The Secret of the Third Watch


The Secret of the Third Watch

infobox Book |
name = The Secret of the Third Watch
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption =
author = J. J. Fortune
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = United States
language = English
series = Race Against Time series
genre = Juvenile
publisher = Dell Publishing (US), Armada (UK)
release_date = 1984
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = 124 pp (paperback)
isbn = ISBN 0440977452
preceded_by = Pursuit of the Deadly Diamonds
followed_by = Trapped in the USSR
The Secret of the Third Watch is book 7 of the Race Against Time series written by J. J. Fortune.

Plot summary

Unlike other books in the series, this one does not take the adventuring duo (Stephen Lane and Richard Duffy) into exotic places faraway from the United States. It is the only time when the events take place wholly in their home city of New York. This is also the only instance when the day of the action can be dated - on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17.

Richard received an urgent plea from an old acquaintance for a meeting at the Central Park Zoo on Saint Patrick's Day. The acquaintance was introduced only by his first name, Ralph, was a gentleman con of the old school who was described as having a rich imagination and leave his victims "still feeling good" because of the fortune they "almost" made.

Stephen had gone along with Richard to the zoo, but his presence distressed Ralph who was alarmed at the thought of a kid getting involved as the matter was very serious. Before Ralph could reveal more, he was shot and was incapacitated, and his assaillant disappeared among the crowd. The only clue was a business card where Ralph listed himself as President of a company named "Secucomp, Inc.". Ralph carried a lot of business cards listing his first name with different last names, with impressive designations for a variety of companies. But Secucomp stood out because it had a "real" corporate address.

As it was set in their home city, this book had Stephen's mother and father playing greater roles in the story, including aiding them in their investigation.

Along the way, they discovered their nemesis was only other possessor of the Kronom K-D2 watch in the world. Known as the "Mole", or as the "Money Master" when he made threat in the New York Stock Exchange, he hacked into the Stock Exchange's computer systems and demanded submission from all world banks around the world.

Too late, Richard realised that he is up against the only person in the world who knows how to use the Kronom better than himself, perhaps even better Karl Wolfmann, the Kronom's inventor. The Mole had been Wolfmann's assistant, but his active participation in the final refinements of the Kronom gave him an intimate knowledge of its capabilities and a definite edge over other users of the Kronom.

Non-recurring Characters

* Ralph, last name not revealed. Ralph is from Brooklyn, but in playing his role as a confidence man, he dressed and spoke like an old school British gentleman. He knew Richard Duffy well enough from the past to turn to the latter for help when he found himself in a scam that was beyond his depth.

* Janice Bruce. A computer science graduate who grew up in Silicon Valley. She was employed in Secucomp to as an IT security expert.

* Mr. Hackermeyer. An ill-dressed nondescript appearing accountant employed by Secucomp.

* Donovan. A New York police who knows Richard from the past.

* The Mole. Richard's ultimate adversary who helped designed the Kronom K-D2. In chapter eleven, he revealed that he chose St. Patrick's Day, which was also his 44th birthday, to launch his biggest caper.

Chapter headings

# They’re all animals, 9:17 A.M.
# Shadowed, 7:55 A.M. ("flashback")
# The Death Express, 10:33 A.M.
# Silicon Valley Girl, 11:01 A.M.
# Terror on the Tape, 11:26 A.M.
# Splitting the Scene, 12:15 P.M.
# Where There’s Smoke …, 1:41 P.M.
# Emergency Room, 2:13 P.M.
# The Trail Gets Hot, 2:59 P.M.
# Watch Out!, 3:43 P.M.
# The Doom Button, 4:28 P.M.
# The Mole’s Last Laugh, 4:44 P.M.
# The Hole in the Sky, 5:04 P.M.
# The Big Parade, 5:31 P.M.
# End of an Awesome Day, 6:19 P.M.


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