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The document is a single page from Veldt’s personal diary. The rest of has never been recovered and is presumed lost or destroyed. The entry describes the moment on 12 March 1938 when Hitler took possession of the Spear of Destiny – the lance thrust into the side of Jesus Christ at the Crucifixion.

Reinhardt Weiss, the German-born Cambridge University History professor employed by MI5 to translate and interpret the page, said its contents defied any conventional version of history, or of Nazism, of which he was aware. He believed it was the most significant document on earth and claimed the world’s very future depended on it. When MI5 rejected his conclusions and dismissed The Cainite Destiny as the fantastic ramblings of a Nazi madman, Weiss gave up his job and moved to America to prepare for what he was certain was coming.

Chapter 1

24 April 2012, London

Even before it happened, people knew it was coming. At three a.m. GMT, everyone in the world in every time zone felt the same sudden dread, as though the planet had stepped over its own grave. Not a single person chose to speak about it. Those who’d been woken from their sleep closed their eyes and prayed it was just a nightmare; those who were in their offices went back to their computers; those who were in the middle of conversations tried to continue with what they were saying.

By seven a.m. in London, the city was getting ready for what everyone prayed would be an ordinary Tuesday. Londoners went to work as usual, had the usual conversations with the usual people, made all the usual journeys on trains, buses and the Tube, performed all the usual routines. For the last month, a heat wave had gripped the southeast of England and today followed the same pattern. Most workers wore light summer clothing to try to make the sultry conditions more bearable. The next few hours passed normally.

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