The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher - review by Adam LeBor

Adam LeBor

Report from Sarajevo

The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War

By

Chatto & Windus 326pp £18.99 order from our bookshop
 

The Trigger is an evocative and ingenious take on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. While the big guns among our historians, such as Max Hastings and Margaret MacMillan, battle over the political and economic causes of the conflict, Tim Butcher has chosen to focus on the individual. His book follows the footsteps of Gavrilo Princip, the Bosnian Serb radical who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914 and so triggered the start of the war.

Butcher, a former war correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, is a bestselling travel writer. His previous books include Blood River, which took him through the Congo, and Chasing the Devil, a journey through Sierra Leone and Liberia. Like his African works, The Trigger is a well-crafted mix of personal encounters,

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter