Missio begins with a history of Hull trawlers that have sunk over the years. The narrator Stevie Francis should know – this is how he lost his father and grandfather. The key figures in Stevie’s life are his mother, grandmother, Danielle and Felicio, a stalwart of a cat (and I am always a sucker for cats). Stevie discovers he has access to another world when his deceased father appears to him at nights. Stevie’s furtive imagination and extra-sensory perception is further roused by a morbid fascination with the former ‘hanging judge’s’ house, situated between his gran’s and his mother’s house. The creepy portrayal of this house as seen through the child’s eyes is superb. When Felicio goes missing, Stevie enlists the help of the Great Macaroni, the magician who has had the ‘hanging judge’s house bequeathed to him. Soon Stevie is being versed by both the ghost of the hanging judge and the Great Macaroni: the judge teaching him facts and the Great Macaroni conjuring and to question reality and things start to get delightfully surreal. By the time he hits puberty, Stevie’s mind can’t cope with too much reality causing a mental breakdown and the loss of a couple of years of his life. Our hero ‘recovers’ by playing the ‘normality’ game but the gift for predicting the future sometimes proves to be a curse, especially where his wife Danielle and her family are concerned. Tim Roux’s light touch of humour, economic style and sense of the surreal ensure this is a story to remember.