Payback (Vale Hale #3) by Kristen Simmons #bookreview #YA #thriller

The unpredictable truth will be revealed in Payback, the stunning conclusion to Kristen Simmons’ Edgar-nominated thriller series that started with The Deceivers…

Brynn Hilder has conned a lot of people. From the spoiled rich kids of Sikawa City to her mom’s loser ex-boyfriend, from a motorcycle gang to a senator’s son. If there was money to be gained, or a secret to uncover, she figured out how to get it done. And thanks to Vale Hall and its director, Dr. David Odin, she’s found a family of hustlers just like her.

Together, Brynn and her friends have overcome doubt, deceit, and betrayal to unearth the truth–a truth even a group of professional scammers couldn’t have predicted.

And now they must tackle the biggest con artist of them all: the man who brought them all together. 

With it’s clever, fully-fleshed characters and many unexpected twists, I’ve been a fan of this series from the first book. I’m sad to leave Vale Hall, but very pleased with how this adventure ends.

Even though it’s difficult to know who to trust at times since most of them are trained cons, I adore these characters. Brynn makes the statement that she’s finally found her family, and that’s exactly how it feels with these friends who offer unconditional support through some harrowing and life-threatening situations. I’ll miss all of them. I’m grateful to the author for the epilogue that allows the reader a glimpse into what the future holds for these characters.

Taking on Dr. O, the man who brought them all together, is their ultimate challenge, and the author strips away every last hope from them. I had no idea how they’d pull this off. And the secrets that are revealed! Some are pretty shocking and offer an exciting turn of events. When all is said and done, it’s an intricately layered plan that pulls elements in from several areas and plays out like a scene from Ocean’s Eleven. I loved every minute of it.

With a complex plot, a deep well of secrets, and fully developed, magnetic characters, this is a series I’d highly recommend to thriller/suspense fans. I’d be all in if the author decided to do a spinoff featuring some of these characters (Henry and Grayson especially!).

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

22 thoughts on “Payback (Vale Hale #3) by Kristen Simmons #bookreview #YA #thriller

  1. I hate when a series I love ends….but I also feel so satisfied in reaching the conclusion. It’s like a love/hate relationship, LOL.
    Glad you enjoyed the wrap to this series, Teri. It sounds intriguing and complex.

    Liked by 1 person

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