Killer (Pretty Little Liars #6) by Sara Shepard

3047849Cover Girl: Hanna Marin (portrayed by Sarah Dewey)

Tag Line: A little beauty can be a dangerous thing.

Previous Book: Wicked (#5)

Back Blurb: Rosewood, Pennsylvania, seems picture perfect, but pictures often lie–-and so do Rosewood’s four prettiest girls.

Hanna’s on a mission to corrupt Rosewood’s youth–-starting with a very attractive sophomore. Aria’s snooping into her boyfriend’s past. Spencer’s stealing…from her family. And pure little Emily’s abstaining from abstinence.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. These pretty little liars should be careful. Sure, the old A is dead, but there’s a new A in town turning up the heat. And this time Rosewood’s going to burn. -A

Recap:

If Memory Serves…

Rosewood, PA, the beginning of sixth grade. Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna all sneak into Ali’s backyard at the same time. They hear a fight between Jason and Ali going on in the house. Jason mimics Ali and their mother yells at him. Jason storms into the backyard and the Liars hide. He shoots an angry glare at Melissa and Ian, who are next door in the Hastings’ hot tub, then runs into the woods.

Ali comes out and announces the Liars can show themselves; someone already stole her flag. They come out of their hiding places. Ali says she doesn’t know who stole it. She’d decorated it with a manga frog, the Chanel logo, a girl playing field hockey, and the Louis Vuitton pattern. Mrs. DiLaurentis emerges and tells Ali she is leaving. Ali then asks each Liar her name, even though she already knows them. They ask questions about her flag, but Ali gives vague answers. She watches her mother’s Mercedes drive away and walks back into the house.

Each Liar is humiliated. They dejectedly go their separate ways. Hanna retrieves her bike from the front yard and sees a familiar black car at the curb in front of Ali’s house. Not remembering where she’s seen it, she bikes away.

The next Monday, Ali makes conversation with each of the Liars. She invites all of them over for a sleepover, which turns into many, and soon all five girls are BFFs. Nobody turns in Ali’s flag. During the Time Capsule ceremony, Aria shudders in fear because she knows where Ali’s flag is. It’s in a shoebox in her closet. She can’t tell anyone. She’d risk losing Ali and her new friends. She just wants to forget the whole thing ever happened.

But maybe Aria shouldn’t try to forget. Maybe she should take a peek at the flag. It might hold a clue the Liars are desperately searching for–-something that will help solve Ali’s murder.

1. The Girl Who Cried “Dead Body”

It’s Saturday evening, the night of the Rosewood Day fundraiser at the Hastings’ manor. The Liars were just lured into the woods by A to discover Ian’s dead body. They lead Wilden down the path to show him. To their horror, Ian’s body is gone.

Wilden doesn’t believe the Liars. He insists Ian is probably just hurt, not dead. Hanna tells him about the figure she saw in the woods. Spencer shows Wilden the text from A saying He had to go. Wilden says A isn’t real and Ian was arrested based on evidence the Liars gave him. When Spencer suggests Ian may have been framed, Wilden is furious. He reveals that he knows Ian visited Spencer on her back porch on Thursday. It was called in from an anonymous tip. He says Spencer should have told him and he would have arrested Ian instead of letting him escape.

Wilden tells the girls to go back to the house and he’ll get a team together, but Spencer says he should radio them from here. Wilden looks angry and says he has to follow procedure. He seems eager to get away from them. The Liars walk back to the house, remembering their gruesome discovery. Ian was blue and his head was twisted. He was still wearing his Rosewood Day class ring that had a blue stone.

They hear crackling noises, as if someone is walking in the forest. They look back and see Wilden walking back into the woods, in the opposite direction of where he said he was going. He’s not getting a search team together like he said.

2. What Goes Around Comes Around

The next morning, Aria heads to Byron and Meredith’s apartment. She left Ella’s because she’s afraid Xavier will tell Ella that Aria was into him and ruin their newly-mended relationship. There’s a report on TV about Ian being missing. The police chief says a body was seen and a search began this morning, but nothing was found because of the snow.

Aria calls Emily and they discuss Wilden’s carelessness with the investigation. Emily hangs up and Aria reflects on how Wilden was in Ian’s grade in school. Wilden had been a troublemaker; an unlikely future cop. He once caught Aria spying on Jason while he was breaking into someone’s locker. He saw Aria watching Jason and told her she wasn’t supposed to be there, but he wouldn’t tell, “this time.”

Byron comes in to tell Aria he and Meredith bought a house on Coventry Lane. They’re having a baby shower there for Meredith on Wednesday evening and would like Aria to come. They want her to live there and have the attic bedroom. Aria realizes Ian’s house is on Coventry Lane. She is reluctant to move there but gives in. She goes to her room and looks out the window, just in time to see a shadowy figure staring at her from across the street.

3. Fly Me to the Moon

Later that evening, Emily and Isaac are at Penelope’s, a small diner near her house. Emily gets upset when a news report about Ian’s disappearance comes on. Jenna is being interviewed. The police chief says Wilden did not delay the investigation; he had to obtain permits to search the private property behind Spencer’s house. He says he can’t comment on whether Ian broke his house arrest and visited Spencer.

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Back Cover

Emily asks if they can leave. They head out to her mom’s car when Jason suddenly appears and screams at Emily. He accuses her of bumping into his BMW, which has a small scratch on the bumper. Emily and Isaac try to calm him down, but to no avail. He gets in his car and blasts off into traffic. He didn’t seem to recognize Emily, even though she had been one of Ali’s best friends.

