Steven up. Elizabeth is told she can use Steven’s car if need be, but she can’t get it to start. Elizabeth goes to call the Sweet Valley Taxi Service, but they are booked for hours and Elizabeth decides it’s too dangerous to walk to the bus stop. Elizabeth finds the keys to the Fiat and decides to drive the Fiat to the company party.

Jessica is now at the party and Seth introduces her to a blond young man whose dad was roommates with Bob Carlisle the sports editor. The blond man is named THOMAS WINSLOW!! Jessica freaks out especially as Tom starts to try to flirt with her and even touches her hair. When men touch the twins’ hair, it freaks them out let me tell ya.   Jessica tells Seth to call the police and at first Seth won’t do it because he doesn’t believe Tom Winslow and the man in the garage are the same person, but Jessica finally gets Seth to call the cops. Thomas, meanwhile, decides the party is boring and asks if Jessica wants to leave with him. Jessica tries to get Thomas to wait, but then he leaves. As Thomas leaves, Elizabeth is in the garage in the Fiat. Thomas spots Elizabeth in the car and thinks Elizabeth is Jessica and he starts smashing the windows of the Fiat with a pipe.  A guard comes with a tire iron and tries to hit Thomas with it, but Thomas knocks the guard unconscious  and then drags Elizabeth out of the car and hits her head against the car right as Jessica comes to the garage. Jessica knocks Tom out with the tire iron and tells Elizabeth to run, and she does but doesn’t get far-her head gets knocked around so she passes out.   Tom then grabs the pipe and Jessica and Tom are struggling with it. As Tom is about to knock Jessica out, Seth comes running with another guard and knocks Tom the ground as the Sweet Valley police finally arrive. One cop goes to check on Elizabeth who Jessica says may be in the stairwell, hurt. Seth tells Jessica she caught the real murderer in admiration.

Since Seth and Jessica catch Tom Winslow, who did murder Laurie but plans to plead insanity, Mr. Robb allows Jessica to write a new article on the Hamilton case with Seth. Elizabeth is fuming because she wanted to get an article published in the News. Elizabeth is especially pissed because the night Jessica caught Tom Winslow, Steven wonders why Adam wrote Elizabeth that letter if Adam didn’t love Elizabeth. Jessica finally tells the family she wrote that letter in the hopes that Elizabeth would drop Jeffrey for Adam. The family isn’t happy with Jessica but she’s not punished in any way or anything- well until Jessica sees that Mr. Robb didn’t even give Jessica a byline- just Seth- even though Jessica helped solve the crime.

The worst part of this book to me? It was damn obvious the whole time that Thomas Winslow was the blond man in the garage, and he killed Laurie. This was no Thriller whatsoever! Why did I like this book so much in my preteen years?

By early next week I should be recapping ” Kidnapped!” a classic Sweet Valley High book. After that- my short Valentine’s Day series- ” Stacey’s Ex Best Friend” from Baby Sitters Club, and ” Elizabeth’s First Kiss” from Sweet Valley Twins- by the way my cousin and I LOVED this book as kids we both read it God at least 100 times! After that- a Freshman Dorm book that’s pretty early in the series- ” Freshman Guys” which is Freshman Dorm #3.

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4 Responses to “Sweet Valley High Super Thriller- Double Jeopardy”

  1. perfectsize12 Says:

    Hee! I remember loving this book too. Looking back, I’m not sure why. I can’t wait for your recap of Kidnapped. Is it wrong that I find that book hilarious?

  2. Kidnapped! A SVH classic!

    And I’m anxiously awaiting more freshman dorm. 🙂 I’m like your FD cheerleader!

    • girltalkread Says:

      I JUST published my post on Kidnapped! It is a TOTAL classic!!!!! And Freshman Dorm #3 should be coming in the next couple weeks- and I have other ones after that!

  3. Yeah–thrillers were woefully bad in our teen years…

    Can’t wait to see stacey’s ex best friend. Boo Laine!

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