This is the story of Dom, who is told on his 15th birthday that his family owes an ancient debt to the Italian mafia. When every male family member reaches 15 years old, they are forced to do 6 difficult tasks for the Debt or the Debt will cut off an arm or leg, taking their “pound of flesh” in payment.
I loved that the whole “pound of flesh” thing is from Shakespeare, although the Bard is never mentioned.
Dom is a wonderful character with depth and interest. He has a crush on his best friend, the girl next door. He has a fun dynamic of mutual teasing with his siblings. He trains as a runner, and is obsessed with running. He’s just a well-rounded character, and a great POV for the whole story.
The setting is among the rich and elite of the Gold Coast in Australia. Dom’s parents are rich and hobnob with retired movie stars and politicians. But all that money won’t keep out the bad guys!
When Dom is tasked with catching a devious teen criminal, The Zolt, who delights in stealing light aircraft, he has to get friendly with his archenemy, Tristan, the meanest bully in school.
The back-and-forth repartee between Dom and Tristan keeps the story humming along. The tension between them, and the added danger that Tristan brings to the mix keeps Dom (and the reader) on his toes.
Dom has to really jump through some hoops to find the Zolt and the mystery gets intense. There’s tons of action, and I loved the use of codes, phone taps, and fake apps that pull the mystery forward. Everybody wants a piece of the Zolt, so Dom has to race to get to him first!
A fantastic beginning to the series, and I can’t wait to read the rest of them!