When The Chips Are Down is the third novel in the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series. Spring break turns out to be anything but that for teenagers Jason Hunter and Daniel Holmes. They agree to help their friend Richard Liu and his father Junjie try and figure out what is going on at his father's work place, the DCC Chip Company, which has been recently plagued by hijackings of their new line of computer chips. Richard is worried that the company will go out of business and his family will lose everything if something isn't done to stop the thefts. While looking for a young friend, Jason and Daniel stumble onto what appears to be another hijacking of DCC chips. Convinced that the thefts must be an inside job, Jason and Daniel pose as reporters from their high school newspaper to tour the plant and meet the employees.
The second element of the story starts with the urgent and desperate plea of Teresa Barnwell, a young girl living in a foster home. She asks Jason to visit Camp Chinquapin, a boot camp for teenagers where Timothy Wilkinson, a mutual friend of theirs, has been sent. Teresa is convinced that Tim is being mistreated at the camp. In the past two weeks he has disappeared from the camp roster, all mail to him as been returned, and his parents were told that he has been sent to anger management training. The boys then travel up to the Yosemite area with their friend and advisor Joe Connor who is remodeling a cabin home he owns near the park. They are planning to hike around Yosemite and help out Joe. When kids at the camp confirm that Tim and another kid named Cody did not get along with the camp authorities, were constantly being treated harshly, and believe that the two have been taken somewhere to be forced into submission, Jason and Daniel mount an all out campaign to find Tim and Cody before serious harm comes to them. This turns into one of the most interesting cases for Jason's Whatever Foundation, when they meet up with Martin Severino and Dominic Sanchez, two ex Navy SEALs who agree to help them out. Later they team up with Captain Garcia of the Silicon Valley Police to smoke out the criminals in the DCC case. 310 pages, with 49 full color illustrations and graphics.