Breathtaking first chapter! I’m definitely grabbing his Christopher Daring paranormal mysteries after this one…. Awesome First Act too; I’ll restrain my review to just that, to avoid spoilers, as this is definitely one nail-biting, what comes next?, page-turner.
First off, this is very much an in-your-head situation of a lone Christmas-er trying to enjoy a cup of tea in his English cottage. Then things get creepy in a Robert Frost kind of way! Next, we learn the cottager, Tim, is extremely erudite, despite a kind of writer’s block, and some Poe comes to mind, as he pores over his collection of quaint and forgotten lore, as it were. Then we get some Stephen King vibes, not only foreshadowed with the writer’s block/”Shining” thing, but the Wolf-Dog which steers us into a full-on “Cujo” action sequence. And yet somehow in all that imagery I got the impression that Tim was older, feeble, disabled perhaps, a mumbling mixture of Ebeneezer Scrooge, the old man with the balloon house in “Up,” the loveable curmudgeon spouting Eliot at the end of “Logan’s Run,” or even the wheelchair confined obsessive in “Rear Window.” But then came the spiritual reminiscences as Tim ponders his quite likely death, and then we’re reminded of “Job” and he wasn’t so old…. And in the end neither could Tim be, and still survive the athletic encounter with the Wolf-Dog.
So yeah, just amazing foreshadowing, allusions, and characterization for a 5-star psycho-thriller.
This is a lovely little read – not too long. While many of of us struggle with the eternal question: “Why are we here?”, my feeling is this question cannot be answered. After reading this book, my thoughts now shift to a new question: “Is there a reason we interact with the people we do?” Do we know why we mingle with some, avoid others and try to know certain people? How do we know we’re not meant to move in the circles we do, that we’re not all part of some divine movie where we each have a role to play in the lives of those around us, and that everything that happens is perfectly orchestrated that we each fulfil our roles????? Think about it! This little book book will raise those questions in your conscious mind.
It’s a well-written piece and deserves a look!
Firstly, we didn’t have the children’s game “What’s the Time Mr. Wolf” where I grew up. My wife says she used to play “What’s the Time Mr. Fox” which is essentially the same game. It’s similar to “Mother May I” if that helps. Anyway, if anyone thought the title strange (like I did) it’s actually a perfect fit.
This is an interesting read. There’s a great deal of historical and biblical references that pepper the pages which add a sort of literary flare which is welcome. Given that the title is a sort of light-horror genre, the cerebral themes fit well. It’s a smooth read from start to finish and the (fairly short) book shows a great deal of polish throughout. There’s really not a word out of place here in this tale of isolation, danger and (surprisingly) guilt and regret. I could easily recommend this to fans looking for a quick thriller with some literary qualities.
My only one complaint (keeping this from 5 stars) is that there’s a great deal that’s happened to the protagonist just before the book starts. We don’t find out what until later. While I don’t mind out of order storytelling, the character didn’t seem as affected by these life-changing events (I think) as someone would be in this case, until he started reflecting on things later on.
One closing thought, the moment when the title is spoken aloud in context I couldn’t help but cheer. Partially for the character, partially for the author. I found myself thinking, “You madman! You actually did it!” It’s a great moment. #NailedItJohnzo
I don’t usually read this kind of fiction but I enjoyed this book immensely. It is haunting in it’s description of life and how are journeys are interwoven. The affect is immediate and pronounced and all together pleasing. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to be challenged. To think about the many aspects of their lives and our connection to them. I hope you buy this book and enjoy it as much as I did.Amazon Customer
I found the book easy reading,held my attention and I didn’t want to put the book down. It was full of suspence and well written with a surprising ending.Susie
“As long as the clock still ticks I will be waiting for him…”
This book is just spell binding. The story of this young boy is just magical, and the fact that our lives could all be so interwoven with the past is thought provoking, and after you read the last few words this piece of writing will leave you still wondering if somewhere deep within you there are memories from times gone by.
A well presented somewhat scary and gripping account of a man faced with something he did not expect much less the reader.Ken Harris
This is an amazing story written beautifully. The fact that it’s a true story makes it truly amazing.S.H. Chalmers
Some years ago, and quite by chance I heard Stephen J Willis give a talk to a group of people. He was witty, engaging and one of the stories he told appears in his latest book ‘One Winter’s Day in June’. He held the crowd completely captivated by this fascinating and touching story. I was delighted to find out that he had finally committed his story to the written word.G. Levett
Really enjoyed this story… Certainly kept me interested to the end… A well crafted piece with a traditional feel. Well done!!JoJo
Absolutely loved this story, could not put the book down! More stories like this please.Amazon Customer
An enjoyable short read. Hopefully this is the beginning of many more to follow.KJ
If you enjoy a good mystery/ghost story then give this a try. An intriguing tale of two young boys on an adventure that goes horribly wrong. I was not expecting the ending – great twist.Sabre7
I loved reading this with my son, it was really gripping and you became so engrossed in the story that the characters became your friends and you were willing them to go on. There were many things happening that you didn’t expect. This would be a great short film as well, very imaginative.C. Nash.
An excellent and exciting thriller with an unusually novel plot. The thought provoking story keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time and has a tense and surprising ending. A magnificent read and thoroughly recommended.Wimborne Gooner
I love the clever writing and as with his other books there is always an unexpected twist to his story. This book can be read in two ways – either just read through it like any other book, or – if you want to get more out of it, make use of the extensive glossary in the back of the book. The research that has gone into this book is phenomenal! I’m still in the middle of the book but as always I’ve been drawn into the story straight away. Stephen J Willis is an accomplished writer with a wicked sense of humour.G. Gerber