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The Darwin Conspiracy  By  cover art

The Darwin Conspiracy

By: John Darnton
Narrated by: Bernadette Quigley, David Colacci, Buck Schirner
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Publisher's summary

In this riveting new novel, best-selling author John Darnton transports us to Victorian England and around the world to reveal the secrets of a legendary 19th-century figure. Darnton elegantly blends the power of fact and the insights of fiction to explore the many mysteries attached to the life and work of Charles Darwin.

What led Darwin to the theory of evolution? Why did he wait 22 years to write On the Origin of Species? Why was he incapacitated by mysterious illnesses and frightened of travel? Who was his secret rival? These are some of the questions driving Darnton's richly dramatic narrative, which unfolds through three vivid points of view: Darwin's own as he sails around the world aboard the Beagle; his daughter Lizzie's as she strives to understand the guilt and fear that struck her father at the height of his fame; and that of present-day anthropologist Hugh Kellem and Darwin scholar Beth Dulcimer, whose obsession with Darwin (and with each other) drives them beyond the accepted boundaries of scholarly research. What Hugh and Beth discover - Lizzie's diaries and letters lead them to a hidden chapter of Darwin's autobiography - is a maze of bitter rivalries, petty deceptions, and jealously guarded secrets, at the heart of which lies the birth of the theory of evolution.

©2005 John Darnton (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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A Great Read

Darnton, known for his meticulous research and his ability to integrate history and fiction seamlessly, surpasses himself in this novel. He takes the reader on a journey through the life of Charles Darwin, adding an imaginative layer of conspiracy and secret motives that challenges the known narrative. This speculative angle adds an incredible dimension to the storyline, captivating the reader's imagination and sparking curiosity.

Darnton's depiction of Darwin is both humanizing and compelling. He carefully crafts a multifaceted character that is at once a revered scientist and a man entangled in clandestine machinations. The supporting characters are just as well-drawn, each bringing their unique perspectives to the unfolding plot, contributing to a rich tapestry of personalities.

The plot itself is riveting. Darnton masterfully balances scientific details, historical context, and a suspenseful narrative that keeps the reader on their toes. The pacing is perfect, with each revelation about Darwin's secret activities expertly timed to maximize intrigue and suspense.

Furthermore, the prose is beautifully written, combining detailed, descriptive passages with dialogue that feels genuine for the period. The blend of fact and fiction is handled so elegantly that it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between the two, making for a truly immersive reading experience.

In "The Darwin Conspiracy", John Darnton has once again proven his ability to craft a deeply researched, highly engaging historical novel. It's a book that will satisfy fans of historical fiction, admirers of Darwin, and lovers of a good conspiracy theory alike. A truly outstanding read.

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