Thomas C. Stone, Author, May 23 2010
“Pat Whitaker’s writing form of choice is the novella, a story of length and scope somewhere between a short story and a full length novel. The length of Pat’s stories make for a reading experience of two or three hours, perfect for a rainy afternoon or a lazy day at the beach. Among his diverse works is a little piece entitled TIME OUT, an exploration into the phenomena of alien abductions.
The story is artfully crafted, combining seemingly unrelated incidents into a cohesive whole while exploring possible explanations for a popular urban myth. Whether the reader is sympathetic to the idea of the existence of little green men, or in this case, little grey men, or not, Whitaker gives us something to think about. Indeed, that seems to be the author’s goal and, once again, Whitaker hits his mark dead center.
The setting for TIME OUT is primarily in and around Manchester, England, a locale Whitaker has previously used to good effect in Bad Blood and obviously a place with which New Zealander Whitaker is familiar.
TIME OUT is not just another science fiction tale drawing conclusions from fantastic premises. It is essentially a mystery and a crime drama with believable characters drawn from Whitaker’s fertile imagination. The dialogue is realistic and does much to either gain pathos for the good guys or antipathos for the bad guys. As a North American, I found Whitaker’s use of colloquial language charming and easy to grasp. Additionally, the style reveals protagonists to be caring, moral persons, examples of how people should treat one another. With that said, the opposite goes for Whitaker’s treatment of his antagonists — they are depraved criminals who ultimately get what they deserve. Very satisfying for this humble reader.”