Nicholas Shakespeare

The Sandpit
  • The Sandpit

  • Who do you trust with a secret that could save the world - or destroy it?

    'A remarkable contemporary thriller - with shades of Graham Greene and Le Carré about it...Brilliantly observed, captivatingly written, grippingly narrated - a triumph' William Boyd

    When John Dyer returns to Oxford from Brazil with his young son, he doesn't expect to find them both in danger. His time living on the edge as a foreign correspondent in Rio is over.

    Yet the rainy streets of this English city turn out to be just as treacherous as those he used to walk in the favelas. Leandro's schoolmates are the children of influential people, among them an international banker, a Russian oligarch, an American CIA operative and a British spook. As they congregate round the sports field for the weekly football matches, the network of alliances and covert interests soon becomes clear to Dyer. But it is a chance conversation with an Iranian nuclear scientist, Rustum Marvar, father of a friend of Leandro, that sets him onto a truly precarious path.

    When Marvar and his son disappear, several sinister factions seem acutely interested in Marvar's groundbreaking research at the Clarendon Lab, and what he might have told Dyer about it - especially as Dyer was the last person to see Marvar alive.

    'Quite simply excellent. If you're looking for something exciting and sinewy to read, this is it.' John Simpson

Nicholas Shakespeare was born in 1957. The son of a diplomat, much of his youth was spent in the Far East and South America. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages. They include The Vision of Elena Silves (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award), Snowleg, The Dancer Upstairs, Inheritance, Priscilla and Six Minutes in May. He has been longlisted for the Booker Prize twice and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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