BOOK REVIEW: The Twentieth Man
TERRORISM, politics and betrayals collide in this unputdownable, fastpaced thriller from a highly recognisable political insider
In September 1972, journalist Anna Rosen takes an early morning phone call from her boss at the ABC telling her about two bombings in Sydney's busy CBD. It's the worst terrorist attack in the country's history and Anna has no doubt which group is responsible for the carnage. She has been investigating the role of alleged war criminals in the globally active Ustasha movement.
High in the Austrian Alps, guided by starlight and a crescent moon, Marin Katich is one of twenty would-be revolutionaries who slip stealthily over the border into Yugoslavia on a mission planned and funded in Australia that will have devastating consequences for all involved.
Two and half years ago Anna and Marin had become lovers at university, but his sudden and mysterious disappearance brought their relationship to an abrupt end. Now the Sydney bombings will draw their lives back together.
With Croatian extremists under suspicion and a power struggle erupting between ASIO and the federal police, events suddenly reach a trigger point with the impending arrival of Yugoslavia's prime minister.
This intricate political thriller provides a modern take on real-life events that have particular resonance in today's fraught political climate.
Tony Jones, one of Australia's most admired journalists, has written a brilliantly compelling thriller, taking us from the savage mountains of Yugoslavia to Canberra's brutal yet covert power struggles in a novel that's intelligent, informed and utterly suspenseful.
The is the first novel for the host of ABC TV's live public affairs program, Q&A.
Tony Jones's The Twentieth Man is published by Allen & Unwin, and is available in bookshops in August. RRP $32.99.