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Chapter Fifteen: Nighthawks
Credit: Bettina Strauss /The CW
Chapter Thirteen: The Sweet Hereafter

The Riverdale gang is hitting the road.

Or at least, they are in Get Out of Town, the second novel in Scholastic’s official series based on the CW show of the same name. Written by Micol Ostow (What Would My Cell Phone Do?), the book finds the gang hatching a new plan. Archie’s on trial for the murder, and the evidence is stacked against him. Betty, Veronica, and Jughead all know that Archie is being framed by Hiram Lodge, but how can they prove it? The gang comes up with a last-ditch plan to prove Archie’s innocence: They have to go back to the scene of the crime. They have to go back to Shadow Lake.

Threats are around every corner deep in the woods at the Lodge family cabin. Will the kids find the evidence they need to clear Archie’s name? And more importantly, will they make it back to Riverdale alive?

Ostow’s first Riverdale novel, a prequel called The Day Before, is set to be released on Dec. 26; earlier this year, Scholastic also published the Riverdale Student Handbook. So there’s plenty of Riverdale reading (and, of course, watching) to do. Below, EW can exclusively reveal the cover for Riverdale: Get Out of Town, as well as premiere an exclusive excerpt. Read on below, and pre-order the book ahead of its May 28, 2019 release.

Credit: Scholastic Inc.

Excerpt from Riverdale: Get Out of Town, by Micol Ostow



Summer. Just the mention of the word conjures a series of comforting images. Long evenings spent watching the sunset creep over the horizon, fireflies lighting up the air like renegade Fourth of July sparklers. Lazy days on a porch swing nursing a soft-serve cone, trying to strike the balance between savoring the treat and devouring it before it liquefies, sticky-sweet, under the searing press of the sun’s glow.

Summer is for being idle, for swatting mosquitoes and splashing in Sweetwater River, for ignoring the alarm clock and losing track of time. It’s for living in that state of suspended animation where any semblance of responsibility evaporates and it’s just you, your best friends, and the sensation that everything you do and are is ephemeral, hazy . . . and yours alone.

In Riverdale, summer belongs to us.

Or that’s what we thought, anyway. Until this summer. Until Archie Andrews was arrested for murder, and forced to spend the summer before his junior year standing trial. Before we were forced to consider the terrifying—and terrifyingly real—possibility that that Archie’s trial was only the beginning.

Cassidy Book. We weren’t necessarily torn up about his death. After all, he and his thug friends had terrorized us when we were up at Veronica’s cabin in Shadow Lake for the weekend. And they probably would have done worse if Veronica hadn’t triggered the silent alarm.

So we weren’t sorry he’d been killed (presumably by the Lodge family bodyguard, Andre). What we were sorry about was that Hiram Lodge, Veronica’s father, had framed Archie for the murder. And that the charges had stuck.

Endless summer. Summer love. The poet Wallace Stevens wrote “Summer night is like the perfection of thought.” But for Archie, Veronica, Betty, and me, there was no perfection to be found. Only the relentlessness of reality.

For Archie, that reality meant reviewing his testimony until he was as familiar with it as he was with breathing. It was examining the case Hiram Lodge had built against him with a proverbial fine-tooth comb, alongside his mother, Mary Andrews, arguably the most devoted counsel a teen accused of murder could have in his corner.

Second to Mary on the Team Archie lineup was Betty Cooper, pragmatic and determined, as always. Last summer, the sunny-with-a-side-of-edge girl next door was brushing up on her journalistic skills with an internship at a lifestyle blog in LA. Now, though, she was using her investigative talents to prove her oldest friend’s innocence. All this, on the heels of finding out her father was the serial killer Riverdale had known as the Black Hood.

Meanwhile, Riverdale’s resident fish out of water, Veronica Lodge, had rejected her sizable birthright—and the tarnished strings that came with it. The one-time princess of Park Avenue had turned her back on her family name and all the financial security that it implied. And while she was trying to stake a claim of her own as the newest owner of Pop’s Chock’Lit Shoppe, she was also horn locked—and hopelessly deadlocked—with Daddy Dearest. The price at the heart of their feverish feud?

One Archie Andrews’ liberty. Maybe even his soul.

As for me, I was doing my best to honor my own father’s sense of loyalty, of family, adapting to my new role as Serpent King. I was worried for Archie, of course—more like desperately scared for him—though I was trying to keep a positive spin on things (it doesn’t come easy to me, to say the least). But I had a gang—literally—looking to me, depending on me to lead them. The Serpents would have done anything for me, and for the Andrews, too, especially after they put us up when Hiram Lodge displaced anyone unlucky enough to be living on the South Side. With my dad retired from the Serpents, it was time for me to show people I deserved their trust and faith.

The problem was, I wasn’t sure I believed it.

When Jason Blossom was murdered, the town of Riverdale lost something innate, something ineffable. For decades, our tiny community shimmered with wholesome, small-town charm. No one bothered to peel back the façade, to strip away the picture-perfect Norman Rockwell homage. No one wanted to . . . not even those who knew better. Those who knew all too well this town’s secrets, and its rotting, dark-hearted core.

Jason Blossom. The Black Hood. And now Archie Andrews, one-time small-town golden boy, on trial for murder, twisting under a disgraced mobster’s thumb. Poised to lose everything, for the simple mistake of crossing the wrong man.

Summer had stretched, sticky and unforgiving, tangling the four of us in an in intricate web. The days were endless, like all summer days, but now, the heavy, molasses pace felt dangerous, threatening.

Labor Day was bearing down. Most teens would be dreading going back to school: homework, cliques, early wake-ups.

We weren’t thinking about that. We would have given anything to be thinking about stuff like that. Instead, we were worried that Archie’s last chance—his last shot at freedom, at beating Hiram Lodge at his own game—was slipping away from us.

And if we couldn’t save Archie from the dark horrors lying at Riverdale’s heart, who would?

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