Publisher: Permanent Press (August 16, 2013)
On the night of October 9, 1799, the frigate HMS Lutine breaks apart on the shoals of the Frisian Islands off the Dutch coast. When the insurer Lloyds of London pays on the wreck, it takes ownership and plans expeditions to recoup the lost millions in gold and silver. Nearly two hundres years later, after a series of largely failed salvage operations, Lloyds tries again - this time on the strength of new technologies and a strategy devised by the gifted young engineer Henri Poincare.
It is late spring, 1978. Poincare has worked to near-exhaustion preparing for the Lutine dive. Before the salvage season begins, he takes a rare holiday: a hike at low tide across the vast, muddy flats of the Wadden Sea. His guide is Liesel Kraus - smart, able, appealing...and troubled. She and her brother Anselm, directors of Kraus Steel, are haunted by a violent history that generates both rage and an enormous, corrupting wealth. The closer Poincare draws to Liesel and Anselm, the more warped life becomes until love and a death threat compel him to investigate what no one else - aside from Interpol - will. Pain as well as treasure, he discovers, can be dredged up from the past to reshape the present.
The Tenth Witness, a prequel to the award-winning All Cry Chaos, is the tale of a man upended: a twenty-eight year old who rejects a brilliant career in engineering for an uncertain, darker one: international police work.
(Frigate HMS Lutine - Source HERE)
Here are my thoughts:
With such a synopsis my imagination went soaring and I just had to read 'the rest of the story'! Amazingly I won this novel (I enter ONLY for books and rarely am blessed with a win but this one I would have loathed to miss!)
The Tenth Witness is the second novel by this gifted author and as a reader who thrives on historical details and action, I was rewarded with a most proficiently crafted plot! Leonard Rosen takes you on an international ramble from the flats of the Wadden Sea to Hong Kong to Germany. From the onset you get the feeling there is a captivating stratum to this multi layered story and it is hard to put the book down.
For those of you familiar with Rosen's first novel All Cry Chaos, the protagonist Henri Poincare is shown in his earlier years, showcasing how he went from a successful engineering career to being recruited by Interpol. And as a quick note, this second novel stands just as well alone!
Betwixt diving for treasure on the sea floor or building engineering marvels, our hero discovers a hidden talent for solving mysteries and intrigues. Meeting troubled Liesel Krause leads him to uncover WW2 unethical business practices which profited so many, including her father.
Despite his rising attraction to the young and beautiful Liesel, Henri finds himself unwilling to ignore her family involvement in the running of a Nazi labor camp and is searching for the tenth witness of a post war trial in which her father Otto Krause was exonerated.
Somehow we face an intricate tableau where Hitler's final solution is helped out by civilians with the assistance of worldwide organizations thus enabling Nazis criminals to evade punishment. Confronted with this bitter reality Henri Poincare decides to follow a dangerous path, and seek justice for those who no longer can!
Rich in historical and geographical specifics, this unforgettable novel has everything you want in a great mystery and will have you clamoring for more!
Note: Recommended for mature readers due to language and reality contents.
About the Author:
Leonard Rosen grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, where he taught high school English. Graduate studies in literature followed, and he went on to a university teaching career. Len writes full time now in the Boston area. He has contributed radio commentaries to Boston’s NPR station, written best-selling textbooks on writing, and taught writing at Harvard University and Bentley University.
The Tenth Witness is a prequel to his (Award winning) first novel, All Cry Chaos!
For more information on this author visit his website (HERE)
Note to Readers: Chance was with me as I won this autographed ARC from the author as mentioned earlier! Thank you Mr. Rosen!
Please note a review was not requested and any opinion reflected in this post is entirely my own!