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The Pizzeria Vesuvio looks like any other Italian restaurant in London – with a few small differences. The chefs who make the pizza fiorentinas are Sri Lankan, and half the kitchen staff are illegal immigrants.

At the centre is Tuli, the restaurant’s charismatic proprietor and resident Robin Hood, who promises to help anyone in need. Nineteen-year-old Nia, haunted by her troubled past in Wales, is running from her family. Shan, having fled the Sri Lankan civil war, is desperate to find his.

But when Tuli’s guidance leads them all into dangerous territory, and the extent of his mysterious operation unravels, each is faced with an impossible moral choice.

In a world where the law is against you, how far would you be willing to lie for a chance to live?

© Nikita Lalwani 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Critics Review

  • Enthralling as a thriller, yet also a beautiful human drama, and a serious enquiry into the possibility of goodness

    Tessa Hadley
  • Beautiful and brilliant. The exquisite writing is vivid, poetic and perceptive; the characters alive and compelling. Everything I want from a novel. I loved it.

    Stephen Merchant
  • Lively, poetically written and above all compassionate

    Sunday Times
  • Timely and hopeful

    Cosmopolitan
  • This sinuous morality tale unfurls from the alternating perspectives… Slinking along like a thriller, it encompasses people smuggling, the labyrinthine inhumanity of Britain’s immigration system, alcoholism and a class prejudice that cuts both ways. Kindness and its motives are a constant preoccupation

    Economist
  • Pulses with energy

    Mail on Sunday

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