Dawn is back in California and loving it. She and Sunny are spending all their time at the beach, where they're both taking surfing lessons and helping out with an after school beach group for younger kids. At the surf shop one day, Sunny points out Thrash, one of the hottest surfers on the beach. He's about 20 and tan, with long blond hair, and according to Sunny, is one of the best surfers on the beach. Dawn thinks he's cute, but not her type and DEFINITELY too old for her. She finds him kind of fascinating, though, and talks to him about his surfing the next time she's in the shop. Thrash has been all over the world, and it's pretty clear that surfing is his life. As Dawn and Sunny are leaving for their surfing lesson, he calls Dawn Kelea (the name of a Hawaiian princess). Sunny is convinced that Thrash has a thing for Dawn, but Dawn isn't buying it.
Several days later, Dawn and Sunny get some bad news when they go back to the beach: Thrash's mangled surfboard turned up on the beach, and people are pretty sure he's dead. Everyone but Gonzo, another one of the regular surfers, that is. There's a big surfing competition coming up, and Gonzo is pretty convinced that Thrash faked his own death because he knew he wouldn't win. Dawn isn't so sure, especially when she finds out that Thrash's board may have been tampered with.
One evening when Dawn, Sunny, and the kids from their after school group are having a cookout, they spot a surfer way out in the ocean. It's pretty rare for anyone to be surfing that late in the evening, so Dawn becomes convinced that it's the ghost of Thrash, out for revenge on whoever murdered him by tampering with his board. Dawn and the rest of the We Love Kids Club spot the mystery surfer again when they're at the beach together, and this time, he's performing a move that only Thrash is known to be able to do. If that weren't enough, Dawn spots a new guy working at the consession stand that gives her the creeps. He's tan, with short, black hair, and Dawn can't put her finger on exactly what's so scary about him....
As the surfing competition gets closer, lots of accidents start to happen to people at the beach. People are falling off their boards and getting hurt who NEVER fall off their boards and get hurt, and one girl burns her eyebrows off while working the grill at the concession stand. Sunny is one of the victims, and her mother makes her give up surfing for the time being. That means Sunny has more time for helping Dawn solve the mystery, although that doesn't take much work on either of their parts. Dawn sees the freaky concession stand guy again, and realizes that he's Thrash in disguise. She confronts him when she catches him in the surf shop...tampering with Gonzo's board. Thrash wanted revenge on Gonzo, who was the one that tampered with HIS board in the first place. Dawn convinces him not to do it, and Thrash eventually goes to the police. They arrest Gonzo at the surfing contest, which Thrash (of course) ends up winning, with Dawn taking third in her division. Thrash uses his prize money to head to Australia to surf for awhile, but before he goes, he gives Dawn his snake ring.
Meanwhile, back in Stoneybrook, the other sitters are having anothe Arnold twin problem. Both girls are involved in gymnastics and loving it, but when Carolyn injures herself during practice at home, Marilyn feels responsible. She decides that she's not going to leave her sister's side again, and for awhile, both twins seem happy with the arrangement. The BSC knows it's not terribly realistic for them to keep on that way, so they divise plan. They have a friend call each of the girls on day and invite them out somewhere, but only if they come alone. At first, the twins turn down the invitations, but decide pretty quickly that they'd rather have fun than stick together all the time.
Thoughts and Things
- Could Thrash be any more stereotypical? There's the name, the tan, the blond hair, the constant use of surfer lingo, the Hawaiian nickname for Dawn.... geez!
- The cover is supposed to take place during the after school group's cookout, but there's one problem. I'm pretty sure that's supposed to be Jeff on the cover, but he wasn't there for the event; he'd changed his mind at the last minute and decided not to go.
- It was so obvious from the beginning that the surfer ghost and the concession stand guy were both Thrash .
- Maybe Dawn should borrow Claudia's snake bracelet and wear that and the ring together? :)
- I'm starting to realize that, with a few exceptions, I don't actually like the mysteries all that much.