A year later, we open with Meg Dalton riding her bike with her best friend, Shannon, and her boyfriend, Tony. Evan, murdered in the Fear Street woods because people can’t die in Shadyside unless they’re located somewhere that starts with ‘Fear,’ was Shannon’s brother and Tony’s best friend. Tony has a hell of a temper and if he’s not the killer, he’s still not boyfriend material, either.
But Meg shouldn’t count on private detective work as a fall back career after she graduates.
The three of them learn that their friend Ellen is coming to town for a visit. Ellen was Evan’s boyfriend, and she found his body shortly after his murder. Despite the fact that Ellen hasn’t contacted anyone since she moved away, doesn’t like surprises, and isn’t big on parties, Meg decides they have to throw her a party. Because Meg’s not too big on considering other people, she also decides to hold it in an empty mansion in the Fear Street Woods.
Shortly after, she starts receiving menacing phone calls because it’s apparently not a Fear Street book without a first person prologue and menacing phone calls. Meg doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, so this party is on.
We did get a few reminders that this is all happening in the early 90s, like Meg thinking day-glo green and pink party invitations were a good idea, and everyone not wearing jeans is wearing white pants or shorts.
Credit where it’s due: this is actually a nice little YA thriller. The story played out well, the ending wasn’t necessarily telegraphed, and Meg manages to save her own ass without needing anyone to swoop in and rescue her.
On a side note: Lisa is a friend of Meg’s. She and Corey have been fighting constantly since they got together at the end of the last book. I knew he would be a terrible boyfriend. Run, girl!
And the carnage? Pretty light this time.
Shadyside death count: 10. 9 from the previous story and only one this time around. There weren’t any background stories about mysterious Fear Street-related deaths, although we did learn that the Fear Street Woods is full of unusually savage and mutated animals, and it has no birds.
Additional carnage: No dead animals this time around. Meg did get a lunch bag full of paint that she mistook for blood because no one in movies or books has a sense of smell.
Spoiler-laden point at which this all could have been avoided: No lie, I don’t think there was one. Tony thought he was the murderer, and so did Ellen. If they’d just admitted there had been an accident, the real killer would have gotten away with it. The Shadyside PD doesn’t get a chance to do its job very often, but it’s doubtful most police would sit around looking for a mysterious murderer when they’ve got a reasonable confession and a witness. It’s part of why I’m going to stand by calling this a pretty decent little thriller.
(To keep up with a year of reading and reviewing Fear Street books, visit The Shadyside Review.)