With the advent of the digital age, Robin Hawdon's first novel, 'A RUSTLE IN THE GRASS', written thirty years ago, has now attracted a list of remarkable 5 star reviews on Amazon. Consequently has just been republished in a revised version.
At a distance the countryside appears to stretch quietly and idyllically under the blue sky. Peaceful and untroubled, far from the wars and woes of man, nature moves through her timeless cycles. But look closer. For there in the secret world beneath the grasses lies an empire in turmoil. A great leader has died and, as the enemy prepares its armies for war, rebellion is whispered through the undergrowth. There, in the kingdom of the ants, hidden from the gaze of man, a young warrior searches for his identity and fulfilment as the old order collapses around him and his turbulent community struggles to renew itself, whilst preparing to defend itself against obliteration by the forces of tyranny.
“....only two large tree lengths from where they were standing, rising out of the flat rippling grassland like a great rock anchored in the sea, stood a vast ant mound. Higher and wider than anything within the capabilities of their own species to construct, it was a monstrous edifice of mingled earth and sand, pine needles and dead grass stems, broken here and there by uneven patches of living grass and occasional sprouting flora which had taken root upon its surface. And upon this surface, teeming in their hundreds, mounting and descending in purposeful, ordered lines, spreading out across the surrounding countryside in lordly phalanx and with arrogant step, were the enemy they had come to find.”
Does God really exist? Are science and religion incompatible bed fellows? Surprisingly Charles Darwin himself, whose theory of evolution did more than anything to ignite these fundamental debates, refrained from commenting in depth about its philosophical implications for fear of creating yet greater furore.
But suppose that he did in fact write down his conclusions, and kept them as a secret Addendum to his seminal work, Origin of Species. And suppose his beloved wife Emma, a devout Christian, kept her own secret journal detailing their extraordinary life together, and was the only other person to know of this hidden postscript.
Survival of the Fittest, is a new novel about a modern day detective search for these two hugely significant works. Its central character, Maurice, is an eccentric London antiquarian book dealer who is hired by an equally eccentric American billionaire to track down the documents for his world famous collection of original manuscripts. Maurice’s complex investigation ranges across England, and involves him in encounters ranging from the criminal to the romantic and the revelatory. Along the way he discovers the spiritual struggle within the extraordinary Darwin household, and the effects of that same struggle on the creation of the atom bomb and on modern terrorism. As the hunt becomes more and more intense the question arises what to do with the findings. Do we really want to know, or will the answer just stir up a hornet’s nest?