Emily is shaken by the encounter. She starts crying so she and Isaac get in her car. He turns on the engine but instead of driving away, he kisses her until the windows get steamy. He removes his shirt and pulls hers off, including her bra. Emily doesn’t feel self-conscious; it feels right. Isaac says he loves her for the first time. They cuddle half naked and Emily feels better, but she knows there’s something unexplainable about Jason’s outburst.

4. That Boy is Mine

The same evening, Hanna is at King James with Kate, Naomi, and Riley. Naomi and Riley are acting like the herpes incident hadn’t happened, and Kate had asked if they could just forget about it.

Hanna spots Wilden on the edge of the food court, yelling heatedly into his cell phone. She can hear him telling someone to calm down and that he’ll be there soon. He disappears before she can get up to talk to him. Spencer is convinced he’s hiding something, but Hanna feels he’s genuinely looking after them. Her mom briefly dated Wilden to keep Hanna out of trouble for shoplifting. It was awkward and embarrassing, but Hanna doesn’t think he’s really a bad guy.

The girls discuss boys and Kate points to a group of lacrosse players across the food court. She points out Mike Montgomery and declares that he is hot. Hanna doesn’t agree, but feels possessive. Back in sixth grade, Mike had groped her during a sleepover at Aria’s house. He apologized; he had thought Hanna was Ali. But then he kissed her and Hanna was flattered. Back then she was a chubby nobody. Mike had been her first kiss.

Hanna tells Kate that Mike is in to her. Naomi and Riley back up Kate, insisting Mike is always checking her out. An unspoken challenge arises between Hanna and Kate. Hanna is determined to get Mike first. Kate suddenly decides to go to Rive Gauche for wine, but Hanna refuses. Naomi and Riley follow Kate. Hanna is furious. She vows to show Kate who the real queen bee at Rosewood Day is.

5. Take a Chance on Me

Monday evening, Andrew is at Spencer’s house, tutoring her in AP Econ. But neither are much interested in studying, so they make out instead. Spencer gets an email notification from I Love U telling her about her mom match. Her potential mother’s name is Olivia Caldwell. Spencer is skeptical about the whole adoption theory, so Andrew suggests searching the house for any records her parents might have.

They go into her father’s study and look through his files. Spencer finds a PDF of a college savings account in her name that has quite a bit of money in it. She’s relieved because this means she hasn’t been completely cut off. There’s a ton of files, so Andrew suggests copying the hard drive to a CD to search through later. Spencer responds to Olivia, telling her she’d like to meet her.

6. Strangers Not on a Train

Tuesday morning, Aria drives Mike to school. The parking lot is covered with reporters. The school just hung a banner announcing the annual Time Capsule game. Mike is excited, but Aria is overwhelmed. When a reporter stops her, she flees back to her car and drives away.

Aria drives to the SEPTA station. She realizes she doesn’t know where to go so she sits down on a bench. To her surprise, Jason walks in. He recognizes her and they start chatting. He’s attending U Penn and living with his parents in Yarmouth, a few towns over. His parents are staying there for the duration of Ian’s trial. They have a nice chat and Jason seems to be flirting with her. The conductor calls for Philadelphia passengers and Aria suggests they ride together. Jason is looking at one of the station’s TVs. He suddenly turns pale and tells her he has to go, rushing outside.

Aria watches him and realizes he’s going to his car, not another train platform. He must not be going to class at Penn. Aria looks at the TV and sees a news headline reading “Thomas’s Body a Hoax.” Mrs. Thomas is shown saying Ian emailed her yesterday and he is safe. Wilden comes on and claims the Liars made up the story for attention. A psychologists suggest the same. Aria is shocked and starts to question her sanity. Is this all real? Was Jason really just here and did she really see Ian’s dead body? Deflated, she drives herself back to school.

7. Kate 1, Hanna 1

The same day during lunch, Hanna is at Steam with her BFFs, seething. Naomi and Riley have been worshipping Kate and ignoring Hanna. She becomes more infuriated when she sees the news report claiming the Liars made up the story about Ian’s body. She’s getting sugar for her coffee when she surprisingly finds a Time Capsule flag hidden behind the coffee station.

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Atom English Edition

Kate is flirting with Mike so Hanna interrupts them to show Mike what she found. A sudden commotion ensues and Mike begs her to give him the piece. Hanna pulls him away from Kate and tells him they should go out sometime. Mike says some dorky and perverted things, but Hanna accepts his invitation to join him at Meredith’s baby shower tomorrow night. She boldly kisses him on the cheek before they part for class. Kate is angry and tells Hanna she wanted to go for Mike. Hanna says Mike likes her, but Kate says they’ll just have to wait and see. Hanna accepts the challenge and tells her “Game on, bitch.”

Hanna stalks off and hears a mysterious laugh. She spins around to see a figure with curly blond hair disappear around the corner. She knows the person was watching her, but struts away, pretending she’s not afraid.

8. If the Dolls Could Talk…

Tuesday after swim practice, Emily drives to Isaac’s house. His parents aren’t home so he takes Emily to his bedroom, where his mother has forbidden girls. Emily is hesitant but Isaac insists his mom won’t find out. One thing leads to another and they have sex, both for the first time. It’s perfect and Emily is in a state of total bliss until she gets up to leave. Isaac’s parents come home early.

Emily and Isaac scramble downstairs to the couch before Mrs. Colbert walks in. She seems upset, as if she suspects Isaac and Emily were upstairs. At first she acts cold toward Emily but then softens when Isaac suggests Emily come over for dinner tomorrow. As Emily leaves, Mrs. Colbert shoots her a death stare. It’s as if she knows exactly what Emily and Isaac were doing while she was gone, and believes Emily was the one who influenced it.

