Description
'A magical journey that sparkles with wit and shimmers with intelligence', Genevieve Graham, author of 'Under The Same Sky'.

Stevie Francis lost his dad when the Hull trawler, The Gaul, disappeared without trace somewhere on or around 8 February 1974 while fishing in the Barents Sea. Its owners, British United Trawlers, had nicknamed it 'the unsinkable'.

Speculation at the time was that The Gaul had been captured or sunk by the Soviet navy because there was a British government spy on board, or that its fishing net had become entangled with a passing Soviet submarine, or that it had simply become overwhelmed by heavy seas. The wreck of The Gaul was located in 1997 and the remains of four of its crew were retrieved in 2004. A more recent suggestion is that The Gaul suffered from significant design faults.

Walking the rundown streets of his dockland neighbourhood searching for his cat, Stevie meets The Great Macaroni, a children's magician who spends his time trying to persuade his young audiences that his real magic is mere trickery.

He teaches Stevie that nothing in this world is as it appears, that teaspoons can fly, and that the future is never set even if it has already happened.

What he cannot tell him about are the two years of his life that Stevie will spend in absolute darkness.


The Story Behind This Book
'Missio' is based on two real events: the mysterious disappearance of Hull trawler 'The Gaul' in January 1974, and the disappearance of two cats in 2009. In both cases spirit communicators were used to discover what had happened to them. In the case of the cats, an animal communicator, working some 10,000 miles away, pinpointed exactly where the cats were to be located. In this magical comedy, these two stories are combined to tell how a small boy, whose father disappears with The Gaul, meets a children's magician and the ghost of a 'hanging' judge, both of whom combine to change radically the boys outlook on life.


Praise and Reviews

Comment from Bob Ellal, author of 'By These Things Men Live', a stunningly-written account of recovering from cancer four times: Got up very early this morning and read 'Missio' straight on through--I absolutely could not stop! It is brilliant and grand--I can't think of a better word than 'grand.' It is an utterly compelling and fascinating read--I think you have outdone yourself! It works on so many levels--an amazing sense of place and 'times;' the metaphysical aspects, the core of the story, are so subtly drawn, so convincing that one need not "suspend disbelief." Plot, characters, dialogue--everything works perfectly.

Comment from Danny Birch, author of 'Clipped':  I loved this book. Loved the story, think it's great, but more than that I love the speech. It's the conversations which are so realistic, especially to people from 'up 'ere', as they say. I think most people in Hull could pick up your story and relate to it. It's great that a writer can finally capture the way of life and speech of our area, having people in my family associated with going to sea all of their lives, it was a must-read for me, because i grew up hearing the stories and listening to them talk the talk.

Comment from Andrew Wright, author of 'Sanctuary's Loss' about a boy who wakes up with a dragon on his bed: This is flipping brilliant, what a great beginning. No introduction, no preamble, smash, straight into poor Stevie's world. You are a great writer, extremely accomplished. I read it through, a great story, a great main character, intriguing, mournful, honest and cleanly written.

Comment by David Brett, author of ‘All These Are Memories Of My Voyage’: At last, someone who enjoys playing with the craft of story-telling. I really enjoy the excursions into script-writing and documentary. Your story-telling voice - actually, of course, Steve's voice - says more than it tells. Is Felicio the best cat in recent fiction? As for the boy named `Oss....we all have these stories wandering about in our past, I think! I am glad to see this fun story-telling seems to be getting a real public.

Comment from Francesco Scannella, author of ‘Sicilian Shadows’: A compelling tale which although told in a sharp, factual way flowed perfectly.

Comment by T.L. Tyson, author of ‘Seeking Eleanor’: I like the voice of Steve, I do. This reads so factual at times that it sounds true-life, which really is what drew me in. I thoroughly enjoyed the tone behind your MC's voice, he is a wee bit jaded it seems and I love the humor in his observations. I don't know much about trawling but I found this interesting. There seemed to be a ton of information and I wondered if this was set around real events, though not the magician part but all the info that you supplied. There was a lot of narrative but you do such a great job, the voice is so clear and strong that I really found it engaging and not boring, which I often find with excessive narrative.



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About Tim Roux
Tim Roux
I am a writer from Hull, in the North of England, living in Belgium.

I also help run a publishing company called Night Publishing (http://www.nightpublishing.com)  whic More...
Other Book(s) By Tim Roux