My mind was racing, trying to figure out what will happen next. My eyes reading, trying to pick up clues. My hands flipping, turning pages rapidly. This is what was happening to me when I read Carl Deuker’s PayBack Time. It constantly kept me hooked with plot twists and clues. Deuker’s descriptions were so vivid with details, for example, “a hard knot of fear in my stomach”, or “the fear rushed back”. The Focus (car) was safe”. Colorful descriptions like this may make one feel as if they were in the story with the main character, Mitch True.
Mitch is a high school senior and a journalist for his schools paper, The Lincoln Light. The story first starts to build up when Mitch goes to a football practice and spots a player by the name of Angel Marichal. He does not recognize Angel, and soon after finds out he is a new student. When he eyes Angel warming up with a much older friend, he is blown away by his talent. Angel is bigger, faster, and has a far better arm than anyone else on the team. When Mitch and his photographer, Kimi, approach Coach McNulty, the head coach of the Lincoln Mustangs, they tell McNulty about Angel’s talents and stress he has a better arm than Horst Diamond, the team’s star quarterback. When McNulty is told this he chuckles in disbelief, before calling Angel over. He asks Angel to throw, but when the ball comes out of Angel’s hand, it is a soft arching pass, not impressing anyone. The pass is not even close to as impressive as the bullets he threw in warm ups. This leaves Mitch and Kimi with one question, why is he hiding his talents?
I would definitely recommend PayBack Time for anyone looking for a good sports read. This book was one of the most exciting books I’ve read in a long time. I think this book features realistic characters who have relatable feelings and that helped me connect with them. It has great descriptions and stunning plot twists that made it impossible to put down. Unlike many sports books written recently, it does not have a cheesy and/or predictable ending. The ending was great, but to figure out how it concludes, you’ll have to read it for yourself.
Author: Carl Deuker