9. Surprise! He’s Still Here…

Meanwhile, Spencer is at home and about to go through the CD of her dad’s hard drive when her laptop suddenly dies. She goes downstairs and timidly asks her mother if she can get it fixed. Mrs. Hastings laughs and tells her she’s not paying for that, but instead should make Spencer pay for what happened to the garage. Confused, Spencer goes outside and sees the word KILLER sprawled across the garage doors in blood-red paint. She asks her mom if she called the police. Mrs. Hastings scoffs, saying the police don’t want to talk to them because they all know there was never any body in the woods. Spencer starts crying and runs upstairs.

Melissa comes in, looking as if she’s been crying too. She tells Spencer she has an old laptop in the barn Spencer can use if she needs to do her homework. Melissa’s moving to her new townhouse tonight because she can’t handle everything that’s going on with Ian. Spencer tells her she just heard the search had been called off because the police hadn’t found anything. Melissa looks surprised.

Spencer heads to the barn and notices someone had also sprayed LIAR on the windmill in the same red paint. She goes inside and loads the CD onto Melissa’s laptop. While she’s waiting she checks her email. She has a message from Olivia Caldwell. Olivia wants to meet Spencer tomorrow night in NYC. She sent a link to a prepaid Amtrak ticket. Spencer is touched, so happy to think she has a loving, comforting mother. She responds immediately saying she’ll be there.

Suddenly Melissa’s Instant Messenger beeps with a message from USCMidfielderRoxxHey Mel, you there? It’s me, Ian. Spencer doesn’t believe it’s him, it’s just someone messing with her. He did go to USC and was midfielder, but anyone could have known that. The messages pour in: I’m sorry I left without telling you…but they hated me. You know that. They found out that I knew. That’s why I had to run. Spencer doesn’t say she’s not Melissa, but tells him to prove it’s really him and asks something completely private: his middle name. He replies Elizabeth.

Spencer is shocked. This really is Ian. Ian had never told a soul his middle name except Melissa, who confessed to Spencer while she was drunk. Her Sidekick buzzes with a message: Dear, Spence, When I told you that he had to go, I didn’t mean he had to die. Still, there’s something really sketchy in this case…and it’s up to you to figure out what it is. So better get searching, or the next one “gone” is you. Au revoir! -A

10. Something’s Sketchy, Indeed

The following morning, Spencer shows the other Liars the IM printout from Ian. They discuss whether it’s really him and if they should tell Wilden. They conclude that Ian probably faked his death, diverting the police into the woods so he would have time to escape. But Spencer points out the IP address on the IM. It came from Rosewood. If Ian is alive, he’s still in Rosewood. Going to Wilden probably won’t do any good because the whole police force thinks they made up seeing Ian’s body. They decide A must be working for Ian, and they need to figure out what really happened to Ali, or else.

Aria tells the girls about seeing Jason at the train station. Emily tells them how he went psychotic after thinking she had hit his car. She points out that Jenna had previously mentioned Ali having “sibling troubles”, so Aria should be careful around him. Emily recalls the first time she saw Ali, at a grocery store before third grade. Jason was taunting Ali and made her cry. Maybe this had been a sign.

Emily heads to class and sees Jenna. Maya comes up behind Jenna and whispers something in her ear, a nasty smile spreading across her face. Jenna doesn’t react. Maya waves at Emily, and Emily knows she has something up her sleeve.

11. The Most Decked-Out Baby in Rosewood

Wednesday afternoon, Aria moves into her new bedroom at Byron and Meredith’s house. Meredith gives her an envelope with her name written on it. Aria is instantly terrified it may be from A. But it’s from Ella, inviting her to a party at a new hotel called the Radley. Ella’s painting will be on display and Xavier will be joining them. Enclosed are two tickets.

Aria ponders whether Jason had been flirting with her. She recalls the secret she’s been holding onto since sixth grade: after the encounter in Ali’s backyard, she had seen Jason in the woods carrying Ali’s Time Capsule flag. She looked at it briefly and he handed to her silently. He walked away and she never spoke to him again until the train station.

Byron calls her down for Meredith’s baby shower. To Aria’s surprise, Kate is sitting next to Mike. Both look equally smug when Hanna walks in. Hanna is furious and Mike justifies bringing two dates because “the more the merrier.” Kate confidently mocks Hanna. Aria discreetly texts Hanna, who tells her she’s into Mike and he’s the only guy Aria can’t steal from her. Hanna is obviously still upset about Aria dating Sean.

Hanna is irate when Meredith opens Kate’s gift, which is identical to the one Hanna bought. Meredith then opens the same gift from Hanna. Hanna accuses Kate of stealing her gift, which Kate denies coolly. Mike doesn’t hide the fact that he’s loving the drama.

Aria notices something moving outside the window and realizes it’s Jenna. She steps outside and asks her if she’s okay or needs anything, but Jenna walks away. Aria calls after her, but Jenna ignores her.

12. Off With Her Head!

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That evening, Emily is having dinner with Isaac’s parents. She’s nervous about seeing Mrs. Colbert.  Isaac’s dad says he’s catering the party at the Radley and Isaac invites Emily to be his date. Mrs. Colbert makes a few snide comments about serving virgin drinks and Emily being “naturally fast.” Emily is convinced she knows. But does she know because of A? She tries to be helpful by cleaning the dishes. She’s alone in kitchen when she looking for a drawer for the silverware. Inside she finds a photo of her and Isaac taken before the Rosewood Day benefit. Emily’s head has been cut out of the picture.

