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Retro Reading: Jaws 2 by Hank Searls (based on the screenplay by Howard Sackler and Dorothy Tristian)

Updated on January 8, 2021

Swimming With the Sharks...Again

If Jaws hadn't been such a commercial hit at the box office or the bookstore, well, there never would have been a sequel. And this is where the movie tie-in comes into play.

However, even though a novel is based on the screenplay, not too many elements cross over into the book. Basically, what you see on screen is what's in the book, with a few details left in or out.

Basically, Jaws 2 is a continuation of the novel. A couple of years have passed since "The Trouble" and Amity is hoping to recover with the building of a casino with the hope of becoming another Atlantic City, providing the state of New York legalizes gambling.

The Brody's have sold their house to make way for the casino and lurking in the warm summer waters is a pregnant Great White. I'm starting to sense some trouble here, and it's also a few days before the annual island regatta. It does sound like trouble and of course a pregnant shark knows a great feeding spot when she's hungry.

In this installment, Mike Brody is desperate to scuba dive. While he's not afraid of the water like his father, Martin, the elder Brody kid excels at both swimming and boating.

Mike is also in love with Jackie and has promised that she can tag along in his boat during the regatta. Younger brother Sean is upset since he did a lot of work on Mike's boat with the promise that he could ride along, but Sean is afraid of the water.

Martin on the other hand is trying to figure out what happened to a young couple that disappeared at sea. Witnesses tell him that their boat exploded with someone waterskiing but no bodies were found.

Brody's main suspect is a Flushing cop who was shooting at a baby seal on the beach. He thinks the cop shot at the couple causing the explosion.

With the shark read to give birth, a Navy helicopter crashes into the ocean and the pilot and passenger become chow to the shark. She's also ripped away a ball from the helicopter and Mike's scuba diving class goes searching for it, of course with deadly consequences. It's during this dive that they become aware of the shark.

Unfortunately, there is no tie-in with Jaws 3, but I think some of the elements of this story were incorporated into that film. Personally, I think the third installment was way better since it wasn't set in Amity and was more original. The film had many unanswered questions, which a novelized version could have provided some answers.

Anyway, I was hoping for a much better story than what was written here.


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