The Silicon Valley is a great place for two young teens to be growing up. There is fabulous weather all year round, lots of activities for young people to participate in, lots of new technology and innovation, and a great cultural life. With all of these things to do, and with their usual activities of school, arts, recreational sports, and doing things with their friends, why would best friends Jason Hunter and Daniel Holmes want to spend their time as detectives? The answer has to do with motivation. When Jason is suddenly and mysteriously kidnapped in a public park in broad daylight, their carefree days of playing video games, and basketball, or just hanging out with each other and their circle of friends suddenly comes to a halt. Jason must now deal with all of the mental, physical and emotional impact that a crime victim experiences. Even more troubling is the fact that no one can figure out why he was kidnapped or who was responsible. Jason and his parents are nice people, outgoing and friendly, honorable in their relationships and business dealings. They are the last people you would think that someone would have a grudge against. After Jason's release by his kidnappers, Daniel, who is very angry about what happened to his best friend, also discovers that the Jason he knew before the kidnapping is slipping away in a sea of self-doubt. Daniel realizes that the only way Jason can fully recover from his ordeal is to find out the truth about the kidnapping. Why was it done and who did it? So he sets out to find these answers, and eventually convinces Jason to join him. The detective team of Hunter & Holmes is in business! All books in the series have over 40 color illustrations and a unique graphic design.
Modern Teen Heroes
Aiden Vaughan captivates readers with a new team of young detectives in The Kidnapping, the first installment of the Hunter & Holmes mystery series. The story commences as Jason Hunter, an affable and admired14-year-old, is suddenly kidnapped from a Silicon Valley park to later be returned at a $50,000 ransom. Jason’s kidnapping is only the start of the strange sequence of events, which generate an inexplicable case that even dupes the police force. Fueled with insight from literature detective icons and sparks of inner creativity, Jason and his forever faithful best friend Daniel Holmes take the case into their own hands to see if they can solve “the $50,000 question.”
The young duo introduces readers to reinvented, modern heroes, who put social responsibility, loyalty, and safety above all else as they strive to return peace to their shaken community and own minds. Jason and Daniel form an unbreakable team, reinforcing the strong connection that the boys quickly developed after bonding over a mutual love for Chuck Taylor high-top sneakers. With Jason in red chucks and Daniel in a matching black pair, the shoes symbolize their quirky friendship and allegiance, while invoking the uniqueness and originality of the characters. The sneakers act like a superhero’s cape, and young readers can easily don their own pair to capture the essence and positive traits of the characters.
Throughout the book, Jason is encouraged to not hide his inevitable emotions stemming from the kidnapping. Both family and friends generate a support system that allows him to face his demons and begin the healing process, first by solving his own crime. Here is where a modern day hero is created; one that does not behave overly tough, resilient and independent, but realistic and in tune with his feelings. Readers will learn from Jason that there is nothing emasculating from expressing yourself after such tragedy, and Daniel plays the loyal friend that stands beside Jason in every step of the recovery and investigation. A major theme builds around the power of friendship, family, and working towards the greater good, which can all be applied to the personal lives of young readers.
The book is strategically organized into three overarching sections, each containing short chapters with periodic graphic images. Each section opens a new door to the story as more details unfold and throw readers for a loop. The succinct chapters keep readers interested, with each chapter often transitioning the character focus, location, or topic of conversation. Readers are exposed to the thinking and actions of Jason while held hostage, while simultaneously learning the thoughts and proceedings of his family, friends, and police team. The ability to infiltrate the minds of all characters, even the detectives, fosters an interest in the police system and encourages both out-of-the-box and logical thinking. The dynamic allows for readers to be omnipresent through all aspects of the detailed case, creating a personal involvement so intertwined that they can’t help but try to solve the mystery themselves.
The Kidnapping proves that everyone can be a hero, just by being a great friend or using creativity. The positive themes, twisting plot, and relatable characters make it a great read and cultivating experience for young teens. The book fosters curiosity and an interest in older mystery literature, and the connections surely created with Jason and Daniel marks the whole series as a must-read.
The Kidnapping: A Hunter & Holmes Mystery, the first installment of the “Hunter & Holmes” series of mystery novels, is an enthralling entrance into the adventures of Jason Hunter and Daniel Holmes, the young detective duo extraordinaire. Jumping right into tense action, Jason Hunter, a young man leading a respectable and seemingly average life, is abducted by unknown perpetrators. The story develops in two directions: the horrifying experience from the perspective of Jason in his captivity, as well as the stresses and copings of his best friend, Daniel Holmes, his parents, his friends and the Missing Persons Unit that is investigating the crime. After Jason sees his dream of being freed become reality, the story dives into “The Aftermath” of the situation; coping with the after effects of such a stressful and life changing situation. After receiving a seemingly endless amount of support, Jason builds up enough courage to challenge those who did him harm, and along with the assistance and companionship of his best friend Daniel, decides to take matters into his own hands and solve the mystery of the kidnapping himself. Thus, the Hunter & Holmes detective team is born. With incredible drive and impressive critical thinking skills, along with the help of their friends and important supporting characters (such as Joe Connor, an ex intelligence unit member), Jason and Daniel begin to piece the puzzle together. Can you keep up with these two bright, young detectives and crack the case open? Dive into The Kidnapping, and see for yourself!
One of the most influentially important aspects of this novel is its focus on enlightening young readers how to properly address stress and grief. All of the protagonists and associated characters highlight the utmost importance of coping with stresses, depression and grief in positive and constructive ways. These important players really drive home how crucial it is to learn to control ones emotions; to find ways to positively release stress and tension in order to avoid bottling up ones feelings. Such practices can help young people sidestep the pit of disparity and depression they so closely dance around with in each stressful and daunting task they face over the course of their blooming lives. Jason, Daniel and the rest of the supporting cast succeed in keeping cool, calm and collected, while also staying keenly observant. Embodying fortitude and strength, the dynamic duo successfully feed off their drive and motivation, and challenge themselves to think outside of the box, to work relentlessly to obtain the answers they so badly crave. Such a work ethic will stick in the absorbent minds of youthful readers, and should help them develop positive practices and work ethic that can help them succeed in a variety of areas; whether it is school, sports, creative outlets such as music and art, or even fixing problems that may be present in their familial and friendly relationships.
The book is tense and gripping, and should easily draw readers in and keep them coming back for more exciting mysteries through the lens of the Hunter & Holmes mystery team.