The Penalty

By Mal Peet

Football, corruption and dark secrets collide in the thrilling sequel to the award-winning Keeper by Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet.

In the second of the Paul Faustino novels by Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet, teenage football prodigy El Brujito, "the Little Magician", has vanished without a trace and Paul finds himself reluctantly drawn into the mystery. As the city of San Juan pulses to summer's sluggish beat, Paul gets more than he bargained for as a story of corruption and murder unfolds, forcing him to confront a bitter history of slavery and the power of the occult.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406370577
  • Published: 07 Apr 2016
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 272

More to explore...

  • Beck
  • Exposure
  • Keeper

More books for age 14+

  • Rules-for-Vanishing
  • I-Will-Not-Be-Erased-Our-stories-about-growing-up-as-people-of-colour
  • Ghosts-of-the-Shadow-Market

Customer reviews


'"Glorious, cartwheeling, magical, frightening"' Frank Cottrell Boyce, The Guardian

'"Irresistible... A tale of murder, corruption, cruelty, faith and redemption with a light dusting of football... Impossible to put down."' TES

'[...] intriguing undertones of black magic and some surprising twists.' Daily Telegraph

'"The Penalty weaves together slavery, tribal magic and themes of modern-day corruption... Notable for its exceptional humanity, stylistic clarity and neat construction."' The Sunday Times

'"Cogently constructed and elegantly written, this latest novel is teenage fiction at its best."' The Guardian

'"A heady mix of slavery, football and the occult, this is another intoxicating read from an author who has proved himself an outstanding talent."' Publishing News

'"Another superb read from a master storyteller."' The Bookseller

Write your own review

By submitting a review you grant us the right to display and use it in any way; please read our General Legal Notices for full details. If you are under 16, please obtain your parent/guardian’s permission before submitting or ask your parent/guardian to submit on your behalf.


Find your local bookshop:


  • Awards:

Also available in:


Recently viewed