Saturday, December 10, 2011

"The Stalker" by Joan Lowery Nixon

When Bobbie Trax is arrested for the murder of her own mother, nobody is more shocked than Bobbie's best friend, Jennifer Wilcox. She is convinced that Bobbie is innocent, despite the police claiming the case is closed. Despite being an immature, melodramatic pain-in-the-ass, she manages to convince ex-detective Lucas Maldonaldo of her theory, and they team up to find the real murderer. Of course, this puts Jennifer herself in the real killer's sights.

"The Stalker" came out in 1985, just a year before the teen thriller genre was revolutionised (for lack of a better term) by R.L. Stine with "Blind Date". It's scary to lay such claims on a mediocre author like Stine (although admittedly his output was a lot better before he was releasing four books a month), but his content was certainly edgier than what had come before it. There isn't much to be found within the pages of "The Stalker". The plot is very thin, the culprit identifiable the moment they are introduced and the main character is truly detestable. If I thought some of the wilting flowers found in romance novels were bad, Jennifer Wilcox really takes the cake. She's supposed to be eighteen years old, but spends most of her time complaining "It's not fair!" whenever something doesn't go her way. You almost expect her to cross her arms in front of her chest and stamp her feet. She snipes at everybody around her and generally behaves like a complete buffoon. Every moment spent in her company was a total chore. And since the whole story is told from her point of view (third person), it makes the whole, thankfully short, novel much the same. Avoid.

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