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Harvill
21 July 2020
A sophisticated literary thriller in the vein of Le Carre and William Boyd involving the disappearance of a nuclear scientist in Oxford.

'A remarkable contemporary thriller - with shades of Graham Greene and Le Carre about it - but also a profound and compelling investigation of a hugely complex human predicament. 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. Every day is the same. He drops Leandro at his smart prep school and walks to the library to research his new book. His time living on the edge as a foreign correspondent in Rio is over.

But 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 that spreads between these power brokers 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 Physics Faculty, and what he might have told Dyer about it, given Dyer was the last person to see Marvar alive.
By:   Nicholas Shakespeare
Imprint:   Harvill
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 153mm
Weight:   540g
ISBN:   9781787301771
ISBN 10:   178730177X
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   21 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

Reviews for The Sandpit

A joy to read, the novel reflects John le Carre's genre-stretching influence on every page: the boys' school setting, the mixture of social comedy and Hitchcockian shenanigans, the astute, sophisticated prose, the central philosophical dilemma, and the exploration of what it means to be English in a globalised world. * Sunday Times * Wonderfully well written...old school in the best possible way, with an insidious escalation of menace, and paranoia that fairly shimmers off the pages * Guardian * A remarkable contemporary thriller - with shades of Graham Greene and Le Carre about it - but also a profound and compelling investigation of a hugely complex human predicament. Brilliantly observed, captivatingly written, grippingly narrated - a triumph * William Boyd * A grimly absorbing literary thriller with shades of John le Carre... opens a window onto the murky world of international nuclear policy and espionage amorality * Evening Standard * Quite simply excellent. If you're looking for something exciting and sinewy to read, this is it. There's no mistaking quality when it appears in book form * John Simpson *


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