The Hardy Boys return in this knockoff series…
Joe and Frank Hardy don’t tell most people that they have worked with top espionage organizations in the country. It just doesn’t seem necessary – or wise. But then, their “Uncle” Hugh Hunt is kidnapped by Russian agents and they discover that he was once a top-notch spy himself – and that he will be killed unless he complies with certain criminal demands made by his kidnappers.
Can the Hardy boys crack the case and rescue their Uncle? Or is Uncle Hugh a part of the plot, and was his disappearance merely a cover? And why is this woman named Charity showing so much interest in the goings on…
I keep buying Hardy Boys Casefiles. And I keep reading them. And I keep saying they’re not as good as the original Hardy Boys series.
That’s not going to stop me from saying it again.
It wasn’t until I read this last batch of Hardy Boys that I found [5 for $1!] that I began to piece together exactly what it is that is less enjoyable about the newer stories. The main thing was that they just aren’t as old-fashioned and boy-scouty. But it wasn’t until I read one sentence out of this book that I realized what was wrong.
“Joe’s girlfriend, Iola Morton, had been killed by a mad terrorist group called the Assasins, and as a result the boys had decided to devote themselves to bring dangerous criminals to justice.” [pg. 6]
And there I saw it. The difference. The new stories are laced with a sadness, a morbidity, a sinister quality that aren’t in the old stories. In the old stories, one of the Hardy’s friends might have gotten knocked over the head with a flowerpot, but they would not have been murdered by terrorists.
Another thing is that the new stories are set in the “current” (read: 1980s) days. So, the technology is more high tech and “cutting edge” (read: for the 1980s), and the boys exhibit more of a post-modern swag. They’re more likely to feel frustration towards each other and those involved in the stories. They’re just different.
Now, to set the record straight, I still enjoyed the Casefiles. They’re okay stories. They just aren’t on the same level as the original stories.
Since Joe’s girlfriend is dead, he althoughs himself to view girls with a roving eye. Other than a few “wow she’s good looking”-style remarks, nothing comes of this.
Joe lies once and also steals a motorcycle. (It’s a case of, if he doesn’t use the motorcycle to get to a crime scene, someome may die.) In the end, it turns out that the person who had just parked the cycle wanted Joe to steal it. #saywhat
As far as violence goes, car crashes abound and Joe is attacked by several switchblade-toting thugs. Guess who wins. :P
Conclusion. Read any original Hardy Boys you can get your hands on. Then you have my permission to read these. :)
Review © 2014 Laura Verret