Race Against Time (novel series)

Race Against Time (novel series)

Race Against Time is a series of juvenille action/adventure books published from 1984 to 1985, by an author listed only as J. J. Fortune.

Most of the action are narrated through a young New York teen named Stephen Lane, who is a movie buff, who always get caught up in some madcap adventures of his uncle, Richard Duffy. Until mother's younger brother moved in with the family into their brownstone on 224½ East 61st Street one day, Stephen spent most of his weekends and other free time watching videos, from old movies to the latest action flicks.

The Lane family only know that Richard Duffy was an engineer who retired unusually young for someone in profession. What they did not know was that he was an adventurer who "blew up more bridges than he built", a highly skilled operative who worked with various government special agencies around the world, and incidentally, made many enemies in his past. His retiring young was due to his coming into ownership of what was thought to be a spent gold mine. Perhaps for the one and only time in his life, he actually managed to put his engineering knowledge into good use to continue extracting gold from the mine.

Most of the adventures occur in the absence of Mr. and Mrs. Lane from the household. Mr. Lane is a successful stockbroker who always try to pry (but never successful) into the source of Richard's financial means. Mrs. Marion Lane (née Duffy) ran a health-food store named "Oh Nuts!". Things usually happened when both parents went together on weekend business trips (either his or hers). They left Richard to babysit Stephen, expecting nothing more than a prosaic time together for the uncle-nephew duo. However, almost as soon as they left the house, someone or something from Richard's past appeared and sent the duo flying across the world (most of the time), to solve some difficult problems. Invariably, there would be a beautiful woman involved, sometimes from Richard's past, sometimes someone new.

The epynomous title of the series came from the time limit the duo had to reach their destination, solve the problem and be back at home before Stephen's parents return, without giving away the slightest hint of what they had been up to.

Crucial to their success, apart from Richard's skills and experience as an adventurer, was his practically unlimited finances, and their special Kronom K-D2 watches with technology far advanced than that in the 20th century.

The series was published by Dell (NY) for the US editions, and Armada (London) for the UK editions.

There were 10 books published in this series:

# "Revenge in the Silent Tomb (1984, ISBN 044097707X)
# "Escape from Raven Castle (1984, ISBN 0440924065)
# "Evil in Paradise, (1984, ISBN 0440924308)
# "Search for Mad Jack's Crown, (1984, ISBN 0440976855)
# "Duel for the Samurai Sword, (1984, ISBN 0440921724)
# "Pursuit of the Deadly Diamonds, (1984, ISBN 0440971810)
# "The Secret of the Third Watch (1984, ISBN 0440977452)
# "Trapped in the USSR, (1984, ISBN 0440990580)
# "Journey to Atlantis, (1985, ISBN 0440942721)
# ", (1985, ISBN 0440918650)

The order of publication in the US and UK differed slightly.

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