The theme of the story is bravery. For Evan bravery is what lead him to figure out who murdered Belachek and get his father out of jail. Throughout his father's time in jail, Evan kept his cool and stayed calm even though it was a very crazy situation. Also, when he realized that they had stolen Belachek's computer, an everyday teenager such as Ruben, would have begun flipping out and turned in the laptop immediately, taking the consequences and possibly allowing the murderer to get away with his deeds. Evan thought through the situation thoroughly and weighed all of his options, to ensure the correct actions were taken. Even though the kids turned Paris into a somewhat vacation, there was a lot of risk in going. For starters, they had in their possession the laptop that many people would have wanted to get their hands on, and the person who wanted it most had already killed one person and would not skip a beat in killing again in order to protect himself. That simple fact puts an immense amount of fear into Evan, Ruben, and Erika, and the fact that they were able to overcome that with their courage and bravery shows a lot about their personality.

In the entire book, quite possibly the most dangerous action of theirs was when Evan and Erika were on their way to meet Lubchenko. So many different traps and tricks could have been set for them and they would have no way out. The fact that it appeared like Colburn, a very dangerous man, was friends with the man they were about to see probably put an enormous amount of fear inside of the kids. They proved that they were scared when they created a back up plan including a set amount of time for their meeting and a code phone call response if things were not going well. Evan especially however, pushed through is complete fear of the situation and continued on in an effort to help his father and be the better/heroic man.

Another time when courage was used was when Ruben was coming to Evan's house after their trip to Paris. Colburn had figured out that they were going to be there and caught him on his way, holding a gun to his head. If I were Ruben, I would have been shaking so much and screaming so loud that Lubchenko would have shot me without a pause. Ruben however stayed as calm as it is possible for him to be and even thought on his feet, remembering the code that they had previously used in France, "Everything is A-OK." Not only would it be scary to be standing at the front of a house completely alone with a gun to your head, but Ruben was able to come to his senses and think on his feet showing true bravery and courage. During that same event, Mr. Richmond showed courage as well when he shot Colburn. Colburn was a very close friend of his and one of his greatest working companions. The fact that he would shoot a friend for the well-being of the kids is commendable. After the shooting, the book described Richmond as shaking and white proving that he was terrified, but still came through when it counted, doing what was right.