The Blasphemer: A Novel by Nigel Farndale

By Nigel Farndale

On its strategy to the Gal?pagos Islands, a mild airplane ditches into the ocean. As water floods the cabin, zoologist Daniel Kennedy faces an im­possible choice—should he keep himself, or Nancy, the lady he loves and the mummy of his child?Back in London, Daniel can’t cease puzzling over the fellow he observed whereas swimming fourteen miles—on the verge of exhaustion and hypothermia—to succeed in the islands: a smiling determine treading water, urging him to swim quite a few strokes farther until eventually his foot touched sand. An adamant atheist, Daniel is bound it was once in simple terms a hallucination caused by his actual kingdom. Or used to be it? Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative, Daniel’s great-grandfather, Andrew Kennedy, faces mortal hazard in the course of the awful conflict of Passchendaele. yet what does the unraveling fact concerning the existence and dying of Andrew need to do with Daniel? As secrets and techniques are disclosed—from the diary of an army chaplain who knew Andrew and from the enigmatic scribbles on a musical ranking signed via Gustav Mahler—Daniel needs to confront the unbelievable, regardless of his atheism. In doing so, he's given one other fateful likelihood to turn out his unconditional like to his family.A literary mystery of infrequent intensity that sweeps from the morbid trenches of worldwide battle I to the terrorist-besieged streets of present-day London, The Blasphemer is ready one guy coming to grips along with his darkest instincts, his moments of betrayal, his surprising family members legacy, and eventually his determined wish for redemption and religion.

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Though tarnished with rust, the word ‘shortbread’ was still discernible on its lid. ‘Look, here’s his hip flask, wallet, a lock of hair, some letters he wrote. And this …’ He handed Daniel a copy of Punch magazine that was covered in doodles. Handwritten in faded ink above its masthead was ‘Major P. Morris, 2/Rifle Brigade’. ’ ‘There’s more of it inside. ’ Daniel opened the back cover and a folded sheet of paper dropped out. When he smoothed it out on the desk he saw it had brown stains on it and was annotated in German.

Next to them, he notices, is a field telephone and a studded cosh with fibres of hair and cartilage attached to it, and alongside this an empty bottle of HP sauce with the label half picked off. They are acting as paperweights for a trench map. He places them carefully on a shelf, takes a sheet of folded paper from his wallet and smoothes it out over the map. It is a musical score, annotated in German. He nods to himself as he studies it. There is meaning in these patterns. There is order and beauty.

CHAPTER FOUR Quito. Present day FLIGHTS TO QUITO ARRIVE AT NIGHT, BETWEEN A DARKLY FORESTED volcano to the west and a precipitous canyon to the east. As their 747 began its descent, Nancy and Daniel strained their eyes for a first glimpse of the city. They could make out the Guayllabamba River briefly, reflected in the moonlight, then the blackness became absolute as they entered a steep-sided valley. A minute later the city lights appeared below them as abruptly as a meteor shower. Their hotel, a colonial building with a flaking stucco façade, was in the Centro Histórico, near the church of El Sagrario, and because Nancy’s Spanish was fluent and Daniel had been to the city before, their ride there, in a taxi that reeked of stale cigarettes and warm leather, was direct.

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