Survival of the Fittest by Robin Hawdon
Hawdon’s second novel, Survival of the Fittest asks the questions: 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 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 modern extremism. 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?
Great book – M. Wiiliam
Robin Hawdon has once again come up with a story which holds the readers interest from page one. It is a mystery peopled by characters one thinks one knows but into whose lives this tale has been woven. Great Christmas present.
Fascinating Book – Liz
Made me want to know more about Emma Darwin, an amazing woman who held on to her beliefs and yet supported her husband.The mystery surrounding her journal is cleverly intertwined in the story and makes the book page turner.
A fascinating read – Al Wall
Built around the life of the major scientist-Charles Darwin-this novel intertwines the real life dilemmas faced by CD and his wife, Emma with a modern detective and spy story.
Combining well researched details of the Darwin family with a modern plot that slowly reveals their hidden intimate thoughts. Highly recommended as a gripping read.