Payback

Overview

A series of high-profile suicide bombings are devastating London and frustrating British Intelligence. But that doesn’t matter to seventeen-year-old Danny Watts and his former SAS hero grandfather, Fergus, who are living undercover in southern Spain, knowing that the slightest slip could expose their whereabouts to the ruthless killers on their trail. All too soon, Danny and Fergus have their cover blown and are on the run again, with their enemies closing in fast. Suddenly, Danny and Fergus are forced to return ...

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Overview

A series of high-profile suicide bombings are devastating London and frustrating British Intelligence. But that doesn’t matter to seventeen-year-old Danny Watts and his former SAS hero grandfather, Fergus, who are living undercover in southern Spain, knowing that the slightest slip could expose their whereabouts to the ruthless killers on their trail. All too soon, Danny and Fergus have their cover blown and are on the run again, with their enemies closing in fast. Suddenly, Danny and Fergus are forced to return to London and clear the family name. But once back in the UK, it appears that Danny is somehow connected to the bombings, and now they both must struggle to bring the truth to light before it’s too late for payback.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Good entertainment for the action and suspense crowd. (Kirkus Reviews)
KLIATT
McNab (a highly decorated British soldier) and Rigby (a writer for children's theater) have teamed up again in another thriller featuring the characters we met in Traitor: Fergus Watts, an undercover agent now under death threat by villains in the British special forces; and Fergus's grandson, 17-year-old Danny, trained to survive by Fergus; with Elena, Danny's girlfriend, a computer whiz whose skills are essential to their mission. Fergus and Danny are hunted down in Spain, where they have been keeping a low profile for the six months since the events in Traitor; they take the chance of returning to England, joining up again with Elena. The action is intense and relentless. Parallel to the activities of Fergus, Danny, Elena and their peril is a series of suicide bombings in England, carried out by teenagers, but not Muslim fanatics. At the end of Payback, it looks like another novel will be coming soon, with Danny and Elena recruited to help the anti-terrorist forces penetrate that operation. McNab and Rigby provide suspenseful entertainment, sure to capture both male and female YA readers. (Sequel to Traitor.). KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Penguin, Putnam, 268p., $16.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
VOYA - Alyssa Ratledge
Like its prequel, Payback maintains an adrenaline-laced pace-so fast, in fact, that most plot holes pass too quickly to distract the discerning reader. Full of intrigue, conspiracy, and even a little jargon, this novel is everything we expect out of a YA spy novel. Is it a pinnacle of literary achievement? No. But it does a great job of exploiting the stereotypes of the genre, as well as offering the occasional original twist. Fans of the first book won't be disappointed.
VOYA - Diane Tuccillo
In this sequel to Traitor (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2004/VOYA April 2006), taking place six months later, Danny Watts and his grandfather, Fergus, are in hiding in Spain, still hoping somehow to clear the record that falsely accuses Fergus of being a British traitor. During this time, a few teenage boys begin a series of deadly suicide bombings in various locations throughout England, which puts the country on edge. The agents who set Fergus up are not distracted by these bombings and manage to track him down, sending him and Danny on a whirlwind trip back to England where they reconnect with Elena and her father, Joey. The four attempt a dangerous plan to infiltrate the secret-agent headquarters at Northwood, so that Danny, with help from Elena and the mysterious, Internet-delving Black Star, can steal the records proving that Fergus is innocent. The quick pace of the mostly short chapters and the escapades of the adequately drawn characters keep the story moving effectively. Again a helpful glossary assists with the undercover terminology. Through a series of events, loaded with suitable violence and intrigue, Fergus manages to set the record straight, but there is no solution to the national problem with the suicide bombers, and the conclusion hints that Black Star is somehow involved and not just a masterful Deep Web hacker. The reader is left to wonder just what the connection might be and to expect a third book before reaching a satisfying ending.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-In this sequel to Traitor (Putnam, 2005), Danny and his ex-SAS grandfather, Fergus Watts, survive an attempt on their lives while hiding out in Spain. They stop running and return to the UK with the hope of clearing their names and resuming a normal life, and are recruited to help uncover a corrupt MI5 agent who, at the same time, is trying to have them killed. Danny enlists the help of his friend Elena so that he and Fergus can accomplish the impossible: breaking into the heavily secured British Ministry of Defense in order to get official proof of Fergus's background and save their lives. The police are on high alert because of a series of suicide bombings carried out by teenagers, and MI5 tries to frame Danny as a terrorist. Adventure and suspense drive this plot. Despite some weak character development, the book will find a ready audience.-Michael Giller, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This sequel to the authors' Traitor (2005) picks up with 17-year-old Danny and his British SAS-veteran grandfather Fergus as they hide out in Spain from a high-placed traitor in British intelligence. The action begins quickly and rarely lets up as Danny and Fergus deftly avoid the hit team sent to kill them. Danny's girlfriend Elena enters the picture with her computer and wi-fi access, to help them break into the British government's most secret and secure computer files. McNab adds interest with his real-life expertise in explosives and clandestine techniques, and playwright Rigby keeps the narrative flowing. This story has trouble standing on its own for those who haven't read the first in the series, and it clearly sets up the premise for a sequel. However, interested young readers probably will want the entire series and won't be disappointed when they start from the beginning. Good entertainment for the action and suspense crowd. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142409145
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/18/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 592,742
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Andy McNab’s location is classified. Robert Rigby lives in the UK.

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