Review: Veronica Mars

Trigger warning: This book contains mentions of violence against women and prostitution.

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A girl is found in a rubbish dump after being brutally attacked and left for dead. Veronica Mars, private investigator, is hired, not to find the culprit but to get the Neptune Grand Hotel out of having to pay up in a lawsuit against them for hiring the undocumented worker accused of the attack. Veronica could use the money, but more than anything she wants to stop the rapist before he attacks another girl and to help the victim, who is a figure from Veronica's own past.

Meanwhile Eli “Weevil” Navarro is finally cleared of the bogus charges against him, but that won't help him get back his business or his marriage. Keith Mars and his lawyer hatch a plan for Weevil to sue the Sheriff's department, and hopefully uncover the ongoing pattern of corruption in the department in the process. With any luck they may just affect the outcome of the coming election and get a sheriff who isn't one of the notorious Lamb brothers for a change.

This book follows on from the previous novel, Veronica Mars and the Thousand Dollar Tan Line as well as the Veronica Mars television series and movie. It would probably be fairly confusing to start reading at this point if you aren't familiar with the previous book, or at least with the show. If you are a fan of the series then this novel will not disappoint. There are twists and double crosses and you get to see the characters you have grown to love deal with new situations. Veronica and Logan are finally living together, but Logan spends half his time deployed as a naval pilot. Veronica needs to come to grips with her worries about his safety and spending so much time apart if their relationship is to have a chance. The characters come across so much like real people that I find I have grown quite attached to some of them. I want things to work out well for them all, but this is noir, so I know it won't, which makes the story bittersweet to read.

The story deals with the topic of rape sensitively, without victim blaming or straw feminists like those that made the third season of the tv show so problematic. It also talks about the problem of the lack of effective protection for prostitutes who are afraid to go to the police if attacked by Johns.

Veronica Mars: Mr Kiss and Tell is a fast paced mystery novel with solid character portrayals, but with so much back story it's strictly for fans of the series.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Published: 20 January 2015

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