I grew up devouring the books in the Hardy Boys series when I was a youngster, reading every book that I could borrow from a library or a friend. My mother was under standing orders to buy every Hardy Boys book that she encountered at a garage sale. Those books featured their parents, Aunt Gertrude, Chet Morton, Callie Shaw, Iola Morton, Tony Prito and Biff Hooper. Their adventures were a staple of all of the boys of my age in my neighborhood and at school.
Times change and so must the Hardy Boys. In this book they are on their own, none of the secondary characters are even mentioned. Frank and Joe are sports reporters covering a Grand Prix race and there is some sabotage of the equipment and an attempt on the life of a racer. The racer's onboard drink is laced with a drug that causes drowsiness so that while he is in the car practicing he will pass out and die in the crash.
The inclusion of computers, mobile communications and a change of venue are refreshing inclusions to the stories, but something is lost with the lack of the other characters. Granted they would have to be modernized as well, but they always provided subplots, comic relief and in the case of the girls, a hint of romance. While this story is a good adventure, some inclusion or even mention of the girls in their lives would have made it more interesting. A cell phone conversation with dad, mom or Aunt Gertrude also could have been used to raise the level of interest.