Time Out by Pat Whitaker


Reporting on so-called alien abductions, a newspaperman is caught up a mixture of drugs, murder and a truly extraordinary set of events.

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Deep cynicism born of a lifetime of journalism did nothing to prepare Don for the reality he had to face or the choices he had to make.

Confronted with the unanswerable, he had to decide which reality could undo the harm done, and which would cost him all that he held dear.

“She was little more than a third of the way down when she started to get a very bad feeling about what she was heading towards. She could still not be sure what she was looking at, but it certainly wasn’t a calf. It looked much more like a seated child—a naked, seated child. She started to run.

At her approach the cows started, and for a moment she was terrified they might trample the child, but they were aware of its presence and gave it a wide berth.

Janet could see clearly now that it was a young girl, maybe eleven or twelve years old and sitting cross-legged on the ground. She was stark naked, dirty, and shaking with cold. She did not move. Janet called out, not wanting to frighten her if she was unaware of her approach, but there was no response.

Squatting down in front of her, Janet looked into her eyes and spoke softly to her. Nothing. Although she had no experience of the condition, Janet thought the child was catatonic. She took off her jacket and wrapped it around the girl’s shoulders, then gently took her by the elbows and raised her to her feet. With one arm around her to support her, she quietly started to lead the child back up the slope towards her car.

She had only gone a few paces when something made her stop. She checked that the girl would remain standing if she released her, then quickly doubled back to the exact spot the girl had been sitting. Taking her handkerchief out of her pocket, she wrapped it around a stone and used it to mark the place. Why this seemed important, she wasn’t sure, but at least it could do no harm.

The thought crossed her mind that her policy of never taking her phone with her when she went out painting, so reasonable on the face of it, had turned around and bitten her. But no matter, she would take the girl to the nearest house and ring the police, and for an ambulance.

She collected the girl, who had moved not so much as an inch, and continued back to her car.”


“An easy to read mystery/sci-fi novel with enough twists and turns to keep you interested and guessing. Certainly thought provoking…”

… a great book! I literally couldn’t put it down. The characters were “real” and I could visualise them in my mind. The storyline was gripping and kept the momentum up till the last page. A well written and thought provoking book.”

“… a very readable book. The many sub-plots and twists keep you involved and guessing to the end. ”


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