This is the third Nightmare Hall book, unfortunately I don't have all of them yet so I'll be skipping numbers. It doesn't matter anyway, just like Fear Street it's a new bunch of characters in each book, but previous characters pop up for consistency.Sadly the cover on the version I have isn't like the others where you open the cover to find more of the scene that you can see through the window, so all I have to go off is the chest of drawers with a broken glassed photo frame with a picture of an attractive young man inside it. Cooooooooooooool. I bet there's a dead body underneath but I guess I'll never know.
The book begins with a one page prologue that is pointless bc all it tells is us that the night that Robert Q Parker the III and Darlene Riggs meet is the night that all the horror started.
Which we would have gotten from the back cover and the first chapter anyway. Ok.
Salem University freshman Hailey Kingman is there at Burgers Etc. when the pair meet. Burgers Etc is in like every book so it must be really hip and happening in a far out way.
Literally every time our main man Robert Q Parker the III is mentioned he's referred to as Robert Q. Which I think is super dumb so I'm just going to call him Rob unless I start to enjoy calling him Robert Q bc it does kind of have a ring to it!
Blonde haired sophomore Robert Q (I like it already) is the big man on campus (gaaaay) and Darlene is a townie of Twin Falls and not actually a student. She has short dark curly hair. Cute hehe! She works at Burgers Etc. and Rob is having a perve and a half at her shapely figure in her sexy (?) uniform.
Strawberry blond haired Hailey is at a table with her roommate Nell, of whose hair we don't get a description of unlike every other character, sadly, and Jess and Ian (from The Silent Scream OMG fangirling hardcore right now yay for consistency!!) watching Rob drool over Darlene who is loving the attention. Townie slut! I bet she'll put out straight away. I spoke too soon before, Nell has dark hair! Thanks Diane for letting me know! Nell thinks poorly of herself but she's not ugly, but she's pretty skinny and in her own words looks like a door when she stands sideways. Hahahahahahaha I laughed for like 3 minutes at that. I like Nell she better not die.
The group watch Darlene and Rob flirt some more. We learn that Hailey has had like 4 dates since she started college but none were successful. And that her parents died in a car crash and she was raised by her grandmother. That's probably not important though. Oh well.
Hailey has a perve on a guy named Finn before turning her attention back to Rob and Darlene who have made plans to hang out after her shift.
When Darlene comes to their table Hailey introduces her to everyone in hopes to eventually warn her about the womanising Robert Q, but doesn't end up saying anything.
She ponders if the poor girl knows what she's getting into.
2 nights later Hailey is in the shared bathroom in her on campus dorm when who should walk in but Darlene Riggs! Darlene remembers how nice Hailey was to her he other night and asks for her help to look more sophisticated and chic for her new man Robert Q, who lives at a frat house but is at Hailey's dorm building visiting a friend.
Hailey knows that the people in Rob's group are probably giving Darlene a hard time (btw one of the girls in his friend group's name is Puffy. Yes you read right. PUFFY. What the fuck?!) so Hailey politely offers to help Darlene in anyway she can.
A while later Darlene knocks on Hailey and Nell's door and the girls give her a makeunder by giving the girl a less made up face and helping her manage her unruly hair. Darlene mentions her ex boyfriend Bo who is a super jealous guy, going after boys that Darlene simply talked to so imagine what he's like now that she's dating another guy! Hailey and Nell are sure Rob sees his new girl as less of a girlfriend and more of a root and boot. Poor Darlene. Suddenly Robert Q storms into the room and practically drags Darlene out, yelling at her for making everyone wait and for looking stupid. Darlene is literally like a puppy omg the poor thing. Nell and Hailey are like "wtf u rude cunt" as the pair leaves.
Darlene and Rob have been going out for 2 whole weeks now which astonishes Hailey bc Darlene is SO not his type.
At a frat party Hailey is shocked when Rob rocks up with Darlene who has a completely new look! She's wearing "rust coloured suede jeans" and I can't help but vomit a little.
Anyway Hailey overhears the campus bitch Puffy (who I kinda love bc she's such a cow) telling her other friend Susan about how Rob is trying to get back with his ex Gerrie while still going out with Darlene who has no idea! They mock the girl and Hailey, after a quick interruption from Finn (who is super cute but Hailey has no time to stop and chat) finds Darlene sitting heartbroken watching Rob and Gerrie dance together all couple like.
