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Payback: The Secret Life of Samantha Mcgregor, Book Four


Payback: The Secret Life of Samantha Mcgregor, Book Four

This dramatic fourth installment in The Secret Life of Samantha McGregor series completes Melody Carlson's story about teenager Samantha, the girl who can see the future in dreams and visions. A touchy topic to begin with, Carlson has done an admirable job portraying this supernatural gift both sensitively and with biblical accuracy.

Samantha, like any other teen, isn't altogether comfortable with her gift, and her widowed mom even less so as it frequently puts her in dangerous situations. But she doesn't have much choice; God seems to invade her mind and heart with scenes of events not yet happening as well of those playing out in real time.

In PAYBACK, Samantha is sleeping and suddenly sees a picture of a girl in a mint green gown backing away from a bloody scene as her date crumbles onto the floor in front of her. Shots ring out, and she runs. Then Samantha wakes up, with her heart beating and her pulse racing. She immediately tries to recapture all the significant details of the dream-vision. So begins this not-so-unusual happening in her daily life.

After recording the details in her notebook, Samantha decides to tell her father's former police partner, Ebony, about the vision. Together, they've already tracked, solved and prevented a number of crimes. So Sam goes to school, interacts with friends, and before she knows it, another vision appears before her of a boy being pummeled by bullies. In typical Samantha fashion, she enlists the help of her best friend Olivia, and they sleuth together trying to puzzle out what she has seen and how God wants to use her in these situations.

As if these visions of violence weren't enough to contend with, Samantha's mother discovers money missing from her checking and savings accounts, and her new boyfriend Steven may be implicated. Samantha, with her razor-sharp intuitive skills, can't believe her mom doesn't see through Steven. She gets hurt, but in ways that are unexpected. Within a short space of time, Sam and Olivia discover some important clues that tie both of the visions together, and Sam goes undercover at various proms trying to forestall her bloody premonition from taking place. Both the pace and the tension build as Sam prays and asks God not only to see the future but also to use her to avert the violence before it happens.

Readers will enjoy this final interaction with Sam and her family and friends, as it offers them insight and food for spiritual thought on the subject of spiritual gifting and everyday life.


Reviewed by Michele Howe on October 18, 2011

Payback: The Secret Life of Samantha Mcgregor, Book Four
by Melody Carlson

  • Publication Date: February 19, 2008
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books
  • ISBN-10: 1590529340
  • ISBN-13: 9781590529348