In 1984, a mile away from my house, in a suburb of Manchester, the body of a red-haired, bearded man was discovered in a peat bog, next to a pond called Black Lake. He had a garrotte around his neck. After being taken to the morgue at Macclesfield Hospital, it was quickly realised that his killing had not been recent.
Radiocarbon dating put his death at between A.D.50 and A.D.100.
Various clues, including his manicured nails and the fox fur around his arm revealed that the man was a Druid Prince, probably from Dublin (a Celtic word for Black Lake). In this time, more famous for Boudica’s revolt, a Roman commander called Suetonius, led his army to Anglesey to destroy the last Druid stronghold.
One theory is that this Druid Prince, better known as Lindow Man, had fled the bloodshed by travelling up the River Mersey, and the blackened pancake recovered from his stomach indicated that he was ritually sacrificed by his companions. A last ditch effort, a great offering to the gods in the hope of preventing the invasion of Ireland by the Romans who had already made England theirs.
The Romans never made it to Ireland, so perhaps his death was not in vain.
Our rich tapestry of history is what joins us all together. Whether it’s my suburb and Dublin, or other, countless, global connections. The threads are infinite.
The story of Lindow Man echoes across the ages to remind us little has changed. The same patterns, or cycles, repeat, again and again. Tribal behaviour, amassing power – always culminating in great invasions and clashes of cultures.
I’ve always been fascinated by these seismic shifts. I struggle to imagine the thought processes of the monks on the island of Lindisfarne in 793 A.D when they saw that first fleet of Viking longships rowing relentlessly towards the shore. Those that weren’t slaughtered or taken into slavery, ran into the sea and drowned.
The motives and basic emotions interwoven with such invasions were often disguised, but greed, jealousy, religious differences and self-righteousness played their part. The overriding driver was always a lust for power.
On a smaller scale, I see the same twisted logic and self-belief that William The Conqueror must have had, in my own work as a criminal defence barrister. The turf wars between The Gooch and the Doddington gangs of Manchester’s Moss Side are not so different from the battles between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings and then the Normans from the eighth to the eleventh century. Of course, ironically, William was of Viking heritage. History moves in circles.
In our own time of global conflicts which conspire to blind us to the perils of climate change, we seem to be rushing headlong towards self-destruction. This is perhaps the moment to look back and decipher why we never learn the lessons so graphically evident in history. If we can understand what drove our past behaviour, then perhaps we can change our future.
I’m no historian, but as I looked more deeply with my untrained eye into world history, studying relics and ancient manuscripts, I began to see something in the patterns, in the ebb and flow of these huge events. Something extraordinary – a link, a common denominator. Once known, but long since forgotten. If I’m right, what would that knowledge be worth, and how low would some people be prepared to go to harness that power?
The story of The Genesis Inquiry began to formulate in my mind.
Could everything that happened in our epoch be traced back to one point, a singular place in time? Somewhere when we were all the same, before we broke apart.
The Genesis Inquiry is a life or death race against time through the historical evidence to find that long-forgotten location. A quest for enlightenment. Only by retracing our steps can we begin to understand who we are and just maybe, change our future.
I hope you enjoy the journey.
(c) Olly Jarvis
The Genesis Inquiry is published by Hobeck Books.
About The Genesis Inquiry:
Is there one last undiscovered, great truth?
A moment zero, a place in time that links all cultures and creeds.
A revelation that will unite us all and change the way we see history forever.
Brilliant but burnt-out barrister Ella Blake accepts an apparently simple brief: investigate the mysterious disappearance of an African American polymath from his rooms at Cambridge University. The Inquiry quickly becomes the greatest challenge of her life – solving the mystery of Genesis.
Facing danger at every turn, can Ella find the answers to the riddles and clues left by the missing genius?
Reunited with her estranged daughter, the Inquiry sends them on a quest across the world and through ancient texts.
What is the secret that binds us all?
Who is behind the dark forces that will stop at nothing to prevent the world from knowing the truth?
The Genesis Inquiry is an epic and gripping thriller by the brilliant Olly Jarvis which asks a key question – what can our shared past tell us about humanity’s future?
Order your copy online here.