Her phone chimes with a text. It’s a picture taken in Ali’s backyard from fifth or sixth grade. Ali is wearing her Rosewood Youth League field hockey uniform. A blonde girl resembling Naomi is hiding behind a tree. Jenna is standing in profile. Emily is confused. What is A doing? Why isn’t A taunting her for losing her virginity? The accompanying message reads: One of these things doesn’t belong. Figure it out quickly…or else. – A

13. That Mother-Daughter Bond

The same evening, Spencer boards a train to New York to meet Olivia. Several passengers are reading newspapers with headings about Ali’s murder investigation. Spencer ponders whether the DiLaurentises are hiding something and if the police had completely botched the investigation from the beginning. She had tried unsuccessfully to reach Melissa. Does Melissa know something but is afraid to come forward? Does she know who hated Ian enough to frame him? The only person Spencer knew had hated Ian was Jason. Earlier Emily had forwarded her the picture of Ali with Naomi and Jenna. What did it mean?

A pretty, stylish young blonde calls out to Spencer as she steps off the train. It’s Olivia. Spencer is completely enamored. They spend the evening shopping and dining in the West Village. Olivia just married a wealthy man named Morgan Frick and they’re leaving by helicopter tonight for their honeymoon, so she can’t stay long. She’s having trouble carrying a large accordion file, so Spencer offers to hold it for her. Olivia tells her it has documents for her new luxury apartment on Sixth Avenue and 12th Street. They walk by, but Olivia can’t take her in because they don’t have time. She promises she will on her next visit.

Spencer asks Olivia why she gave her up. Olivia tells her she was just 18 and felt she was making the right choice. She wishes Spencer could come live with her, but Morgan doesn’t trust a lot of people. Maybe her realtor Michael could help Spencer find a place nearby. Spencer walks her to board her helicopter and says goodbye. After it takes off, Spencer realizes she still has Olivia’s accordion file. It’s a perfect excuse to see her again soon.

14. And on a Westbound Train the Next Day…

The next day after school, Aria heads to the train station in Yarmouth, hoping to run into Jason. She sees a shadowy figure on the other side of the tracks. She thinks it might be Jenna because she had gone into her yard yesterday. Emily had sent her the photo from A. Had Jenna been trying to tell her something?

Jason’s train arrives. Aria greets him and boldly tells him she enjoyed talking to him and would like to hang out. He asks her to get a drink at a bar in Hollis. She gets in her car to follow him and sees the same shadowy figure, dressed in a hooded jacket and large sunglasses. She thinks the person is watching her.

She follows Jason to the bar and they chat over a few drinks. Jason admits he knew Aria always had a crush on him, and he kind of likes her too. He remembers her watching him the day of the Time Capsule announcement. Aria says she was going to talk to him but the school secretary pulled him away because he had a phone call from a girl. Jason doesn’t seem to remember, but Aria suddenly remembers the secretary had also said, “She says she’s your sister.” Confused, Aria remembers Ali had been in the locker room at that time. She tells Jason she thought it had been a girl he actually wanted to talk to, but he just mumbles something like “Not exactly.” Jason says he has to go, but he’d like to see her again. Aria kisses him passionately. After he leaves, she receives a disheartening text: Enjoy your gimlets? Well, sorry, darling, but the fantasy’s over. Big Brother is hiding something from you. And trust me…you don’t want to know what it is. -A

15. En Garde, Kate

Later the same night, Hanna manages to get out of the house without Kate by telling her father she has to study alone at the library. She had told Mike she wanted to go on a date one-on-one. He says he wants to go shopping because that’s what girls like. In the mall parking lot, Hanna sees Wilden lugging a barrel of propane from Home Depot. He puts it in his trunk and makes a phone call. Hanna pulls Mike inside the mall before Wilden sees her.

They head to a boutique and Mike picks out revealing clothes for her to try on. Hanna is impressed by his creativity, but he barges into the dressing room and sees her naked. Hanna is angry but slightly flattered. They have dinner and Mike flirts with her relentlessly, but everything he says is immature and perverted. Hanna lets it go because Mike is as concerned as her with being popular. Maybe he’s not so bad. When he excuses himself to use the restroom, she decides to get revenge. She barges in like he did, but she catches him with a toiletry bag at the sink. Mike is obviously embarrassed, but this must mean he’s brushing his teeth because he wants to kiss Hanna.

They drive back to Mike’s house and Hanna walks him to the door. She invites him to be her date for the party at the Radley. She leans in for a kiss when the door barges open. She’s shocked to see Kate standing there. Kate explains she has a dessert date with Mike, who looks guilty but just gives Hanna a look telling her they’re not exclusive. Kate and Mike walk out and Hanna hears a giggle coming from inside the house. She thinks someone is watching her. Could it be A? Before she can find out, she runs off toward her car, humiliated.

16. Spencer Hastings, Future Wawa Counterperson

Spencer is watching the news, waiting for Andrew to come over. When he arrives, she tells him about Olivia and that she’s considering moving to New York. To her dismay, Andrew is upset. He tries telling her she’s making a mistake; she’s moving too fast and doesn’t want to see her get hurt. He says he has to leave and gathers his things. Spencer spots an invitation for the Radley party on top of his books. She realizes Andrew must have been wanting to take her, possibly to make up for their disastrous date at Foxy. He leaves and Spencer is confused, thinking maybe they’ve just broken up because she said she’s moving.

