“The Old Bridge” by Andrew Turpin is the second in the Joe Johnson Series. I had the pleasure to read The Last Nazi the 1st in the series last year and have been eagerly awaiting this one. Purchase links are at the bottom of my post xx
The explosive fallout from a top CIA man’s corruption and a US political leader’s racism. The ruins of an iconic 450-year-old bridge. And a family destroyed by civil war.
War crimes investigator Joe Johnson is drawn into a search for a dossier of secret documents that disappeared twenty years ago from the president’s office in Sarajevo—but which have damaging links to the White House.
Johnson finds himself hunting a Bosnian army officer who vanished, along with the dossier, after a series of horrific killings. The search takes him from Dubrovnik to New York City and London.
Soon, ex-CIA man Johnson and his ex-MI6 colleague Jayne Robinson find themselves literally walking a minefield as they fend off powerful intelligence leaders with vested interests.
The Old Bridge—the second book in the Joe Johnson series—is a taut thriller, set in some of Europe’s most beautiful locations, and which explores the dark consequences of sectarian hatred and arms dealing on both sides of the Atlantic.
Last year I was introduced to Joe Johnson, a war crimes investigator. In this second instalment Joe is taken to Europe, to investigate claims of war crimes during the Bosnia-Croatia conflict in the 1990’s. He teams up with MI6 colleague Jayne as they hunt for men implicated in the horrific crimes they have been accused of. Add into this a request to find sensitive documents that could prove catastrophic to the political balance.
Starting at pace and with the descriptions of people being shelled on Stari Most Bridge (Old Bridge) in the midst of the conflict between Bosnians and Croatians. Once they lived amicably, lived side by side and married until they are torn apart by this conflict. It is at this point of the story that you realise that Andrew has done his research, there are a lot of details that have been included. This is a conflict that was watched on television by millions around the world, using information gathered from a large variety of sources, Andrew has created a fictional plot to wrap around factual events.
The story is gripping, full of action, danger, conspiracy and believable. The extra details in this story are important adding a more authentic feeling to situations. I was glad to see the return of some old characters to join Joe, but there is still a thorn in his side that makes his presence known as the story unfolds. The plot was a glorious read with subplots, it has twists that follows the investigations as they unfold, following leads asking questions and also the frustrations that are encountered. I thought it was a clever and well laid out plot, it followed a logical path and made sense through to a satisfying ending.
This is a book that I didn’t want to rush due to all the details and information that have been included. At the end of the story Andrew has included a brilliant piece that discusses his research, sources of information and where he found it all. It also makes for great reading and gives the reader the opportunity to follow up further. I would also suggest making an internet search of the images of Stari Most Bridge, this I found added an extra dimension to the book as I could see the actual setting as well as the destruction of this 450 year old Ottoman built bridge. Pay attention to the cover of this book, it gives you the structure of the bridge.
This is a book that would appeal to readers who like historical fiction that is action packed, well paced with crime, mystery, intrigue, a thriller that is heavy in excitement and historical research.
I am already lining the next book in the series up for reading soon. I would like to express my thanks to Andrew for providing me a copy of this eARC for my honest and unbiased thoughts.
About the Author:
Andrew is a former journalist who has always had a love of writing and a passion for reading good thrillers. Now he has finally put the two interests together.
His first book, The Last Nazi, is being published in August 2017, and he has a second, The Old Bridge, in the advanced stages of editing.
The themes behind these thrillers also pull together some of Andrew’s other interests, particularly history, world news, and travel. They explore the ways in which events and human behaviors deep into the past continue to impact on modern society, politics and business.
The Last Nazi draws strongly on these themes. It is the first in a planned series of thrillers featuring the protagonist, Joe Johnson, an ex-CIA officer and former U.S. Nazi hunter with the Office of Special Investigations, part of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Johnson has a passion for justice and a drive to investigate unsolved war crimes in different parts of the world.
Andrew studied history at Loughborough University and worked for many years as a business and financial journalist before becoming a corporate and financial communications adviser with several large energy companies.
He originally came from Grantham, Lincolnshire, and lives with his family in St. Albans in Hertfordshire, U.K.
Joe Johnson Thriller Series:
Bandit Country #3 Due for Publication in Feb.
Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give it a share. Better still, go and get yourself a copy of this book xx