Journey to Eden

This first novel by a Headway member can be highly recommended. It is a gripping story of two young people caught up in international espionage and implicated in two murders in Scotland. Evading MI5 on their wedding day, they succeed in establishing a website in Iraq that attracts world-wide interest with news of a time-probe in space that facilitates “retrospective surveillance.” Wide-spread alarm follows as authorities realise crimes against humanity may be revealed.

Woven into this thriller are thought-provoking ideas about the slowing down of time and an expanding universe, with implications for a young earth and the veracity of the Creation account. The subtlety of the vehicle of a novel for these ideas - some fanciful, others very weighty - is that no-one can complain when the line between reality and science fiction is crossed.

At times I was impatient to skim the scientific passages (and Richard suggests some readers may like to do this). The young couple in love seem to spend an unusual amount of their time together in intense intellectual discussion, and scientific debate intrudes at the most surprising times when planning for survival would seem more appropriate, but on the whole the combination of story and theory works well.

Richard tells me it took three years to write. It seems more the expression of a lifetime reflected in authentic locations like Jersey, Edinburgh, China, the Middle East, (though I waited in vain for South Yorkshire), and showing his wide scientific interests and his evangelist’s heart. The book went to press soon after the Iraqi war so that Richard’s assumptions about subsequent developments reflect western hopes rather than post-war reality. I noticed the absence of any UK church background and I still haven’t worked out how the Chinese girl reached Baghdad before MI5’s hit-men.

The book is attractively produced, though unfortunately littered with spelling mistakes. It has strong recommendations from political, scientific, and evangelical luminaries. A website - www.journeytoeden.org - has been established to receive feedback.

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