A highly unusual thriller set on the streets of south London.
It's a snowy evening, South London. From a bus, Max Wolf and his brother Angelo see a gang ominously tracking a well-known rapper, Mogul King, through the dark streets. Minutes later, Mogul King boards the bus, presses a parcel into Max's hands, exacts an incomprehensible promise, and jumps off again - to his death.
The parcel contains an extraordinary ancient bronze dagger, and within hours Max is running for his own life through London, his brother, Angelo, is dead, apparently the victim of a gang drive-by shooting, and his friend, Sapphire, is next on the hit list.
But everything is not as it seems. Everything leads the British Museum. Everything began with the ill-fated British Punitive Expedition of 1897 and the looting of the fabulous Benin Bronzes from Nigeria over a hundred years ago.
In an intriguing dual storyline, Max's racing first person narrative story is offset by a scrap book of letters, memoirs, drawings, photos and journal entries, by one Hugh Hardy, Gunner aboard the Theseus, and foot soldier on that ruinous expedition over a century ago.
Praise for Door of No Return:
... consistently engaging ... This is a really excellent and original thriller. ... its premise and Zac's wry, streetwise voice make it fresh, funny and compelling. - Amanda Craig, The Times
... original, page-turning ... filled with action, adventure, emotions, a well crafted plot and a delicately handled theme regarding the roles of Britain and Ghana during the slaving era. ... a contemporary adventure story - Writeaway.org
a rollicking good mystery story - TES
Max is marvellous. I won't forget him in a hurry. ... He's one of the most sharply-observed teenage characters I've come across in a long time. ... absolutely super-duper ... heartily recommended. - The Book Bag
Sarah Mussi's first novel, The Door of No Return won the Glen Dimplex Children's Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award amongst others. Her second novel, The Last of the Warrior Kings was shortlisted for the Lewisham Book Award. Sarah is currently the Chair of CWISL (Children's Writers and Illustrators in South London) an active group of contemporary children's writers and illustrators who run creative writing workshops and festivals for children.
Sarah was born in Cheltenham, raised in the Cotswolds, attended Pates Grammar School for Girls, got a BA in Fine Art from Winchester School of Art and an MA from the Royal College of Art. She spent over fifteen years in West Africa as a teacher and now teaches English in Lewisham.