Then Bo storms in and orders Darlene to get out of the party and into his truck, but she refuses. Puffy calls out something sassy as does another of Rob's clique, which makes Bo yell at them all before leaving.
Darlene runs to the bathroom quickly followed by Hailey. Bc of all the sweet nothings he'd told her, Darlene thinks Gerrie is to blame, not Rob, and vows to get him back, because he loves her, not Gerrie! Then the pair hear Robert Q offering his friend Richard $25 to take the townie home and that makes things perfectly clear to Darlene. She tells Hailey that if she was in fifth grade she'd get her brother Mike to beat the boys up (and later when telling the story to Jess and Ian Hailey decides that the mention of a brother means that he MUST go to Salem University although Darlene doesn't even hint at that at all), but since she's not she'll take care of them herself. Bc Robert Q needs to learn that Darlene is not s toy! You go girlfriend! Teach him a lesson!
Then she leaves to find Bo outside and Hailey returns to the party where she fills Jess and Ian in. Then suddenly she hears shouts from outside and everyone rushes out to find Gerrie unconscious with Rob above her! He suggests something was thrown at her, like this rock right here covered in blood!
Damn it Darlene that's not what I meant by "teach him a lesson"!
Finn is sceptical bc Rob says they were the only two out there, and Lindsey, Puffy's friend, suggest Darlene was hiding and threw it at poor Gerrie bc who else would want to hurt her? Although Gerrie has a lot of enemies according to Hailey.
Anyway an ambulance comes and takes a now conscious Gerrie to the hospital with Robert Q who is only worried about leaving his car at the party where someone might steal it. I hope Darlene keys it hehe. Finn invites Hailey to go have coffee then and there which she accepts and off they go! They have a cute little date before going back to their respective dorms where Hailey finds Nell asleep so she tells her in the morning about what happened the night before. Nell isn't sympathetic though bc she hates Gerrie (maybe she threw the rock!) and goes for her morning 30 minute run. An hour and a half later she still hasn't returned. Ooooohhhh shiiiiit. Hailey hardcore freaks out and goes looking for her. She's about to go in the woods when Nell calls out to her and explains that she bumped into Darlene who talked non stop for 45 minutes so Nell went straight to class afterwards so she wouldn't be late.
Apparently Darlene blames all of Robert Q's friends for him dancing and hooking up with Gerrie instead of Robert Q himself so now she's madly in love with him again. Oh God. Darlene you're killing me.
And apparently her brother does go to Salem too. My bad?
Later Darlene calls Hailey to invite her and Nell to a pizza party (my kinda party!), and tells her of her plans to invite Robert Q and all his friends as well. Nell can't make it bc of a paper due the next day, so Hailey goes by herself even though she knows no one will show up. And surprise surprise when she gets there she's the only one. And poor Darlene is all dressed up and decorated her house and everything! She gets super angry that Robert Q didn't show and started slashing at his jacket he let her borrow one night with a knife scaring the fuck out of Hailey. Psychotic bitch! Darlene calms down and collects herself. She can't believe she was mad at Robert Q when it's obviously everyone else's fault! She cuts the party of 2 short to go speak to him even though Hailey tries to encourage her not to.
Hailey heads back to uni to do some work in the library when she sees people running towards Robert Q's frat house. She follows to find Robert Q's car on fire as a result of arson.
Firefighters say it was the result of Arson. Oh Darlene you little criminal!
The next morning Darlene calls to tell Hailey she's heading out of town to visit her sick grandmother for a few days. More like to avoid suspicion Darlene! She wants Hailey to pass on her grandmothers number to Rob but she has no intention of doing so. Good girl Hailey.
Everyone on campus is gossiping about poor Darlene, especially my fave girl Puffy! Hailey overhears her telling some friends about how the cops showed up at Darlene's only to find her gone! Oh well.
Hailey returns back to her dorm to find the whole place vandalised. Black paint is streaked across all the walls, the bedding is shredded, and her graduation photo has been placed in Nell's recycling poster to make it look like Hailey's buried. Wtf. Why does someone want to hurt Hailey she's done nothing wrong? Goddamn it.
Bo Jessup (Darlene's ex) is Hailey's only suspect so she tells security her thoughts.
