Posted in:

The Twentieth Man

This griping and suspenseful thriller is loosely based on an incident that did happen in Australia during a time when ASIO was considered as corrupt, and the law was something that was also considered as corrupt, if not more so.

Tony Jones has, with masterful strokes managed to combine the political jungles of Australia with the power struggle being undertaken in Yugoslavia, transposing the storyline to 1972 – 1973, setting the scene and making this a work of fiction, based on political fact.

A reporter working for the ABC takes a phone call early one morning telling her about two bombing attacks in the Sydney CBD. The bombings were to be some of the worst the country had ever experienced and were noted as terrorist attacks. As Australia had no terrorist laws at the time it was considered the work of ASIO to find the people responsible, but to no avail as it turned out. This left more questions than it answered.

Marin Katich is a young revolutionary who is hell-bent on making a name on the political revolution scene.  He is following in his father, Ustasha  patriarch, Ivo Katich’s footstep, a self-styled Croatian revolutionary. The problem is that Katich is anything but an amateur, and if his life is to be on the line, his professionalism will be very much in the forefront of activities.

His brother, while being an unreliable revolutionary, decides to construct several bombs placing them in the CDB of Sydney and by doing so, he considers he will also have staked his claim as a left wing radical.

Marin is one of twenty men sent to Yugoslavia on what is supposed to be a clandestine mission, funded also clandestinely by parties within Australia, who have a vested interest in creating as much trouble as possible during the forthcoming visit by the Yugoslav Prime Minister.

 Twenty men went and only one returned, and how is he going to even the playing field to achieve his father’s dream, is yet to be played out.

Lies, secrets, deception and cover-ups, line up along with many real characters that had serious political influence in Australia during these years, to take those readers old enough to remember to a time and place in recent Australian history, when a radical few tried to change the face of Australia forever.

 The plot is well set against historic fact, moves rapidly through the minefield of terrorism, sabotage, corruption and suspicion, to come to a final and devastating conclusion in the streets of Sydney, with the impending arrival of Yugoslavia’s Prime Minister Bejedic, and the rifle of an assassin.

AuthorTony Jones
PublisherAllen and Unwin
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedAugust 2017