The Gentlemen’s Conspiracy
by Nick Daniels
Publisher: Risen Books (2009)
Since I’m publishing with Risen Books, and since they’re so new, I decided I’d read everything in the house to date. Toward that end, a couple weeks ago I read The Gentlemen’s Conspiracy by Nick Daniels. It’s his debut book.
The back-cover blurb says: “London, 1836. An aristocrat is murdered after finding incriminating letters from a secret society. When amateur geologist Daniel Young inquires about his friend’s murder, he discovers a plot to overthrow the king of England. Plunged into a crisis of faith and separated from the woman he loves, Daniel must stop the killer before becoming the next victim. He soon realizes that the conspiracy not only threatens to destroy the king, but the foundation of Christianity itself.”
The author is a former science journalist, and his background shows. Several actual historical figures make appearances in the book, and if you’re familiar with the origins of modern evolutionary and old-earth theories, their names will be familiar (Charles Lyell, Georges-Louis Leclerc, and Jean-Pierre Laplace, to name a few).
Though the setting is historical, the themes are relevant for today. How scientifically sound is the concept of an old earth? How committed are modern scientists to a free and open discussion of ideas? Does the church compromise biblical truth for the sake of modernity? Does academia conspire to hide evidence that contradicts their pet theories?
All these questions, and more, are raised in a fast-moving story of a young man caught in a web of intrigue, all without a hint of haughtiness or preaching. It shows a sound understanding of the subject matter and evidences good research.
There’s plenty of action here, along with intrigue, well-drawn characters, and of course romance (gotta have that!), and the story gives the reader food for thought. In my book, that’s the definition of a satisfying read.
Daniels’ next book is coming out this fall. Instead of going back in time, The Jihad’s Messiah looks into the future and speculates about apocalyptic events. It’s the first in a new series.
I’m looking forward to reading it – and not just because it’s from Risen Books.