am 29. Mai 2010
This is unlike many of its fellow stories in the Crimebusters franchise. Instead, this tale written by Marc Brandel (his fourth and last Three Investigators novel) begins in a manner which would probably be more at home in the original series.
The boys are in the second week of their summer break, sitting around in the newly-exposed Headquarters, while working on a crossword puzzle competition - a scene that perhaps harks back to their pre-investigators puzzle-solving club. The genesis of this story is simply a peculiar or unusual occurrence that Jupiter feels that he must scrutinize until he has some answers, no matter how large or small the case might turn out to be.
In this particular story, the strange event or discovery is more mundane than most. Jupiter cannot understand why the rules to the competition are so bizarrely restrictive (male high school students only) and why the answers have to be verbally recorded onto an audio cassette.
Three weeks later, the boys are visited by Dustin Rice, the originator of the contest. He informs Jupiter that he has won the competition; due to the fact that his entry was the only one with correct answers to every clue (a point-blank untruth). Rice turns out to be a particularly insidious villain right from the start. Everything Dusty says is either a transparent lie or related in a totally insincere manner. The clichéd plot twist of having his character turn out to be good at the end of the book is absent here.
It must be said that although the story begins in a classical fashion, once the lads arrive in Mexico it soon develops into a tense thriller, filled with action and adventure aplenty. The tension and atmosphere is palpable, as is the foreboding that the trip could degenerate into a dangerous and risky situation at any moment, high in the Sierra Madre mountain range. Apart from a little deduction from Jupiter, a quick search of Dusty's office and a short phone call to Hector Sebastian, there is very little detective work in `An Ear For Danger'. However, this is not a criticism, as the narrative moves so swiftly, and with such drama, that you do not miss the usual format. In many ways, this story is atypical for both the original and Crimebusters series; it bears more similarities to a modern Hardy Boys story (albeit noticeably better written).
All things considered, I would recommend any ardent Three Investigators fan to hunt down a copy of this novel. Set mainly in Mexico, it may lack the more familiar setting of Rocky Beach, but with an obvious foe in Dustin Rice, it has a tense and thrilling narrative, and characterisations of the investigators that stay mainly true to their original incarnations. Add one of the most dangerous and sly enemies the boys have ever had to deal with, plus a traumatic, yet compelling and downright unusual ending to the story, you have a hidden and under-rated classic in the Three Investigators back catalogue.
am 31. Juli 2001
Ein gelungener Fall mit den drei ??? ! Das Buch gibt sich spannend , manchmal witzig , actionreich aber auch etwas unwahrscheindlich . Die Handlung ist ziemlich gut und voller Überraschungen . Die Idee beruht meiner Ansicht nach auf einem älterem Fall ( ...und der Doppelgänger ), nur wurde der Kern verändert ( vom Äuserem zur Stimme ) . Alles fängt mit einem Gewinnspiel an . Justus gewinnt dabei einen Aufenthalt auf einer Ranch in Mexiko . Doch dort lauern Gefahren... Fazit:Guter Abenteuerkrimi , aber keineswegs genial !