The girls are then relocated to another room and the three of us are overwhelmed by the kindness of others. Some other girls (one of them named Delsey(?!?)) bring some bedding, school supplies and posters over for the girls to make them feel a little more comfortable. Then the pair go out for dinner with Finn at Burgers Etc. to take their mind off things. While there they see that Robert Q has a brand new car less than 24 hours after the old one was destroyed, and find him canoodling with yet another random girl. What a grub!
The next morning they're awoken by a security guard who needs them to identify if anything is missing from their room. Nell lies and says no even though their hair care stuff and make up is missing bc she thinks it seems silly. Who the fuck cares Nell you dumb bitch it's still a clue! They suggest that maybe Darlene blames them for Robert Q not liking her after the makeover they gave her. So now they have 2 suspects in mind. They agree they need to tell the police about the missing items but it's not made clear if they do or not.
Next the girls head out to the mall to purchase some more hair care and make up products via the shuttle bus bc of the severe snowy and windy weather to discover than Finn is on there (Hailey basically orgasms) with his friend Pete, and so is Robert Q with Puffy and Lindsey. Finn tells the girls how Rob got into an argument with friends Richard and Lyal, who'd accused him of trashing the girls room bc he said it served them right.
3 suspects now. Shits getting complicated.
Anyway the shuttle bus drops Finn and Pete off at the diner and Robert Q jumps off too, telling Puffy and Lindsey that he's not eating "mall food" and will catch them later. Yes fuckhead bc diner food is sooOooOOOo much better than mall food? Idiot.
At the mall Nell and Hailey go straight to the drugstore (they have those in America?!) I'm just kidding I assume a drugstore is what we call a chemist or a pharmacy here. Hailey thinks she sees Darlene and starts running around the drugstore but can't find the girl or anyone who looks like her.
She and Nell then buy make up and other girly things before stuffing their faces.
Later they wait under a canopy for the shuttle bus to take them home with a few other from campus. Richard, Lyal, Puffy and Lindsey, all Robert Q's friends, all come out to find that someone is in Richards car. They can see the lights are on and Richard runs over to confront the thieve when whoever is in the drivers seat guns it towards him and sends him flying into the air to come crashing down on a wooden structure, killing him. The driver speeds off without stopping.
Darlene is that you?!?
I hope all of Robert's friends die. Except maybe Puffy. Although she's such a bitch it'd be good to see her get her comeuppance.
Stupid Lindsey announces that she saw Darlene behind the wheel even though it was way too snowy to even see the car itself besides he headlights so Hailey shuts her up with that fact. But Hailey isn't so sure. Did she see Darlene at the mall?
Back at the dorm, Nell and Hailey decide to call the number Darlene left them to see if she really is at her grandmothers house, 2 hours away. But the number is in Hailey's purse/bag which is now missing. They think it was snatched at the food court. Ohhh shit they're super scared bc the keys to their new dorm room and Hailey's car are in there.
The girls discuss that the person who killed Richard must have known him, bc Richard had plenty of time to jump out of the way but didn't. He must have thought that the person behind the wheel would never actually hit him, right?
Finn calls then and offers condolences to girls for witnessing such a horrible act.
The next morning Darlene calls Hailey to tell her she's heard about everything that's happened. She's still in Willowcreek though. She's not sad about Richard's death bc she's never hated anyone as much. And that's just bc she's rewritten the party in her head so that Richard wanted money to take Darlene home instead of Robert Q offering money for him to take her home. Ugh Darlene you're becoming the bane of my existence.
I'm really confused now right bc it says Hailey goes back to her room after the call. So back before the Internet and mobile phones and stuff, telephones were out in the hall in dormitories? How would you know who the call is for? And if you didn't know everyone on the floor how would you know who to get? And how would people know what number to call? (If someone could explain this to me I'd be very appreciative xoxo).
The sun is out that say so everyone is frolicking around out in the snow. Hailey is told that Gerrie, who's still in hospital (she might go permanently blind oops) was devastated to hear about Richard on the news as they were close. None of her "friends" had even come by and told her. That's bc Lindsey and Puffy and Robert Q and Lyal are too busy frolicking in the snow Gerrie!
