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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Begotten by Joseph Crew, when American history professor Adam Cantwell is asked to deliver a BMW to Turkey for his friend, he agrees knowing it is the perfect opportunity to escape his complex personal life in the summer of 1994. Adam's marriage to Gaby is heading for divorce and his affair with a German graduate student has its own set of problems. As Adam travels from Germany through war-torn Yugoslavia towards Turkey, he realizes his car is being followed. On arrival in Turkey, Adam is kidnapped by Kurdish separatists who believe he can further their cause. When they realize he has no bargaining power, they release him. Adam believes his ordeal is over but is then questioned by the Turkish police and he becomes entangled in the country's political problems. Adam's personal life becomes even more complicated when he falls in love with someone who may have been involved in his kidnapping.
Begotten by Joseph Crew is an incredibly compelling story with such layered characters and an intriguing storyline. The details of the characters' backstories are cleverly revealed through great narrative and beautifully flowing dialogue. As a frequent traveler from the UK to Bulgaria, I loved the historical references and information about the countries he traveled through. In particular, the reign of the Ottoman Empire and the background to the conflict in Yugoslavia was a real education for me. The novel also includes a great analysis of human psychology, recent political and social issues, and the lessons that can be learned by the behavior of those throughout history. There are so many great sub-plots to this story and the way the author has managed to weave them all together so effortlessly was admirable. There are many twists to this story too and the tension, intrigue, and suspense made this an absolute page-turner.