Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hardy Boys #113 Radical Moves, #114 Counterfeit Criminals, and #115 Sports City

In Hardy Boys #113, Radical Moves, Joe has become a skateboarding enthusiast as Bayport gears up for its first annual Thrashathon skateboarding competition.  The Hardys befriend professional skateboarder Zack Michaels, who has been plagued by accidents.  It's clear that someone is sabotaging him, and Zack thinks someone is after his skateboard, which is a prototype.

After the boys begin helping Zack, they learn that he is guilty of theft, a theft that was blamed on another person.  It is kind of odd that the person the boys are helping is guilty of theft and even stranger that at first nothing is said about him taking responsibility for his actions.  I was uncomfortable as the Hardys continue to help Zack and don't talk to him about the theft.  I was relieved when the issue is finally addressed, and Zack apologizes and promises to make it right.

I enjoyed this book.

In Hardy Boys #114, The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals, Joe's expensive athletic shoe fails during a track meet.  When Frank and Joe go to the store to return the shoe, they find a group of angry customers who have defective shoes.  The boys discover that counterfeit shoes have been sold in a number of local stores.

I did not expect to like this book.  I did not enjoy the first few pages, and I did not like the cover art.  Why would I want to read a book that appears to be set in a shoe store with an ugly thug attacking the boys?

This is a case when a reader should not judge a book by its cover.  I greatly enjoyed this book.  The suspense built as I read, which is how a good book should be.

This is an excellent book.  It's a great whodunit.  It almost has too many characters, but it turned out fine.  The book is suspenseful almost to the very last page.

In Hardy Boys #115, Sabotage at Sports City, Frank, Joe, and Chet attend the Olympics.  They soon learn of a threat against the athletes.  Someone has sent warning messages that claim that 53 people will die during the games.  The boys investigate.

This book was published to coincide with the 1992 Summer Olympics, which were held in Barcelona.  In this book, the Hardys attend the Olympics in the United States.  Since the 1996 Olympics was held in Atlanta, Georgia, I decided that this book is probably set in Atlanta.  The text does state that the Hardys are 1000 miles from home, and Atlanta is 1000 miles from New York State, which is where Bayport is located in the Digest series.

What's really interesting is that this book was written four years before the Atlanta Olympics, and that the Atlanta Olympics ended up having a bombing that resulted in one direct fatality and over 100 injuries.  It's interesting that a book written four years before the real event included threats against the Olympics 

In this book, the Olympic athletes are told about the threat, and the athletes are told to keep quiet so that the press doesn't find out.  I find it really hard to believe that none of the athletes from any of the countries would tell the press.  This is improbable.

I guessed one of the culprits fairly early in the mystery, although I didn't know for sure.  The author did a great job in spreading out the suspicion in order to keep the reader guessing.  Even though I had guessed one of the culprits, I did not guess why the sabotage and threats were happening, and that part is surprising and interesting.

I greatly enjoyed this book.

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