Catch the Zolt, by Phillip Gwynne

As the van got closer, my brain started whirring, making that noise that a hard disk makes when you dump a load of data on it.
What to do next?
Suddenly, a swoosh sounds, and then blackness. Just like when I’d had my appendix out a few years ago and had been ‘put to sleep’ by the anaesthetist.
When I regained conciousness, I was lying on the footpath.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see the white van disappearing around a corner.

When Dom turns 15 he expects to get a few presents. But what he doesn’t expect is that on the day of his fifteenth birthday he inherits The Debt. An ancestor made a promise to a powerful secret organisation, and because he didn’t fulfil that promise, his descendants must pay. Dom must perform six tasks or lose a pound of flesh.

When he gets his first task, Dom is flummoxed. He must catch the Zolt, a teenage fugitive with a thing for stealing cars, boats, even planes, from rich families. He has a cult following amongst young people, but lots of enemies too. Dom is not even sure he wants to catch him – but he has no choice. The Debt want their first payment – now.

Catch the Zolt is the first instalment in Phillip Gwynne’s new series, The Debt. The action and pacing are good, taking the teen reader along on a fast moving journey with plenty of twists and unforeseen developments. Dom is a chatty first person narrator who allows the reader in to the action and his thought processes, allowing for connection. Readers will care about Dom and look forward to the second instalment.

Catch the Zolt (Debt)

Catch the Zolt (The Debt), by Phillip Gwynne
Allen & Unwin, 2013
ISBN 978174237844

Available from good bookstores or online.