March 17, 2015

SVU #33, Out of the Picture: You’ll Find Me in Da (Country) Club

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , at 8:08 pm by Jenn

Twin with bangs: No

Twin with bangs: No

Summary: For this book, we have to pretend that the previous four never happened, and that it’s only been a few days since Gin-Yung died. We start at her funeral, where everyone is understandably somber, but somehow Elizabeth is the saddest. Interesting, since they were never friends and both wanted the same guy. Todd is also wrecked, and he decides he needs time to himself to mourn, so he and Elizabeth are over. Again. For the 19th time. After the 20th, they get a free sub!

Elizabeth decides to sweep aside the breakup and all the other messes she’s been in through the SVU series, and make a fresh start. She quits the TV station and joins SVU’s paper, the Gazette. What’s awesome is that Liz, star reporter and editor of the Oracle, is a big ol’ nothing at the Gazette. No one cares that she edited her high school paper because everyone at the Gazette did the same. I think a lot of the time Elizabeth forgets that she’s a freshman, and that freshmen have no standing anywhere.

Pretty much the only person who’s happy to have Elizabeth at the paper is Scott, who’s obviously in love with her. He keeps trying to spend time with her, and he’s gotten a little touchy-feely. It makes Liz uncomfortable, but she tells herself that he doesn’t mean any harm. Yeah, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell him to stop. It doesn’t matter what someone’s intentions are – if his/her behavior makes you uncomfortable, speak up. Okay, end PSA.

Elizabeth is assigned to do a fluff piece about the Verona Springs Country Club. She’s mad that she’s given such a softball, and the editor reminds her that she’ll have to work to get to the juicier stories. But Liz does some research and comes across a better story: a murder. The body of Dwayne Mendoza, an SVU student who worked at the club as a caddy, was found in the lake. The club kept the murder quiet for a week before going to the police, more worried about protecting their reputation than getting justice. Yeah, that’s not shady at all. Also, no one at SVU seems to know about the murder. Dwayne’s things were found in another caddy’s locker, so it looks like that caddy robbed and murdered Dwayne, but obviously that’s not the case, since the police are still investigating (more on that later).

While this is going on, Tom’s father, George, is still trying to reach out to him, because he thinks Tom should be over the fact that George hit on Elizabeth. He sends Tom two memberships to Verona Springs, encouraging him to give one to Elizabeth. Because there’s nothing a college freshman wants more from her ex, who dumped her because he believed his father over her, than permission to wear tennis whites and hang out with snobby rich people. Shut up, George.

Tom takes Dana to the club instead, even though Dana is, like, totally punk rock, yo, and completely the opposite of everyone at the club. I’m surprised they let her through the gates.  They run into Elizabeth and Scott, and everyone is really awkward with each other. Then they encounter a gardener named Juan, who’s Dwayne’s uncle. He obviously knows something about Dwayne’s murder but is too scared to say anything. Tom decides to investigate as well, and hopefully beat Elizabeth and Scott to the scoop. Oh, and then Scott kisses Elizabeth, and she’s like, “When did I ever give you the impression that I wanted your lips on me, creep?”

Jessica is obsessed with playing cop – she wants to go on a stakeout with Nick, who keeps insisting that it’s too dangerous. Also, they don’t just let random people go on stakeouts. Of course, Jessica has never heard a “no” she can’t turn into a “yes,” so she keeps bugging Nick no matter how many times he refuses. This somehow turns into her saying that she wants to be a cop herself. It also somehow leads to Nick deciding that he needs to choose between his job and his girlfriend. He decides he’ll take one last case – the murder investigation at Verona Springs – and then quit.

Nick is paired with another cop, Eileen, and they go undercover at the country club. Jessica goes nuts over this. How dare her boyfriend work with a woman who’s not her, after he told her the job was too dangerous for her! How dare he do his job and accept the partner who was assigned to him! How dare he speak to another female! Eileen has to leave the case to be with her ailing father, so Nick’s chief suggests that he take Jessica to the club in her place. Yeah, okay.

Jessica thinks Nick’s cheating, so she takes all his stuff to the police station and throws it at him, screaming about what a jerk he is. Hilariously, other cops can be heard in the background, egging her on. Nick tells Jess that she wins – she can be his partner. Because the best way to handle Jessica is to give her exactly what she wants.

Lila is affected by Gin-Yung’s death more than you would expect – it makes her remember losing her husband, the count. Bruce can relate because he lost Regina. Not really the same, but okay. He tries to cheer Lila up with trips to the country club, and she develops a new obsession: VIP membership. She and Bruce are currently just “couples only” members, which I guess means they can only go to the club with each other, but being VIP members would give them access to more areas of the club. I find it hard to believe that they’re not VIP members because of their families, or that they haven’t just bought their way to the top echelon.

Lila’s in for VIP membership is Pepper Danforth, and you can tell from her name exactly what kind of person she is. People named Pepper are usually snooty (exception: Pepper Potts). Pepper is a horrible human being, and hanging out with her makes Lila start acting like her. Amazingly, Bruce doesn’t like her new behavior, and is actually offended by how horribly they treat the staff at Verona Springs. When did Bruce develop human feelings?

Thoughts: The police hang out at a coffee shop called the Mug Shot, which is owned by a former crime-scene photographer. That is brilliant.

Jessica, after learning that Nick and Eileen are going undercover together: “Exactly what kind of covers do you two plan to be under?” Also brilliant.

With all the gossip we know goes on at SVU, how is it possible that a student died and no one heard about it? Wouldn’t the newspaper have run an article about it? Wouldn’t the administration have said something? Why is this the least believable part of the book?

Dana wears a purple dress and red sneakers to the country club. Even Claudia Kishi would class it up more than that.

Dana also calls Dwayne’s uncle “some old Mexican dude,” despite not knowing his ethnicity, which is awesome because I already hated her, and now I feel justified.

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1 Comment »

  1. MK said,

    I don’t think Pepper Ann was snooty, though I barely remember that series. She might not count as a Pepper though. Love the blog!


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