Some people stand in the darkness
Afraid to come into the light
Some people need to help somebody
When the edge of surrender’s in sight
Yes, dear readers, I will admit that I did start singing the Baywatch theme song as I read R.L. Stine’s 1994 YA novel, The Dead Lifeguard. Some of that is because that’s my natural response to anything involving lifeguards or the beach. But a lot of that is also because this novel has a plot that could have come straight from Baywatch Nights. We just needed David Hasselhoff to show up and start investigating stuff.
Basically, it’s the summer! Yay! Lindsay is looking forward to working as a lifeguard! Yay! The other lifeguards are a collection of typical lifeguard and R.L. Stine types. You got the sensitive, athletic boy. You’ve got the girls who alternate between being supportive and jealous. You’ve even got a dumb jock type who is named Pug. Would you want your life saved by someone named Pug?
Unfortunately, someone is killing the lifeguards! This doesn’t lead to summer being canceled or anything like that, of course. People in R.L. Stine books are surprisingly nonchalant about teenagers dying under mysterious circumstances. But it does lead to the mystery of who the killer is. Because some of the chapters are written from the killer’s point of view, we know that the killer calls themselves Mouse. And they’re committing their murders to get revenge for the passing of someone named Terry.
Meanwhile, Lindsay tries to figure out who is killing the lifeguards and what mystery is hiding in the past. (Of course, there’s a mystery in the past. It’s a Stine book, after all.) However, Lindsay’s investigation leads to the discovery that she died a year ago! OH MY GOD! IS LINDSAY A GHOST!? Or is there something else happening?
This was a fun Stine book. There were a lot of twists and turns, not to mention weird scenes of Mouse talking to Terry. One of my favorite parts of the book involves Mouse explaining that they are running behind on killing everyone because working as a lifeguard just takes up so much time. That was a clever moment of Stine humor. I also enjoyed the mystery of whether or not Lindsay was a ghost. I kind of guessed how things were going to turn out because …. well, it’s an R.L. Stine book. But still, The Dead Lifeguard was definitely an entertaining read.
Don’t your worry
It’s gonna be alright….