One boy. Six Tasks. An Ancient Family Debt.
It’s a beautiful day in paradise. The sun is shining. The birds are chirping. And Dom Silvagni, eldest brother, indifferent student and elite middle distance runner, is turning fifteen.
But instead of cake and candles, Dom receives the most unlikely gift. An ancient family debt from an organisation so secretive and powerful, they are only known as The Debt. And The Debt have made it clear — Dom must perform six Herculean tasks or lose a pound of flesh.
The Debt has ways of making Dom believe and before long he has his first instalment. He must catch The Zolt — the 17-year-old Facebook Bandit who has stolen light planes, boats and cars from ‘deserving’ homes on nearby Reverie Island. But getting close to the Zolt means persuading his neighbour, the smug self-obsessed Tristan, to invite him to his sumptuous holiday home. And it seems Tristan has an angle too … and it involves Imogen, the only girl close to Dom’s heart.
Caught between a rock and a hard place, Dom has to honour his family. But the more he discovers about his father, the less he seems to know. Meanwhile The Debt wants its payment … now!
Once upon a time, and not so long ago, I didn’t have to do this stuff: feign complete surprise, tell endless lies. But now, ever since The Debt, it seems like that’s all I do.
With Tristan in hospital and Imogen increasingly suspicious of Dom’s behaviour, Dom has had it with The Debt. But this mysterious organisation hasn’t finished with Dom. No matter how hard he runs, The Debt is not far behind.
Then he gets the next instalment, and it’s even harder than the first. Dom must turn off all of the Gold Coast’s lights during Earth Hour. But Dom is learning quickly. He has the ClamTop and a few tricks of his own, and starts plotting how to get into Diabolo Bay Power Station.
Dom’s not been tested in this way before, but his brush with The Debt has given this task an urgency he’s not faced before. And he’s starting to realise that this organisation means business. He’s not just racing against time, he’s racing for his life.
Felt a chill, a shiver that started at my toes and travelled all the way up my spine and then all the way back down again.
Schoolboy, you’re dead meat. Dom should be concentrating on training for his biggest race, and a possible spot on the Australian team at the World Youth Games. But the powerful, shadowy organisation, The Debt, has other ideas and you don’t mess with The Debt. Dom knows.
Their demand: bring back Cerberus – the new-generation technology that’s only whispered about in the furthest reaches of cyberspace. Drawn into the shady world of black-hat hacking and industrial espionage, Dom will need every skill he’s learnt to complete this instalment. It’s an impossible task. How can Dom steal something that doesn’t exist? Failure, however, is not an option.
So must thou bear witness also at Rome…
Dom should not be going to Rome with the rest of the track team. He wasn’t good enough. He knows it. Coach knows it. Rashid, who should be going but isn’t, knows it. But it seems The Debt has other plans.
So it’s not long before Dom finds himself in Italy receiving the fourth instalment. He is to find E Lee Marx, the world’s greatest treasure hunter who has gone into recluse following the tragic death of his son in a diving accident, and bring him back to the Gold Coast. It will require manipulation and deception, but Dom is fast becoming a master at both. So much so that when he’s in Italy, Dom decides to do a little digging of his own. He travels to Calabria, to the very place where The Debt originated.
But the more Dom finds out about The Debt, the less he seems to know. Only one thing is sure – whatever they want, they get.
The Debt was the worst thing to have come into my life. It had almost killed me about a dozen times in a dozen different ways. But here I was wanting, willing, it to contact me. To give me the next instalment.
After Rome, Dom has quit running. He’s still training, though. Swimming lap after lap of the pool. And waiting.
Until Dom receives another threatening message. In Latin. He doesn’t know who is after him now, but he hopes it’s The Debt. He’s pieced together the puzzle of the previous instalments, and he knows that the fifth one must be the search for Yamashita’s Gold - the legendary treasure looted during the Second World War that might have ended up in the waters of Diablo Bay.
But for months he’s heard nothing from The Debt. Just silence and more silence from this shadowy organisation. Could this message be it? But if Dom goes out searching, he won’t be the only one looking for gold. And The Debt won’t be the only organisation looking for Dom. It might be desperate times, desperate measures, but there’s only one person looking out for Dom Silvagni - himself.
I had never been so utterly, terribly alone. Who could I talk to? My parents? Sure. I wasn’t even sure who they were anymore.
Who could I ask whether killing another human being is ever justified?
Dom’s almost there. It’s the sixth installment and the end is in sight, but he’s about to face the biggest hurdle. The Debt wants proof. Proof that Dom has the mettle to become one of them. Proof he can kill.
Dom is desperate to be rid of this debt but at what cost? Could he put a friend out of their misery? Or defend himself to the bitter end? And if he does flush out who is behind this monstrous organisation, is he ready for the truth?
This time it is not just a life at stake, it’s humanity. Dom’s humanity. And if Dom crosses the line, is there any coming back?
The chilling conclusion to the edge-of-the-seat action thriller from a masterful storyteller.