Dr Sola Odemuyiwa was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and brought up in Nigeria. Educated at Igbobi College he attended Lagos University and was President of both the Lagos University and the Nigerian, Medical Students' Associations. He trained in Cardiology in Newcastle, London and Southampton. The Line in the Sand is his third novel.
Synopsis of The Line in the Sand:
Jane and Wale Verity and their twelve-year old daughter, Dele meet Sandman, a local fixer, after a military coup in Roko, West Africa. In revenge for Jane's colonial past Sandman frames Wale for murder. He kills Jane and rapes Dele.
Ten years later Dele is a medical student. She yearns for revenge, but Sandman is now a member of the ruthless junta, untouchable. Dele meets the cantankerous Mrs Lagbaja. She learns that Confucius, Mrs Lagbaja's prized African Grey Parrot, has somehow acquired a profane vocabulary. Dele is still trying to make sense of this when Sandman raids Mrs Lagbaja's house and removes the precious bird.
In Roko, harming an African Grey Parrot is a capital offence. Intrigued by Sandman's rash actions, Dele suspects that he has a dark secret.
What is the link between Sandman and the profane parrot? Can Dele expose the nefarious Sandman, or will her quest for retribution claim her too?
The Line in the Sand is a powerful story about our deep need for justice. I started to write out of a sense of outrage at the war crimes committed around the world. A little girl, Dele Verity is abused by a man who later rises to power. That she is of African and European descent increases her sense of alienation and makes her reflect on cross-generational and racial retribution. Setting the story in an imaginary island off the coast of West Africa gave me the flexibility to address universal themes - evil, retribution and justice.
In writing I hope both to provoke and delight and although I often start writing out of a sense of indignation I also like a laugh. If you want to find out what the profane African Grey Parrot does you will have to read the book.