Joe's classmate, Tom Gilliam, is one of the most disruptive students at Bayport High. Joe knows there's going to be trouble when Tom is selected to work with his group on a special social studies project. Everyone is quick to shun Tom, but no one is very interested in why the new boy is such a troublemaker, not even Joe's friend Kevin Wylie. But it isn't long before everyone at school is talking about Tom. It seems Kevin's dad, owner of Tri-State Express, has fired Mr. Gilliam ... and there's no reason for it. Someone is guilty of breaking the law, but no one knows who and no one knows why. A terrifying road-chase, an attempted attack on an innocent man, and a devastating fire leave the Hardys with one difficult - and dangerous - case to crack.