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Keith Stewart is a quiet and unassuming man called upon to undertake an extraordinary task. A skilled maker of miniature working models, he lives a modest life devoted to his hobby. But when his sister and her wealthy husband die in a shipwreck on a coral reef in the Pacific—while trying to smuggle out of England their entire fortune in diamonds hidden in the keel of their yacht—Keith becomes trustee for his orphaned niece. To save her from destitution he must travel halfway around the world and risk a long voyage in a small boat in inhospitable waters to recover her inheritance. In the course of his adventure-filled quest, a colorful and international cast of characters mobilize to help him, and this humble man discovers he has more friends and admirers than he could have dared to imagine.
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About the Author
Nevil Shute Norway was born in 1899 in Ealing, London. He studied Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford. Following his childhood passion, he entered the fledgling aircraft industry as an aeronautical engineer working to develop airships and, later, airplanes. In his spare time he began writing and he published his first novel, Marazan, in 1926, using the name Nevil Shute to protect his engineering career. In 1931 he married Frances Mary Heaton and they had two daughters. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve where he worked on developing secret weapons. After the war he continued to write and settled in Australia where he lived until his death in 1960. His most celebrated novels include Pied Piper (1942), A Town Like Alice (1950), and On the Beach (1957).