'The best story of adventure published in the last quarter of a century' John Buchan
The perennial classic. Arguably the first spy novel ever written remains one of the finest examples of the genre to this day.
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While on a duck-hunting holiday sailing in the Frisian Isles, Carruthers and his friend Davies become suspicious of German naval activity off the North Sea Coast. The pair decide to investigate, and are soon embroiled in a world of suspense and intrigue, and the pair set about foiling nothing less than a plot to invade England.
Initially published in 1903, The Riddle of the Sands proved a prescient vision of the Anglo-German conflict that was to culminate in the First World War. This thrilling adventure is now regarded as the first - and one of the best - spy novels ever written, inspiring later masters of the genre from John Buchan to John le Carre.
Robert Erskine Childers was born in London to a Protestant Irish family. He wrote his only novel, The Riddle of the Sands, upon his return from the Second Boer War, for which he volunteered for action. He later became a fervent Irish nationalist, and was executed in 1922 by the authorities of the newly independent Irish Free State during the Irish Civil War.
Robert Giddings is a well-established literary critic who regularly reviews for many publications including the Sunday Times, the Guardian and the New Statesman.