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.
To read my review for Missio click here