From the author of the bestselling Neanderthal comes this novel of gripping suspense and scientific conquest–a page-turning historical mystery that brilliantly explores the intrigue behind Darwin and his theory of evolution.It’s 1831, and aboard HMS Beagle the young Charles Darwin sets off down the English Channel for South America. More than 150 years later, two ambitious scholars pursuing their obsession with Darwin (and with each other) come across the diaries and letters of Darwin’s daughter. What they discover is a maze of violent rivalries, petty deceptions, and jealously guarded secrets, and the extraordinary story of an expedition embarked upon by two men. Only one returned–and changed history forever.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Darwin Conspiracy|
|Release Date: 09-12-2006|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Darwin Conspiracy|
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The Darwin Conspiracy
Hugh spotted the boat while it was still a dot on the horizon and watched it approach the island, making a wide, white arc. He shaded his eyes but still he had to squint against the shards of reflected light. Already the morning sun had cut through the haze to lay a shimmering sword on the water.
All around him the birds swooped and darted in the cacophonous morning feeding—hundreds of them, screaming swallow-tailed gulls, brown noddies, boobies homing in with fish dangling in their beaks. A frigate circled behind a gull, yanked its tail feathers to open the gullet, then made a corkscrew dive to grab the catch—a flash of acrobatic violence that had long since ceased to amaze him.
The boat appeared to be a panga, but that was odd: supplies weren’t due for days. Hugh fixed his stare on the dark silhouette of the driver. He looked like Raoul, the way he leaned into the wind, one arm trailing back on the throttle.
Hugh dropped his canvas tool bag near the mist net and started down. The black rocks were streaked white and gray with guano, which stank in the windless air and made the lava slippery, but he knew the footholds perfectly. The heat pressed down on him.
When he reached the bottom of the cliffside, Raoul was already there. He idled the swaying panga a few feet from the landing rock, a narrow ledge that was washed by an ankle-deep wave every few seconds.
“Amigo,” shouted Raoul, grinning behind dark glasses.
“Hey, Cowboy,” said Hugh. He coughed to clear his throat—it had been a long time since he had talked to anybody.
Raoul was wearing pre