Spencer’s parents come home and she decides to leave. She can’t face them right now. She heads out to her car but it’s not in the driveway. Was it stolen? Had A taken it? She runs back in the house and tells her mother it’s gone. Mrs. Hastings says her father turned it back into the dealer this afternoon because Spencer doesn’t need her own car. If she wants her own car, she needs to get a job. Spencer is shocked. Her parents must truly hate her if they’re taking everything away from her. She runs upstairs, but instead of crying, she opens Olivia’s accordion file. The realtor’s information is in there. She’s going to find a place in New York now. Before she can study the papers, her phone buzzes with a text: Dear Little Miss Spencer-Whatever-Your-Name-Is, Shouldn’t you know by now what happens if you don’t listen to me? I’ll use small words this time, so even you’ll understand. Either give Long-Lost Mommy a rest and keep searching for what really happened…or pay my price. How does disappearing forever sound? -A

17. Just Like Old Times…

After swim practice, Emily and Carolyn go to Applebee’s with their teammates Gemma Curran and Lanie Iler. When they sit down to order, Emily looks around and thinks she sees Jason, but it’s just another blond guy. She can’t stop thinking Jason might be involved. A while back Jason had told the press his family was too messed up to talk to after his sister’s murder. Emily remembers Ali saying Jason belonged in a mental ward. Should she and the other Liars be worried about him?

Carolyn mentions the Radley party and Emily tells her she’s going with Isaac. To her surprise, Carolyn is excited for her. Emily is relieved; she’d been so afraid to tell her family because she thought they’d be angry with her for putting them through the lesbian ordeal and then dating a guy. Gemma and Lanie are happy for her too. She knows she doesn’t need to worry now.

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Her phone rings and it’s Spencer. Emily goes into the restroom to take the call. Spencer tells her she got another A text and wonders if it has to do with the photo. A toilet flushes and Emily realizes she’s not alone. She hangs up and freezes when Mrs. Colbert steps out of a stall. Emily says hello, but Mrs. Colbert goes on a rant, telling Emily she disrespected her, she’s trash, and she’s never welcome in her home again. Shocked, Emily runs back to her table to grab her things and runs out of the restaurant.

Carolyn follows her but Emily can’t speak. Was this a coincidence, or had A told Mrs. Colbert what Emily and Isaac did? Her phone buzzes in her purse, but it’s not the usual message she’s expecting. It’s a photo of the confessional at Holy Trinity Church. Wilden is walking out, wearing his police uniform. Confused, Emily reads the accompanying message: I guess we all have stuff to feel guilty about, huh? -A

18. Something’s Rotten in Rosewood…

Friday morning, Hanna is out for a run. Emily had sent her the photo of Wilden, but Hanna didn’t think it was a clue. It just a way to mess with Emily’s head. Mike had also texted her asking if he could bring a third person on their date at the Radley. Hanna didn’t respond, knowing he meant Kate. She jogs past Ali’s old house. There’s a shrine of flowers and photos in front. Hanna picks up a picture of sixth-grade Ali at the Hastings’, taken the night of Melissa and Ian’s Winter Ball. Ali is posing in the foyer and the front door is open. A Hummer Limo is in the background and there is a figure in dark clothing standing next to it. Hanna can’t see who it is, but it looks as if he or she was watching someone.

Hanna spots Wilden in the Cavanaughs’ driveway a few houses down. He seems surprised to see her and says he’s checking things out back in the woods. But the cops had abandoned the search and Spencer’s house is across the street. Wilden tells her she shouldn’t be there, she should be running somewhere safer like the Marwyn trail. He offers her a ride home and Hanna obliges, not sure what to do.

Wilden leads her to a car covered in dirt and snow. There’s something familiar about it, but Hanna isn’t sure what. He says his cruiser is in the shop so he’s using his personal car. The inside is filthy and Hanna notices an ice fishing day pass. She inquires about it and Wilden says it’s old, he hasn’t cleaned his car in years. She asks how the investigation is going, but all he can say is they think Ian is in California. He blasts away and drives Hanna recklessly through town. Recalling her accident, Hanna begs him to stop, but he laughs at her. He drops her off at her house and she feels a dreaded sense of déjà vu. Something like this happened to her before, and it wasn’t the night of her accident.

19. Spencer Wheels and Deals

After school, Spencer locks herself in the barn. Since A had threatened to make her disappear, she decided disappearing from Rosewood was the best thing for her. She pulls out Olivia’s accordion file and calls the realtor, Michael Hutchins. Michael tells her about a wonderful apartment in Olivia’s neighborhood that will be listed on Monday morning. He emails her some photos and Spencer instantly falls in love with it. She asks to make an appointment on Monday afternoon, but Michael says it’s such a great find it will likely be rented the minute it’s listed. Spencer desperately asks if she can give him money now so she’s guaranteed to have it. She doesn’t even want to look at it, she knows it’s perfect. Michael says he needs a deposit right away. Spencer considers asking Olivia, but what if Morgan is suspicious? She could use her college account, which is in her name, and Morgan will probably love her so much he’ll reimburse whatever she spends. She gives Michael the account information from the file she took from her dad’s computer. They set a meeting to pick up the keys Monday at 4:00. Spencer is thrilled, high from the thought of being with Olivia in New York and escaping A.

She looks out the window and sees a dark figure waving a flashlight in her yard. Spencer catches a glimpse of blue eyes and a few strands of pale blond hair. Is it Melissa? Before Spencer can confirm who it is, the flashlight snaps off and the figure disappears. She goes outside and hears what sounds like a giggle coming from the woods.

20. Aria’s Free Fall

Jason texted Aria earlier that morning asking to hang out. She meets him after school at Rocks and Ropes to go rock-climbing. She’s worried about what A had told her, but thinks it was just a ploy to keep her away from Jason, in case she tells him about A. But what if Jason really was hiding something? Could it be the “sibling problem” Jenna had mentioned? As far as she remembered, Jason was always protective of Ali. Ali was the one who would start fights with him. Was that why Jenna had shown up in her yard, to tell her she had lied? Could Jenna be A?

