#BookReview – The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson by Nathan Parker @parker_book

Posted June 1, 2018 by Zoé in Book Reviews, Reviews and Stuff / 2 Comments

The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson by Nathan Parker
Series: The Granville Series #1
on May 1 2018
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 256
Also by this author: The Rise of The Chemist

f you were searching for answers about the mysterious disappearance of your father, but were warned that pulling at that thread would put you in grave danger... would you pull at it anyway?
A turbulent seaside town holds a dark secret. Terror reigns in the form of drug king pin, Smiler, whose core business is to exploit the vulnerable. Hope is all but non existent.
Tommy Dawson has believed for most of his life that his dad, Timothy, ran out on him when he was just two years old, leaving him to grow up in survival mode with his mum and brother, who had become more focussed on their drug habits than his welfare.
That's until information comes to light which suggests that his dad's disappearance isn't all it seems.
Tommy and his trusted sidekick, Kirsten, embark upon a quest to uncover the truth, taking them to the darkest corners of Granville and uncovering shocking secrets that will reveal the town's disturbing underbelly.

The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson is a Young Adult fiction, with dark themes that expose sinister secrets. It takes place in a poor, forgotten seaside town in the north of England, called Granville-upon-sea, a place that was once glorious is now rife with drugs and poverty.
The story is a coming of age mystery, following the journey of Tommy, a likeable chap that's been dealt an unfair hand in life. His mum and brother are addicts and he is left for the most part to fend for himself. The mystery of his father's whereabouts hadn't bothered him at all until, bit by bit, information surfaces suggesting maybe his dad didn't just leave them after all. As the story unfurls, the plot takes a dark turn and Tommy, along with his friends, must face evil head on in order to expose the truth.

When I first started talking to Nathan (the author) on Instagram, I never expected to have the opportunity to receive a copy of his book! But i think you can guess where this is going, lucky me got a copy of his book to read!!!! I can’t tell you how happy I was to actually settle down and read this book. It was touch and go, whilst sitting in the back of my car on the drive back from Edinburgh, my Kindle’s battery had died halfway through the journey and I thought I was done for…but alas I was saved by my phone. I managed to get my copy on to my phone and read it, I literally read the last page of the book as we got to our front door and my phone died. This is how good this book is, you will do whatever you can to read it and finish it.

The premise for the book was an interesting concept, Tommy grows up with his mother and brother, but who spends most of their days high on whatever they can get their hands on or just drunk. Tommy’s escapism is his music, Jack at the boxing gym and his best friend Kirsten. When he was a boy his dad just disappears one day (hence the title of the book of course!) and it is rarely spoken about at home, too much bitterness from his mother and his brother is just too depressed to even comprehend what is going on. A chance meeting with the Counsellor Jim Carruthers in the headmaster’s office sets a catalyst of events that no one could foresee happening. Tommy gets further embroiled in to what happened to his Dad, Timothy. Why did he disappear??

I loved Tommy’s character, he was flawed but in the loveable rogue type of way. His home life was quite frankly pants (putting it lightly), and he is the type of hero that you back to leave the town and make something of himself, never looking back.  It was a refreshing read, with the main character being a mere boy, unsure of his feelings for his best friend whilst at the same trying to understand what happened to his dad. Kirsten, the best friend, has always been there for Tommy, she doesn’t care about his background, she loves him for him and her constant innocent love and support was truly magical Reminding what it was like at their age (minus hunting down your missing dad and dealing with drug gangs in the neighbourhood).

This book was such a gritty, emotional, compelling and dark read and I was sucked in from the opening pages. I had expectations with characters and I was not let down at all, Nathan could tell what the reader wanted and he delivered with bells on. When I read the final sentence I was screaming, I knew the book might just be too good to be true, and it definitely left me dying for the second book to be written now! I spoke to the author I have to wait until next Autumn for it, not sure what’s worse waiting for the next book or Game of Thrones!

 *I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest and unbiased review*

About Nathan Parker

My name is Nathan Parker, a 32-year-old father of one from Blackpool, Lancashire. I’m recently married to my beautiful wife, Nadina, so beautiful in fact, let’s just say it’s a good job I have my sense of humour to rely on. Family has always been central to my universe, but since becoming a dad I feel as though life makes far more sense than it used to. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with Sonny, my son who is 18 months old – watching him develop and learn brings me a joy I never thought was possible. With any luck, one child may become two – or more – as the years go by.

I’m proud of the fact I was born and raised, schooled and now live and work in sunny Blackpool. Despite its perception as a town with challenges – a perception which is accurate on many fronts – in my thirty-two years I have seen and experienced community, resilience, strength and good times in this town.

I am a Youth Worker by trade, graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University with a first-class BA honours degree in Youth Work and Community Learning and Development. For ten plus years I have worked alongside young people experiencing some of life’s toughest challenges and, although now working at a strategic level, I work hard to support and empower the young people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to create their own stories, with informed choices, broadening horizons and challenging inequality within the systems young people are bound.

My journey into writing began officially in 2017 when I was tasked with making a creative pledge to myself, to write it down and tell the workshop within which the task was set – which I’ve since learned meant I was 90% more likely to see it through… sneaky devils!

The pledge I set myself was to write a short story. Fast forward 12 months and I self-published my first novel; The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, The First Book in the Granville Series. A fictional ‘anytown’ but certainly shaped from my knowledge of Blackpool.

The book enabled me to tell a story which was burning inside me; a tale inspired by personal and professional experiences told with realism through a world of fiction. My writing style is to take real life adversity, emotion and grit and weave it into stories filled with twists and turns, relatable characters and places which feel familiar to most.

I would say I’ve always loved to read, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth. I began my childhood as an avid reader, although it wasn’t the classics which hooked me in – ten year old Nathan was more of a Goosebumps fan. And I still read now; with a common, nightly routine of a few chapters before bed. My current read is Michael Connelly’s The Poet.

However, there was a huge void in my teens. A black hole within which books, reading and writing didn’t feature. School, Sports, Friendships, Hormones, whatever it was, I stopped reading and it wasn’t until my dad encouraged me to read again in my early twenties to help address a sleeping problem that I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and fell in love with books all over again.

Truth is, I believe if the stories I write were available to fifteen-year-old me, I never would have stopped reading. I needed real life, I needed danger and I needed topical issues which explained life to me – adversity, relationships, risk and reward. This is what I strive for in my writing. I have been privileged in many ways in my life, but I have also seen and experienced challenges which I seek to harness and weave into my writing, so that one day a young reader may pick up my book and find connection, comfort or hope.

My debut novel The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson was shortlisted for Lancashire Book of the Year 2019, a feat which I am so very proud of.

The best part? The book prompted young people – young men in particular – to become passionate about reading. Am I the most qualified, technical writer in the world? Certainly not. But I believe my stories are raw, relatable and real and there is a gap in the young adult fiction market, which needs filling.

I’m currently working on the second book in the series and am enjoying working alongside schools, delivering talks and workshops to students looking at motivating the next generation to pick up a pen, or a book and allow their minds to wander.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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