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The Darwin Conspiracy
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About the Author

John Darnton has worked for thirty-nine years as a reporter, editor, and foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He was awarded two George Polk Awards for his coverage of Africa and Eastern Europe, and the Pulitzer Prize for his stories smuggled out of Poland during the period of martial law. He lives in New York.

Reviews

Darwin's theories have been under attack since he first published The Origin of Species in 1859, but this grandly ambitious novel goes a few steps further to intimate that he was a fraud-and a murderer. Told by turns from three perspectives, the story opens in the present on a volcanic outcrop off the coast of Ecuador where Hugh Kellem, a British field researcher, while tracing Darwin's research path, meets Beth Dulcimer, a beautiful scientist rumored to be distantly related to Darwin. A quick shift shows an ambitious young Darwin about to embark on the Beagle. A little further on, Darwin's youngest daughter, Lizzie, enters via her journal entries, written in the 1870s, decades after Darwin's famous five-year voyage. As the three perspectives unfold, Hugh and Beth find themselves trying to solve the same mystery that intrigued Lizzie 130 years earlier: what happened on the "nuit de feu," the night that transformed the confident, robust Darwin into a haunted near-invalid for his remaining years? Stilted dialogue, perfunctory romance and expendable subplots make for a rough voyage, but Darnton (Neanderthal) puts real passion into his historical imaginings and recreations: the revelation of the "true" origin of the theory of evolution is particularly inspired and more than enough to sustain another Darntonian bestseller. Agent, Kathy Robbins. 100,000 first printing. (Sept. 20) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

(See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/05) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"An entertaining, fast-paced read." -Los Angeles Times"Darnton has playfully created and solved several mysteries revolving around events during Charles Darwin's early voyage on the Beagle." -The Boston Globe "Darnton has a good feel for both the Victorian era and the modern scientific milieu." -The New Yorker"An elaborate scientific thriller, rich with detail and the pacing of a good murder mystery." -Winston-Salem Journal"A fast-paced, intriguing and exciting story." -The Decatur Daily

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