Beware the Shopping Mall has to be the most 80s book title I’ve ever heard. Ever.
Specifically it sounds kind of early to mid-80s. It’s hard to image anyone being this excited about a shopping mall after that point in history:
“Wonderland Mall Opens Today!” I shouted happily. I read the giant billboard aloud as Mom drove past it and followed the long stream of traffic into the main parking area for the new shopping mall. (loc 30)
But Robin’s mom immediately adds a chilling note, pointing out that the mall is built on the former Mournful Swamp:
“I’ll never forget when three teenagers disappeared in the swamp. It was back when I was in high school. Everybody assumed they walked into quicksand and were sucked under, but nobody really knows what happened to them. Remember that story?” (loc. 32)
Geez, Robin’s mom, it would be pretty hard to FORGET that story.
Anyway, those two quotes from right at the opening of the book tell you basically all you need to know. If I add that there are three creepy teenagers working at the mall, and they’re sacrificing Robin’s schoolmates by turning them into mannequins, you can work out pretty well the whole plot. It’s still incredible fun to read, though.
It’s hard to believe this delicious creepiness was created and written by Betsy Haynes, but I guess she had a dark side of which I was previously unaware.