Later Hailey goes to suss out some information from the administration building about Mike, Darlene's brother, so he can figure out if Darlene really is in Willowcreek. But she leaves before finding anything out when she overhears the dean telling Puffy and Susan (the other member of Robert Q's gang) of cheating together! He tells them that personal notes their professor had made about the test were found in Susan's tennis locker (whatever that is) that could only have been obtained from the professors drawer. Poor Susan. And poor Puffy!
Hailey dashes back to her dorm and tells Nell, Pete and Finn the news, but she believes the girls were framed. Nell isn't so sure though. Nell you're wrong ok. My girl Puffy would NEVER cheat.
Hailey decides to call Darlene at her grandmother's who is super excited at the prospect of Puffy and Susan getting kicked out of school. She keeps talking about how pretty soon Robert Q will have no one but her. Bc that's not suss Darlene you bloody muppet!
We learn that Richard's car was found abandoned halfway between Twin Falls and Willowcreek, wiped of any fingerprints. OooOOO00ooh.
Later Hailey returns to her room to find the window wide open. As she goes to close is she's struck in and PUSHED OUT THE WINDOW!!!!!! Her purse strap gets caught on something and acts like a sling, saving her. Nell, Pete and Finn arrive and pull her to safety.
When the police arrive she questions them about Bo Jessup, did they check him out like she'd asked? They tell her he'd skipped town, whereabouts unknown.
Darlene and Bo are so in this together.
I also have this theory that Finn is actually Darlene's brother Mike. Possibly disowned by his family so using a different name. I'm probably wrong.
2 days later a well rested Hailey searches the administration building for information on Mike Riggs but is told there's no files of anyone going by that name. Hmm. My Finn theory makes sense now doesn't it.
Then she drives to Darlene's house hoping Mike is there or at least one of the parents. She really wants to find out some stuff about Darlene from him. When she gets there all she finds is Finn (again my theory is making sense!) who tells he was there to find out some stuff about Darlene bc he's very suspicious about what's been happening, but no one was home. Later they go to the diner where they discuss the idea that while her purse was missing, Hailey's room key may have been copied and that's how the attacker got in her room. Oooh creepy.
Finn and Hailey finally kiss that night (yay!) and the next morning Hailey heads to Lester Dormitory where Finn lives to ask him if he knows Mike Riggs.
The guy at the reception tells her that no one named Finn Conran lives there. Hmm. Maybe try Mike Riggs, bud! Hailey is all wtf and heads to her class, but not before bumping into Pete who is positive Finn lives at Lester. After class she asks a girl, Beth, who also lives at Lester about Finn, and she's just as positive that he doesn't live there. What on Earth is going on?!
That night Hailey and Finn go on a cute date where they discuss the notion that everyone who had been someone involved with Darlene had had something terrible happen to them. Everyone except... Nell!!!
They race back to the dorm where they find Nell in bed, sound asleep although they thought she'd been smothered to death bc her head was under the pillow.
Hailey watches out the window as Finn leaves and spots him getting on the shuttle bus headed into town when he told her he was going to the library to study. She follows the bus in her car to see what's really going on. Ffs Hailey I'm telling you Finn is Mike why can you not comprehend this.
She sees Finn get off the bus and head to Darlene's house before she realises that if she can't trust him she doesn't want to know about it (bitch are you fucking stupid what if this guy tried to kill you and you don't want to know about it bc you have feelings for him fuck Hailey you're literally killing me here) but she sees him greeted at the door by Mrs Riggs before she disappears.
She phones the Riggs family the next day and makes up a story about needing to give Mike something of Darlene's but having no idea what he looks like. Mrs Riggs gives a vague description and tells her what class he's in at that moment so Hailey speeds off and waits for the class to finish. Finn and Pete and Robert Q and some others file out of the class but Hailey sees no one matching the description of a blue knitted sweater. Hmmmmm.
Pete offers to suss out some information about Mike for her before Hailey wanders off questioning who to trust.
Later she bumps into Milo (remember him from The Silent Scream?) who tells her he found out from a waitress who grew up with Darlene that Mike is her half brother (I think they mean step here bc isn't a half sibling when you share only one parent? His mum married her dad) and goes by a different last name. That explains why Hailey can't find anyone by the name of Michael Riggs!
