I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Afghan by Andrew Turpin. I have been a fan of this Author’s Joe Johnson series and this latest instalment takes the reader back to where it all began for Joe.
Such a fabulous and eye-catching cover!
Let’s see what the book is all about…
A Cold War attack by Soviet helicopters on an Afghan village. A knife-edge CIA operation that goes wrong. And a vengeful mujahideen tribesman, armed with Stinger missiles.
When CIA officer Joe Johnson is handed the tough task by his boss of capturing a Soviet helicopter and forging better contacts among the mujahideen, he unknowingly finds himself up against a sinister KGB rival who wants him dead.
But after coming under fire, Johnson comes to suspect that his difficulties stem not just from the Soviets—but from a traitor on his own side.
To extricate himself from the web of deceit in which he finds himself, Johnson comes to rely on a female colleague from Britain’s MI6, Jayne Robinson, to whom he grows unexpectedly close.
As pressure mounts on Johnson from CIA headquarters at Langley and politicians in Washington, DC, the story reaches a climax during a life-or-death shootout in Jalalabad.
The Afghan, set in 1988, is a thriller that forms a compelling prequel to the Joe Johnson series as a whole. It also creates the backdrop for book four in the series, Stalin’s Final Sting, set in Afghanistan, New York City, and Moscow in the present day.
Having read the three previous books by this author, and enjoying them all, I have to say it was nice to have a slightly different feel to the latest book. It took me on a journey back in time to the days when Joe worked for the CIA. It is a prequel to the series, also an intro to the 4th book Stalin’s Final Sting, and yep I have that one as well.
So, Joe is caught in the conflict between Russia and Afghanistan 1988 in a complex plot that pulls in a myriad of elements and deceptions. To be honest I expect deception and mistrust when the CIA is involved in anything!
The story see’s the meeting of Joe and MI6 agent Jayne Robinson. This aspect of the story I really enjoyed as the two form a friendship that extends into the future, so it was good to see how they first met.
One thing that I have come to expect from this author is the meticulous attention to detail. This is a large part of his books and they are brilliantly wrapped into each story in such a way that keeps each story flowing and not getting bogged down with an overload of facts and info. This story is no exception.
The action for this is relentless and Joe finds himself in a minefield of political pressure, a country in turmoil, arms deals, KGB, CIA and undercover double crossing. With all this going on, it creates a fast paced and intense flow to the story. It keeps the tension and the suspense building.
As always there is a fabulous section after the story ends, in this section the author presents his research and bibliography.
If you are after a gritty action packed read then you will find it in this authors books. The Afghan is the perfect place to start for a series that I highly recommend.
P.S…The Afghan is FREE on Andrew’s Website !
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, was published in August 2017, and the second, The Old Bridge, in January 2018. The third, Bandit Country, followed in February 2018. In January 2019 the fourth, Stalin’s Final Sting, was published along with a prequel to the series, entitled The Afghan.
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.
All of Andrew’s books draw strongly on these themes. They feature 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.
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