The Mystery of the Spiral Bridge
When their father is kidnapped, the boys snap into action. Searching for clues, they join a construction gang, but the roughnecks around them, a group of ex-convicts, are not what they seem.
Reviewed on 24th December 2020
Book forty-five of the original Hardy Boys series finds disaster as the boys’ father is returned injured from a case helping one of their friends’ dads, who is trying to build a bridge.
It’s more violent than a lot of the earlier books - and the gang feels more competent, better motivated, and more realistic than some that the team have met before. It’s definitely taking an edgier tone with the level of peril.
The characters almost seem like they are having the mickey taken out of them by the author. There’s a whole thing about them attempting to use criminal slang, which is comically terrible, but feels again quite different from the norm. Similarly the brothers are presented as particularly classist, looking down on pretty much everyone they meet from a different background to them - including New Yorkers, rural residents, and the working classes.
An interesting diversion from the baseline of the series.