She decides to call Darlene at we grandmother's house and find out once and for all who her brother is. She should have done this like 14 chapters ago but oh well. Before she can open her mouth on the phone Darlene starts yapping about how Bo Jessup (her ex) has been in Willowcreek with his aunt this whole time trying to get up the nerve to apologise to Darlene and now she's in love and obsessed with him instead of "that creep" Robert Q. Darlene you're pissing me off u need help urgently.
Finally Darlene pauses for a breath and Hailey jumps at her only chance in this conversation to ask Darlene about her brother. What is his name, Darlene?!
Believe it or not guys, this is literally a real shocker and I had no idea it was coming it seems so out of the blue. But Darlene's brother is none other than Michael Finn Conran!
What the FUCK did I tell you all omg I'm so happy that I was right about this if I had have been wrong I literally would have flipped my shit. I'm basically creaming my jeans right now about this you have no idea.
Suddenly there's footsteps outside the door while she's on the phone too and Hailey is super scared. (I'm so confused now bc now they have a phone in their room? What?)
She doesn't really have time to think about the footsteps bc she can't believe Finn is Darlene's brother! Hailey I've only told you like 80 times already pull your head in.
The person outside her door pokes his head in and it's Pete! Hailey thinks Nell is in danger and takes him to search for her at the pep rally, all the while the pair talk about this new revelation. Pete already knew and had promised Finn not to tell anyone bc Finn wanted to play sleuth and find out who hit Gerrie with a rock so Darlene's name wouldn't be tarnished. We find out that Finn had left the diner early the day Richard was killed and wasn't originally with Pete and Nell when they rescued Hailey from the window, he was outside her door claiming to have just gotten off the elevator. Pete thinks that Finn has been the attacker all along now.
I'm kind of suss on Pete now though he seems to be throwing a lot of shade Finn's way.
Hailey is hurt that Finn didn't tell we the truth about who he is and decides to march on to his house and confront him. Pete calls the cops first though and tags along, because he doesn't want her to get hurt? OR because he doesn't want her to find out the truth that HE'S the real attacker!? Hmm?! He probably didn't even call the police.
Anyway they go to the Riggs house and let themselves inside with the key Pete pulls from under the welcome mat. Ok. Where are the parents? They go down to the basement/darkroom where Pete says Finn is supposedly working. In the basement there's a wall full of exercise equipment and Pete picks up a heavy looking dumbbell with ease and I'm pretty sure he's about to smash Hailey in the head with it but apparently she doesn't bc she knocks on the darkroom door looking for Finn.
My suspicions are confirmed when he tells Hailey that that's exactly what he's planning on doing with the dumbbell and that Finn is probably at the pep rally looking for her. And he didn't call the police either.
Again I was right I'm just way too good at this. Put me in one of these books and I'll solve the problem in 3 pages I bet ya.
Anyway Hailey is all "Pete wtf why?!" And he tells her that Finn was angry about what happened to Darlene but wasn't going to do anything about it. So Pete would.
He tells her how he grew up with the Riggs' and has been in love with Darlene forever but she always saw him as like a brother. After what happened with Robert Q he decided to get even with everyone for hurting her or encouraging her behaviour, thinking it'd make her like him. And he was planning on framing Finn for everything! Oh shiiiit. Some friend.
Hailey quickly locks herself in the darkroom while Pete tries to break the door down. She searches for a weapon and finds some chemicals. Yes Hailey yes!
the door caves in and just as Pete is about to strike her with the dumbbell she throws the pan of chemicals into his face and escapes upstairs, locking him in the basement.
She calls the police and steps outside to wait for them. She sees Finn running towards the house and vows that they will get through their issues.
The endings to these books are always so gaaaaayyyy I hate it.
Kudos to Dianne Hoh for writing a book with some of the worst names I've ever heard.
Darlene is ok I guess. Robert Q is arrogant yet passable. But Delsey and Puffy?!? I sincerely hope no one in real life has these names. Gross.
Also a shoutout to what I think is Dianne's OVERuse of italics. I feel like she's putting the emphasis on the wrong words sometimes and some of these paragraphs have an italic word in every sentence.
And another shoutout to featuring the kids from Nightingale Hall, although none of this book took place there. I feel like none of the books will except that first one. Oh well. It's not like every Fear Street book takes place there right?
Very predictable book though, and it wasn't as thrilling as I would have thought.
5 Puffy Wycrofts out of 13!