PAYBACK by Rosemary Hayes


Age Range: 10 & up
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Raised in Pakistan but now living in London and attending City University, Halima realizes that the longer she lives there, the more she is drifting apart from her family. Now, a deal made by her father when she was eight threatens her new life, and unless she can summon the strength to go against her culture and assert herself, she may be forced into an arranged marriage. As she says, “I was the bait which had sealed the deal all those years ago. And now it was payback time.” Halima goes into hiding, and the story grows tense. She is abducted, and alternating first-person voices heighten the drama, as those who care about her tell their stories while racing the clock to prevent Halima from being returned to Pakistan. A good deal of the drama is undercut by the front and back covers, which give away much of the story, but the simple, fast-paced prose makes Halima’s journey worth following. (Thriller. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-84507-935-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2009