Monday, September 13, 2021

Review of "Payback Time," by Carl Deuker

 Review of

Payback Time, by Carl Deuker, ISBN 9780547577333

Five out of five stars

A YA sports novel with a different perspective

 The main character and his compatriot in this sports story are not players, they are journalists. Daniel True is in high school and wants to be a famous journalist. Extremely overweight, several years ago he was dubbed “the Michelin Man,” and that has been shortened to “Mitch.” He works on the newspaper of Lincoln High School and since it is his senior year, he thought that he would be the editor.

 That did not happen, but his assignment turned out to be a blessing. Mitch was given the job of covering the school sports and in the words of his editor, “That is the only thing that everyone reads.” Mitch is an excellent writer, and Horst Diamond, the star quarterback, is a solid major college prospect. There is the reasonable expectation that the Lincoln High football team will contend for the state title.

 Yet, there is a mystery man that has appeared on the team. He is Angel Marichal and he has a rifle arm, is very fast and has a solid, muscular body. However, when Mitch and his photographer Kimi try to give him the proper credit, the coach edits out any mention or image of Angel that is scheduled to go to press.

 There is a valid reason for this, and Mitch and Kimi get involved in dangers as they pursue the story. This unusual element makes this book an adventure story like few others. Mitch also becomes involved with girls for the first time, so a twist of the plot has him slimming down so that he is more attractive and can keep up with others. This is a great book, there is adolescent angst combined with great drive to succeed and dig out the truth.

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