Fiction - Mystery - Historical
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 09/04/2020
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Author Biography

In 1958, I dropped out of school to join the Army. Following an honorable discharge in 1961, I returned to Europe. I remained there for most of the next fifteen years, residing in Germany and Ireland, working as a truck driver, bar manager and clerk. I traveled extensively including trips to Turkey where I fell in love with the country, its people and culture.

On the GI Bill, I studied international literature at the Heidelberg campus of Schiller International University and earned a master’s degree in counseling from Ball State University’s overseas program. After returning to the States, in the late seventies, I obtained certification as a family therapist and chemical addictions specialist. My professional work has included working with juvenile and adult offenders, Native Americans, and geriatric patients in Washington State.

After retiring, I published my first novel, Abraham’s Burden, a story centered on the troubled life of Vietnam War veteran, Charlie Abraham, which deals with alcoholism, Native American culture, racism, and the justice system.
Fall In, Fall Out: The Dogface Years is a coming-of-age memoir covering the time of my enlistment in the military with my identical twin brother.

Both books are available, along with BEGOTTEN, on AMAZON and have received multiple excellent reader reviews.
I’m preparing to release another novel soon.

My wife and I reside in western Washington State. I have two adult children, two grandchildren, and a precious great grandson.

I am an avid fly-fisherman and enjoy painting watercolors and writing poetry.

    Book Review

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.

Deborah Lloyd

The beginning and the ending chapters of this fascinating novel, Begotten by Joseph Crew, take place in 2016. However, the remainder of the book begins with the adventures of Adam Cantwell in 1994. Adam, an American, is a professor in the history department at an international university in Heidelberg, Germany. Wrestling with a potential divorce, and in love with a German graduate student, he readily accepted the opportunity to take some time away to contemplate his next steps. His good friend, a Turk, asked if he would drive a BMW to Antalya, Turkey. Adam’s adventure included a couple who seemed to be following him, seeing a horrific car accident, and ended with his being held for several days by Kurd separatists. His love relationships are also a core element of Begotten by Joseph Crew.

Although there are many thrilling, adventurous aspects of Begotten, another unforgettable feature is the historical and political aspects of several countries. In the last chapter, how Germany deals with current-day immigration and its connection to Nazism was one example of the author’s understanding of cultural and national characteristics. There is a diverse cast of characters, with each major one disclosing one revelation after another as the plot progresses. How the author was able to develop and interweave the personal, nuanced struggles in relationships, as well as capture life in various cities in a coherent manner, is amazing. The book is a compelling page-turner, from the first page to the last. Author Joseph Crew has written a captivating novel in Begotten. A fantastic read!

Romuald Dzemo

Begotten by Joseph Crew is a multilayered blend of mystery and historical novel. American history professor Adam Cantwell is a faculty member of Immanuel Kant International University with campuses in Heidelberg, Paris, London, Madrid, and Miami. His marriage is in tatters and he is having an affair with a German graduate student. But his life is about to change in a drastic manner when he accepts the offer from one of his friends, who owns a Turkish restaurant, to drive a car to Antalya, in Turkey. What he doesn’t know is that the BMW is loaded with explosives and a tracking device. Things get complicated when he is abducted by a group of Kurdish separatists. Then there is a Kurdish woman he met in Austria and that he eventually falls in love with. What is her connection with the separatists?

It is a spellbinding story with a cast of fascinating characters and a historical backdrop that is well-written. The narrative takes readers on an adventure across countries in 1994, set against the backdrop of political turmoil in Yugoslavia and the Islamist attacks against Mustafa Kemal’s regime. It is written in great prose, descriptive and filled with delightful imagery, with great dialogues and references to local cultures with key phrases in the different languages. The first-person narrative voice is so well-crafted that it creates an immediate connection between the narrator and the reader and pulls the reader into their worldview. The story is filled with history and has a strong appeal to fans of well-written romance with fascinating and believable characters. Joseph Crew has a gift for character, plot, and setting, and these are very essential components of a good story. These elevate the storytelling craft of the author to a masterly level. Begotten is fast-paced and delightful.