December 3, 2013
SVU Thriller, Wanted for Murder: Bonnie and Bonnie and Clyde
Summary: It’s still winter break, and the Wakefield kids are headed to Vail to go skiing with Tom, Danny, and Isabella. The latter three are flying out, but the twins and Steven plan to drive, since it’s cheaper. Steven gets sick at the last minute, and despite Tom’s annoying, overprotective pleas that they either fly or let him drive with them, the twins decide to drive to Colorado on their own.
Elsewhere, a guy holds up a convenience store, shooting the clerks. Do you think he might wind up being important in this book? We’re not supposed to know that his name is Scott Culver, but when Scott turns up a little later, it’s pretty obvious that’s who he is. The only other prospect is Jeff Marks, an FBI agent investigating a string of convenience-store holdups. His fiancée, Summer, was killed in one of them.
The twins set out on their road trip, planning to reach Colorado by 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and go to a party with their friends. But what’s the one thing that could distract Jessica from helping reach their goal? Root beer breaks. No, wait. A hot guy. The girls pass Scott, whose car has broken down, and send a tow truck his way. This is after Elizabeth has negotiated Jessica down from offering the guy a ride. Jess pouts because she wanted to hang out with a real cowboy. Apparently a Stetson is the only thing you need to make you a real cowboy.
Scott catches up to the twins at a diner and thanks them for sending the tow truck. He tells them he’s a medical student and will be spending a month working in Vail to make money for school. They don’t question why he’s spending a month there AFTER everyone else has been on winter break. I mean, he’s a hot future doctor with a cowboy hat! You’d be crazy not to believe everything he says! Anyway, since Scott’s car won’t be fixed for a while, and he’s going the same way as the twins, Jessica convinces Elizabeth to give him a ride. Elizabeth is justifiably wary, but Scott’s charm wins her over.
Down the road a bit, Elizabeth calls Tom to let him know where they are. Tom is seriously more overprotective than Steven or Ned have ever been, and it’s really annoying. Though it’s reasonable that he’s not happy to hear that the twins have picked up a hitchhiker. After some more driving, Scott suggests that they all spend the night in Vegas. Elizabeth is fine with giving him a ride but draws the line at sharing a hotel room with him. Jess talks her into it, and don’t think she won’t be hearing about that for the rest of her life. You would not be surprised to learn that Scott and Jessica do a little kissing that night.
After the kissing, Scott goes to a casino by himself and loses all his money. This means he’ll need to rob another convenience store. He gets the twins to stop somewhere, and while Elizabeth is calling Tom again, he prepares to rob the place. But Jessica follows Scott inside, forcing him to think on his feet. He pulls his gun, takes out the security camera, and shoots the clerk. Elizabeth hears gunshots from outside (and Tom hears them through the phone), but she doesn’t realize what’s happening until she sees Scott and Jessica running outside. Scott pulls the twins into the car and they drive off.
Tom knows about the convenience-store robberies, and he’s worried that Elizabeth was just in the middle of one. He’s especially worried that the gunshots he heard mean that she’s hurt. Jeff hears about this latest robbery and checks the surveillance tapes – but the only person he sees on them is Jessica, so he thinks she’s the robber (even though she seems too pretty to be a killer). He and his partner, Keisha, start looking into Jessica’s identity.
Scott (who’s starting to think of himself as Clyde to the twins’ Bonnies) leads the girls to a gas station, and while the twins pretend they’re just going in to use the bathroom, they make an escape attempt. Meanwhile, Scott sees a news report about the latest holdup and learns that Jessica’s the main suspect – no one has any idea that he was involved. He catches the twins trying to escape, but instead of heading back out on the road, he ditches them by hopping a train. Now he can go wherever he wants, while the twins have to face the consequences of being wanted…for murder! (You know, like the title of the book.)
The twins drive through the desert for a while, planning to call the police as soon as they get to a town where they can use a phone. But they also see a news report about them and realize that they can’t just walk into a police station and expect the cops to believe them. So they decide to flee, which definitely won’t make things worse for them.
Tom is also clued in that the girls are wanted, so he calls Jeff to tell him they’re not killers. The FBI responds by putting a trace on his phone. Jeff also looks at the surveillance footage again and finally realizes that there’s a man there with Jessica. He’s all relieved because Jessica’s hot, and now he doesn’t have to feel bad about kind of liking her. And OF COURSE he likes her, because these girls are magical and every man’s fantasy and I bet they smell like strawberries and daisies. Anyway, the news about a male accomplice hits the airwaves, so now Scott knows he could be in trouble if the FBI figures out he was with the twins.
The twins’ Jeep breaks down, so they walk to a nearby town…which coincidentally happens to be the town where Scott is hanging out! What are the odds? (No, seriously, what are the odds? That seems ridiculous.) Jessica charms a clerk into letting her borrow his car while Elizabeth tries to call Tom. This gives the girls a new getaway car when the police spot them. But Scott hops in the backseat, so the three fugitives are reunited. Elizabeth crashes the car, knocking everyone out, and Jessica gets them away from Scott. Scott, however, is still Mr. Charm, and he convinces a girl to let him borrow her motorcycle. Everyone heads for the Grand Canyon.
The trace on Tom’s phone leads Jeff to pick him up for questioning. Tom keeps insisting that Elizabeth is innocent, and he refuses to help Jeff, since he thinks the FBI is just going to kill the twins. There’s also some completely unbelievable stuff in here about how Tom knows someone who can trace phone calls, so he’s figured out where Elizabeth is. It’s really dumb. For some reason, Jeff doesn’t tell Tom that he also believes the twins are innocent; he just lets Tom be a little brat. Then he takes Tom on a helicopter ride to search for the twins, which makes no sense, but not much in this book does.
There’s a big chase toward the Grand Canyon, where Scott plans to make the twins Thelma and Louise themselves off a cliff. But the FBI comes to the rescue, with Jeff putting the helicopter between the twins and the cliff, saving them. Faced with the choice of surrendering himself or driving into the canyon, Scott Thelma and Louises himself. Some poor girl in Arizona is never getting her motorcycle back. But the twins are safe, and we all know that’s the only thing that matters.
Thoughts: “Last semester was so busy that we’ve hardly seen each other in months.” You live together, Elizabeth.
The twins don’t seem worried that if they find Scott, he’ll just kill them (which is exactly what he plans to do). But that’s par for the course with their stupidity in this book.
“Jessica Wakefield is about as likely to commit armed robbery as she is to ace an advanced calculus test!” Dang, Tom.
“Never again would she fall for a guy she’d just met, Jessica vowed.” We should take bets on how long that lasts.