One of Nevil Shute s most exciting vels, Pied Piper is the gripping story of one elderly man's daring attempt to rescue a group of children during the Nazi invasion of France. It is the spring of 1940 and John Sidney Howard wants thing more than to enjoy his fishing holiday in southern France in peace and quiet. However, the Nazi conquest of the Low Countries puts an end to that, and he is asked by friends to take their two children back to England. Crossing France with his young charges seems simple eugh at first until the Germans invade, rendering them fugitives. As Howard struggles to sneak across France, he picks up several more helpless children of various nationalities. They walk for miles in an endless river of refugees, strafed by German planes and hiding in barns at night. By the time Howard and his flock of little ones reach the Channel, his plan of escaping on a fishing boat has become utterly impossible, and in their final confrontation with the invaders, all their lives are at stake.
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).