Jason confesses hat while he was at Rosewood Day, his parents made him see the school psychologist. He had trouble adjusting to moving to Rosewood in eighth grade. Aria thinks this might possibly be the secret he’s hiding. She tells him about Meredith and how she was with Ali when she caught her dad cheating. Jason is grateful someone finally mentions Ali to him; everyone talks about her but stops once he’s in the room. He needs someone to talk about her with him. Aria decides to invite him to the Radley party. When she shows him the invitation, he becomes enraged. He asks if it’s some kind of joke and walks out. Aria follows him, but he’s already gone. She hears someone laughing. She looks around the parking lot, but nobody is there.

21. Nothing But the Truth

Friday evening, Isaac asks Emily if she wants to hang out. She’s surprised, wondering if his mother hadn’t said anything to him. His parents are gone, but she’s afraid to go in his house, so she suggests taking a drive. She pulls over at a Wawa and spills everything, including what his mother said and how she cut her head out of the picture. Isaac is angry and doesn’t believe her. He implies she’s just saying this for attention and he can’t date someone who’s into drama. Emily begs him to believe her, but he gets out of the car and walks away, leaving her heartbroken.

Emily’s phone buzzes with a text: Too distracted to decipher my clues? Go to your first love’s old house and maybe it’ll all make sense. -A. She knows A means Ali, and Maya is living in her old house. Not knowing what else to do, she drives there and stops. Maya is in her bedroom, Ali’s old bedroom, and looks out and sees Emily. Embarrassed, Emily drives away and parks in front of Spencer’s house. Across the street, she sees a guy standing in the front window of the Cavanaughs’ house. Jenna is standing in front of him. It looks like they’re arguing. Jenna lowers her head and walks away. The guy stomps out the front door and Emily realizes it’s Jason. He spot her sitting in her car and glares at her.

Emily quickly drives away. When she reaches the corner, she receives another text: What do you think HE’S so angry about? -A

22. Nothing Like an Ultimatum to Kick Off the Weekend

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Saturday morning, Hanna is dreaming Ali is showing her her Time Capsule flag. It has everything Ali said she drew on it: the Chanel logo, manga frog, field hockey girl, and Louis Vuitton pattern. Ali tells Hanna she needs to find it. If she does, she’ll tell her about “the two of them.” Hanna is confused, but Ali just tells her “Sometimes I don’t notice I’m singing” and “Go fish.”

Hanna wakes up, wondering what Ali meant. She can hear Kate and her father laughing down the hall, which angers her. Kate may have stolen her father, but she won’t let her steal Mike too. She drives over to Philly Sports where she knows Mike is working out with the lacrosse team. On the way, she gets a text from Emily saying she got another note. Hanna ignores her and finds Mike at the bench. She pushes his spotter away as he’s lifting the bar. She tells him if he wants to go out with her, he can’t go out with anyone else, including Kate. She won’t let him put down the bar unless he says yes. He says Kate already asked him to the Radley party, but he won’t go with her if Hanna gives him her flag or takes her to prom. Hanna decides he must like her better if he wants to go to prom with her, so she says yes, even though it’s four months away. This means she won.

23. Yearbook Memories to Last a Lifetime

Later that afternoon, Aria receives an email from Jason. He says he overreacted and wants her to meet him at his house in so he can explain. She replies, saying she’ll be there, and Emily calls her. She’s tells Aria what happened with Jason and Jenna. She thinks Jason’s dangerous. Aria angrily tells her she’s jumping to conclusions because of her loyalty to Ali. She hangs up and takes off.

Aria drives to the address Jason had given her. He had said to go to the apartment above the garage, not the main house. As she’s climbing the stairs, a snarling Rottweiler appears and corners her. She runs up and screams for Jason, but nobody answers. The dog is about to attack when she notices the window is open and climbs in.

She calls Jason but it goes straight to voicemail. The dog is still outside so she can’tt to leave. Aria looks around the apartment. She notices an old Rosewood Day yearbook sticking out on a shelf. She picks up it and browses through it. It’s from Jason’s senior year, the year Ali had gone missing. Melissa’s face on her senior picture is scratched out, as well as a candid of Ian. A note underneath referencing some good times ends with “I can’t believe what that asshole did. My offer still stands. Later, Darren”. It was from Darren Wilden.

Suddenly Jason barges in and yells at Aria, demanding to know how she got in. Confused, she tells him about the dog. He says he doesn’t have a dog. Aria says she came because of his email. Jason says he never sent her an email and wants to know if she went in the main house. She says no, but he thinks she’s lying so he tells her to get out. She begs him to let her explain but he just screams at her. Aria rushes out crying and sees a shadowy figure walking a large dog into the woods.

24. Spencer, New Yorker

Spencer can’t wait until Monday to see her new apartment, so she hops on a train to New York. During the ride, she thinks about Ian and Melissa and what all the A notes mean. Why is A only sending her and Emily clues? Aria and Hanna hadn’t gotten any. Would she be safe if she moved to New York?

Spencer hails a cab and gives the driver the address Michael had given her: 223 Perry Street. The driver takes her through the West Village. He turns on Perry but can’t find the address. He says it would be in the Hudson, not Manhattan. Confused, Spencer tells him to let her off. She checks the email Michael had sent her, but it doesn’t list the address. He had only given it to her over the phone. She dials his number, but it’s disconnected.

