Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hardy Boys #16 Figure in Hiding and #17 Secret Warning

In the original text of Hardy Boys #16, A Figure in Hiding, Frank and Joe witness a robbery at the Rialto Theater.  Next, Fenton Hardy requests their assistance in a case involving Dr. Grafton, who is believed to be a fake doctor who operates on people with bad eyesight.  That case leads the boys to a girl named Virginia, who tries to kill herself after learning that the man believed to be her father is not her real father.  Later, Chet is arrested for the theater robbery, so the Hardys must prove his innocence.

And of course, all of these seemingly random events are ultimately connected in a series of bizarre coincidences, making this a strange and convoluted story.  I won't mention the craziest coincidences since they spoil parts of the plot, but those coincidences are too implausible to be even slightly believable.

I thought it rather concerning that the Hardy boys are not worried about a fake doctor operating on a man's eyes.  They are content to witness the operation with no concern.  If the fake doctor had gone through with the operation, the patient could have been blinded.

I enjoyed some parts of this book, but I also struggled with other parts. 

In Hardy Boys #17, The Secret Warning, Frank and Joe meet a diver, Roland Perry, who falls in the water and then borrows one of Fenton Hardy's suits.  The boys learn that valuable notes were in the suit, so they go after Perry, who then invites the boys to watch him dive for a lost ship.  Two men stalk the Hardys and try to sabotage the diving operation.

I found it quite unbelievable that the boys are allowed to dive with no training whatsoever.  Other series books emphasize diving safety and have the characters go through training before going on a dive.  Not these boys!  They are ready to go with little knowledge.

I noticed that Chet's behavior has changed.  He is not interested at all in helping Frank and Joe solve mysteries.  I thought he had more interest in the earlier books.  Not only that, but other things seemed off to me.  The author was different for this book.  The series is in transition during this and subsequent volumes.

I did not enjoy this book.

No comments: