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The End of the Road by Martin Venning

The End of the Road by Martin Venning

Hi All!

Today I am on the Blog Tour for The End of the Road and I am here with an extract for you all.

Before I share that though, here’s some information on the book.

Title: The End of the Road
Author: Martin Venning
Publisher: Matador
Published: 12th December 2021
Format:
 Paperback
Source: N/A
Summary: They say life is a journey, but what happens when you get to the end of the road?

Terminally ill eminent Oxford professor, Des Kelly, develops a new technology for sustainable energy that can address environmental pollution and global warming. His discovery will make the global oil industry obsolete. International vested interests compete to control it and acquire his research through persuasion and harassment, trying to find the lever that will secure his co-operation. But facing his own imminent mortality and unknown to his colleagues, Kelly’s ambition is to control the timing and circumstances of his death by enrolling with a voluntary euthanasia company. As he plans his demise, he is asked to mentor a young Russian scientist who has defected to the West, bringing complementary knowledge that can accelerate the commercial application of his innovation. Work pressures and Kelly’s arrangements for assisted dying on a remote Danish island lead to unexpected results – affecting family, friends, work colleagues and people he hasn’t met in different parts of the world.

The process of preparation forces him to confront some of his innermost beliefs and insecurities but leads him to his most important finding – what happens after death – and answers the conundrum: can a restless spirit ever find contentment?

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Extract

IT HAD BEEN A big week for Dr Desmond Kelly.

On the positive side, he had succeeded in his mission to pioneer the creation of a new generation of heavy-duty highperformance diamond batteries from nuclear waste, encased in recyclable plastic, that was destined to revolutionise the global manufacturing industry and clean up the environment.

On the negative, he had been diagnosed with cancer which, although not entirely unexpected given the tests he had undergone, came as a shock, nonetheless.

He was not naturally the collegiate type and these two significant outcomes had been realised without the active support of his peers and family. Both created a new dynamic in his life, or what was left of it.

The success of his experimentation with the catchily titled Hyper Condensed Chemical Vapour Deposition or ‘HCCVD’ had taken research into the crystallisation of radioactive waste graphite to a new level. By, in effect, locking a Carbon-14 radioactive isotope into a manufactured diamond and linking it to energyharvesting sensors, he had developed an energy source that would not need renewing for at least 5,000 years. Although the basic science was known, its application had been strictly limited to low-level energy devices such as hearing aids and heart pacemakers. His innovation was to introduce a step change in performance – a unit that could create significant multiple and sustainable heavy duty power generation – everything from heating homes to mobilising vehicles, ships and planes. Its basic raw material, derived from depleted uranium rods, was stored in potentially hazardous subterranean silos and with some 95,000 tonnes collected from its own power stations and those of its allies around the world, the UK was well placed to turn this innovation into a unique global industry.

While retaining its traditional brick-like look, this new battery was a complex piece of kit. Its precise make-up and manufacturing process was a trade secret, but he was confident companies around the world would bid for the production rights. The safety issues were significant. The core material would have to be encased onsite, prior to being transported for consolidation. But he was still some way off from that ambition. Tests had established the raw power of the product, but integrating it into vehicles and trucks in particular, was at an early stage. His real ambition for its application related to shipping – itself responsible for over 2% of global carbon emissions – but now he could not be confident about being alive to develop the marine application.

As anyone involved in nuclear research was aware, the power for good or otherwise with the technology was immense. The scientists engaged in it themselves formed a unique global community, seeking knowledge for the benefit of mankind, but constrained; often working under diverse political influences that did not always share their high moral or ethical standards. Members of this exclusive club would meet from time to time, sharing their research papers at international conferences, inviting comment and analysis, except when a breakthrough was achieved – when their masters got involved.

Kelly was caught in such a moment and faced a dilemma. Yes, he had achieved a milestone in power generation in laboratory conditions. He had taken out the cerebral insurance of de-linking and distributing elements of his research programme to a diverse range of institutions, who in themselves would not have the capacity to interpret the results. As of today, his paymasters would not know of his achievement or how to replicate his work as the formula for his discovery had not yet been documented. If he followed through and completed his records, he knew they would be seized upon first by the military, who were always looking for more efficient ways of killing people, and his true ambition of preventing excessive global warming would not be realised. And yet for him, time was short. He had received his death sentence and he had a matter of months or years.

About the Author


Martin is a debut author based in the north of England (UK). He works as a project communications and strategic investment adviser in the property and construction sector, and has over 20 years experience engaging with businesses in continental Europe and Asia. He trained as a journalist as part of his undergraduate studies and writes for pleasure.

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