She calls Olivia but it just rings and rings. Trying to stay calm, she decides to try Olivia’s apartment. Spencer walks into the luxury building and tells the concierge she’s there to see Olivia Caldwell. The concierge says there’s nobody by that name living there. Spencer says to try Olivia Frick, but there’s no one by that name either. Dejected, she recalls Andrew’s concerns about her moving too fast and getting hurt. She realizes she’s been duped. It must have all been a setup by A, and she fell for it. She quickly logs into her college account on her Sidekick. Her heart stops when she sees the account has been completely drained, down to the last penny.

25. And the Winner Is…

Saturday evening, Hanna and Mike arrive at the Radley party together. Hanna excuses herself to get a drink. She returns to find Mike talking with a group of lacrosse boys, Kate, Naomi, and Riley. She announces to Kate that she and Mike are going to prom together. Noel Kahn is impressed, but Mike just shrugs as if it’s not a big deal. He takes off with the guys to get drinks. Hanna smugly tells Kate she won. Kate laughs at Hanna, telling her the joke is on her. She just wanted to see if Hanna would go after anyone Kate liked, and Naomi and Riley were in on it, too. She says it’s payback for the herpes thing, so why doesn’t Hanna just get over it and dance with them?

Furious, Hanna yells that she won, she got Mike, and Kate lost. Just then Mike shows up and hears everything. He turns around and walks away. Hanna runs after him, but he’s already gone from the ballroom. She suddenly realizes she didn’t just want Mike because she thought Kate wanted him. She actually really liked him, possibly more than anyone else she’s dated.

26. Someone Has a Secret

Emily walks into the Radley looking for Aria. Aria had called her asking if Emily would like to go with her, and Emily assumed it was her way of apologizing for yelling at her earlier. They invited Spencer, but Spencer said she was going to spend the evening in the barn doing homework. Aria must not be there yet, so Emily walks around, knowing Isaac would be there. She wants to stay out of his way. She wanders over to a plaque describing the Radley’s history. It used to be an orphanage but morphed into a “safe haven for troubled children.” Maya comes up behind her and tells her it was really a nuthouse. She taunts Emily about whether she brought her boyfriend. Emily panics and walks away.

Not knowing where to go, Emily wanders around, looking for a restroom. She opens a door to something that looks like an old, messy office. She bumps over a pile of books and sees a logbook laying open. In bold blue ink is the name Jason DiLaurentis. Shocked, Emily searches through the book. Jason had visited the Radley once a week starting eight years ago, the year Ali had moved to Rosewood in third grade. The weekend of the Time Capsule announcement, Jason’s name disappears. It doesn’t show up again until the weekend of the first day of school, and never again.

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Could this be the “sibling problem” Jenna and been talking about? Had Jason been an outpatient at a mental hospital? Maybe this was why he was yelling at Jenna, forcing her to keep it a secret. Is he dangerous?

Suddenly Isaac walks in. He says he’s been looking for her and wants to apologize. He found the picture with Emily’s head cut out and confronted his mother. He asks for forgiveness, but Emily is still hurt by his not believing her. She says she might forgive him, but not now. She walks out and runs down the stairs. She hears a familiar giggle from across the room. She looks to see who it is, but the only person she recognizes is Maya, who’s smirking at her.

27. Déjà Vu…Revealed

Hanna searches the crowd for Mike. Noel stops her and says she won him $500. The lacrosse team was betting over who Mike could get to take him to prom first, Hanna or Kate. Humiliated, she finally finds Mike and confronts him. He says it’s no different from what she and Kate were doing, but he still wants to go to prom with her. He makes a few perverted jokes and softly tells Hanna he really does like her. He leans and kisses her, and her heart melts. Noel lets out a cheer, and Hanna spots Kate smiling at her, as if she was happy for her. Maybe Kate really did want to be friends, and she meant this all in good fun. Maybe Hanna could let things go now, too.

Mike leads Hanna out to the dance floor. The DJ announces a request and plays the song “Alison” by Elvis Costello. Suddenly, a memory comes back to her. When Wilden was dating her mom, he had been singing that song in the shower. He came out and saw Hanna. Looking embarrassed, he told her, “Sometimes, I don’t notice I’m singing.”

The sense of déjà vu she’d felt earlier suddenly made sense. When Dream Ali said “Go fish,” she was referring to Wilden’s fishing pass Hanna saw in his car. The DiLaurentises had one exactly like it that they used at their vacation home in the Poconos. Hanna also remembers where she first saw Wilden’s car: outside Ali’s house the day the Liars went to steal her flag. Dream Ali told Hanna if she found Ali’s flag, she’d tell her about “the two of them.” Was Wilden one of “them”? Was he connected to Ali’s murder? Ian had said the cops were hiding something, and they knew he knew, so that’s why he had to run. What was Wilden hiding?

Hanna decides she needs to find Ali’s flag. She tells Mike she has to go and runs off to find Aria.

28. Creepier and Creepier

Aria gets to the Radley over an hour late because of traffic. She runs into Ella and Xavier. He flirts with her when Ella turns away. Eager to get away from him, Aria takes off in search of Emily. Emily shows her the logbook with Jason’s name. Aria tells her about being lured to Jason’s house by A and finding the yearbook with Wilden’s note. Aria recalls how Jason had reacted to her party invitation, asking if it was a joke. Was he seeing a doctor here too, in addition to the school psychiatrist? Emily tells her about seeing Jason yell at Jenna. Had Jason been sent here because he did something bad to Ali?

Emily says they should probably talk to Wilden. Hanna interrupts and says they can’t. She tells them about Dream Ali’s clues and seeing Wilden’s car at her house. Maybe he was stalking Ali. Had he gotten a fishing pass in the Poconos so he could follow Ali there? Maybe he had a crush on Ali, but a more twisted crush than Ian’s. What if he had killed her?

Aria says Wilden and Jason had been friends. She told them about the note “I can’t believe what that asshole did. My offer still stands.” Hanna recalls Jason yelling at Ian for flirting with Ali at the Time Capsule announcement. Afterwards he got into a black car. Was that Wilden’s car? Suddenly all of A’s clues make sense. Wilden and Jason must be involved with Ali’s murder. Aria asks if maybe they could get a hold of Ian on IM and ask him.

Hanna has her Time Capsule flag tied around the chain of her purse. Aria glances at it and asks why Hanna had drawn a manga frog. Hanna says she drew everything Ali had drawn. Aria finally admits Jason had given her Ali’s flag, but there was no manga frog on it. Emily and Hanna are angry with her for lying about it, but Hanna insists Dream Ali told her to find it. The three girls simultaneously receive the same text: Don’t you hate it when your Manolos start to pinch? Me, I like to soak my toes in my backyard hot tub. Or sit in my cozy barn, snuggled under a blanket. It’s so quiet here, now that the big, protective cops are gone. -A

The girls know A means Spencer. Aria looks up and sees Wilden across the room, staring at them. She pulls Emily and Hanna away, insisting they need to leave, NOW.

29. They Were All So Wrong

Spencer is alone in the barn. She’s devastated by how she let A fool her. She’s also wondering where Melissa is and why she hasn’t called. Was that her in the woods yesterday? Maybe Ian left something behind and sent Melissa for it. Or was she searching for something on her own?

Bored with trying to study, Spencer looks at Melissa’s bookshelf. She opens an old notebook and there’s different colored notes that look like a conversation in the margin. Melissa’s handwriting is black, but Spencer doesn’t recognize the green writing. Guess who I made out with? JD. Naughty, naughty! That boy is so in love with you… But who’s JD? Was it Jason DiLaurentis? Did Jason have a crush on Melissa? That could be why he had hated Ian so much. Spencer vaguely recalls Melissa telling Ian “He’ll get over it” when Jason glared at them from his backyard, the day the Liars went to steal Ali’s flag.

There’s a knock on the door from Emily and Hanna. The quickly tell Spencer everything they know connecting Jason and Wilden. Aria is going back to her house to retrieve Ali’s flag and will be there soon. Hanna says they need to talk to Ian on IM to find out what he knows. Spencer logs on and USCMidfielderRoxx is online. She him it’s her, not Melissa, they want to help him, and asks what really happened the night Ali was killed. Ian says he and Ali were supposed to meet up, but he was nervous so he got drunk first. When he went outside, he saw two people in the dark. One looked like Ali. It looked like they were arguing so he figured she wasn’t going to meet him. He went back inside. Ali went missing and he never thought the other person might have hurt her. Ali had talked about running away, so that’s what he thought she did.

Ian explains that after he was arrested, he found out who was in the woods that night: Jason DiLaurentis and Darren Wilden. But they weren’t after Ali, they were after him. They saw Ali first, but he doesn’t know whether her death was an accident. He does know Wilden is trying to cover it up. Jason and Wilden were both supposed to be at the DiLaurentis’ house in the Poconos, so they were never questioned and have solid alibis. Since Wilden is now a cop, he’d been threatening Ian into keeping his secret, and that’s why Ian fled.

The girl are silent as they take in everything Ian said. Suddenly the strong scent of gasoline floats into the barn, and they hear a match being struck.

30. Hell on Earth

Aria grabs Ali’s flag from her shoebox and runs back to her car, but the battery is dead. She grabs a flashlight, deciding to go through the woods to Spencer’s house. While she’s walking she examines Ali’s flag. It’s different from Hanna’s description. There’s the Chanel logo and Louis Vuitton design, but no manga frog or field hockey girl. There’s a circle resembling a No Parking symbol, but instead of a P in the middle there’s a J. Could that have stood for Jason?

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Aria sprints through the woods and trips when she reaches a ravine. She realizes it’s the same place they found Ifan’s body. She sees something glimmer in the glow of her flashlight. She picks it up and it’s a class ring from Rosewood Day. It has a shiny blue stone and Ian’s name engraved on it. How could the police have missed this?

Some leaves and branches crunch. Aria looks up and sees a dark figure through the trees. There’s a strong scent of gasoline and Aria watches the figure light a match. The forest lights up in a hot blaze. Aria starts to run but hears someone cry out for help. She sees another figure, much smaller than the other, lying on the ground. Its leg is pinned by a fallen branch. Aria pushes away the branch and helps the person up, screaming for him or her to run.

31. Rising From the Ashes

Spencer, Emily, and Hanna run out of the burning barn into Spencer’s backyard. Hanna stops and tells them it must have been Wilden; she saw him loading a drum of propane into his car at Home Depot. The girls hear a scream from the woods. They turn to see Aria and another person, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, come running out. Aria says she’s ok, but the other person drops to the ground. The Liars all bombard him/her with questions. They realize she’s a girl after she stops coughing and says, “I got a note.”

The girl’s voice is familiar. Emily thinks she’s hallucinating. It can’t be. But when the girl pulls down her sweatshirt hood, the Liars immediately recognize the blue eyes, bow-shaped lips, and heart-shaped face.

It’s Ali.

What Happens Next….So what’s really going on here? Could Ali possibly be alive? Is Ian? Were Jason and Wilden involved? Does Jason really have a dark secret, or is someone making it look that way? Is A pulling the strings or actually helping the Liars solve the mystery? The Radley might be closed, but by the time A is done with the Liars, they might end up in sanitariums. 

Next Book: Heartless (#7)

Which cover do you like best? Sound off in the comments below!

 

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