All Cry Chaos

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Published by: Permanent Press
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Pages: 322
ISBN13: 978-1579622220

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All Cry Chaos, a debut thriller by Leonard Rosen, literally reaches for the heavens.

The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster’s Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers.

Together with his chain-smoking, bon vivant colleague Serge Laurent, Poincaré pursues a long list of suspects: the Peruvian leader of the Indigenous Liberation Front, Rapture-crazed militants, a hedge fund director, Fenster’s elusive ex-fiancée, and a graduate student in mathematics. Poincaré begins to make progress in America, but there is a prodigious hatred trained on him—some unfinished business from a terrifying former genocide case—and he is called back to Europe to face the unfathomable. Stripped down and in despair, tested like Job, he realizes the two cases might be connected—and he might be the link.


“It’s a rare pleasure to find a protagonist who reads like a literary figure in a thriller.”
ForeWord Reviews Read

“If you love a puzzle, you’ll love the book.  If you look for great characters, you’ll love the book.  And if you want a strong plot, you’ll love the book.  Think of Dan Brown, only smarter and believable.”
Literary Lunchbox Read

“Beautifully well-written, with interesting and fully-developed characters, high-octane tension, elegant mathematical constructs, and human hearts that are both noble and black as the night, “All Cry Chaos” is one of the best thrillers I have ever read.”
Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) Read

“An “ingenious debut novel.”
National Public Radio

“Easily one of the best first novels of the past couple of years.”
Mystery Scene Read

“A “richly descriptive thriller. Here’s hoping Poincare dodges retirement and adds more adventures to his caseload.”
Washington Post Read

“Rosen has a fine detective in Poincaré.”
New York Times Read

“I felt I was reading the first truly modern detective novel.”
Rosebud Book Reviews Read

“An exceptional debut, clearly one of the year’s best mysteries and a sure contender for award recognition next year.”
Mysterious Book Reviews Read

“Calling all fans of fractals, international-criminal conspiracies and the End of Days: Your ship has come in.”
Kirkus Read

“Readers, especially the mathematically inclined, will relish this intellectually provocative whodunit.”
Publishers Weekly Read

“Weaving fractals and chaos theory into an international mystery that also confronts great moral and theological questions, Rosen crafts a literate, complex tale in this first of a series; a prequel will be next. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“My highest recommendation. It is for all readers. It’s fascinating, conscience-nabbing account at once deals with the philosophical and the mathematical – but then flies directly into the face of disorder, the End Time Rapturous madness, religion, and hellish revenge.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Read

“A mystery wrapped in a thriller, woven into a startling social commentary. What I appreciated most about this book was Rosen’s ability to pose ethical questions and discuss models of behavior while leaving most of the resolutions for the readers to answer. Not to forget that this is also a whopping good mystery!”

“A startling novel. This is a thoughtful, beautifully written puzzle, and its unraveling is handled very skillfully. . . . . The plot, drawing on math and religion, should attract fans of such cerebral thrillers as Arturo Sangalli’s Pythagoras’ Revenge (2009) and Michael Gregorio’s Critique of Criminal Reason (2006).”

“Henri Poincaré is both archetypal and completely original, a cop for the ages. I could never have anticipated that philosophy, mathematics, war criminals, the world economy, chaos, and religion would add up to the finest thriller I would ever have the joy of reading.”
Reed Farrel Coleman,  three-time Shamus Award winner and author of Innocent Monster

“Only the very best of writers can weave a compelling story from a maze of complicated ideas, and with this deftly crafted novel, Len Rosen has proven himself to be one of them. Drawing not only on crime and the human condition, but on math, economics, and religion as well, All Cry Chaos is both a thinking man’s mystery and a thrilling ride. I look forward to more from its talented creator.”
Arthur Golden, author of New York Times bestseller, Memoirs of a Geisha

All Cry Chaos is a rare gem of a book—an international thriller for smart readers. What The Da Vinci Code did for symbology, Chaos does for mathematical theory.”
Daniel Klein, winner of ForeWord Magazine’s 2010 Literary Book Prize for The History of Now, and best-selling author of Plato And A Platypus Walked Into A Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes


Five years ago, on a cross-country flight, I looked out the airplane window to the fields of America’s farmland. The quilt-work patterns were beautiful, and expected; but what caught my eye was the irregular, crooked line at the borders between field and not-field: at outcroppings of rock, at the edge of forests, at stream and river basins. Passing over the mountains, along the ridges I saw these same crooked lines fanning to branching webs and sub-webs of more crooked lines. In effect, I saw lightning frozen in the landscape and wondered how this could be. And I wondered why the veins in my irritated right eye (which I’d put drops into that morning) should look precisely like these same crooked lines.

Lightning in the land? In my eye?

I could not have been the first to find these similarities. After some research, I discovered a branch of mathematics called fractal geometry; and everywhere I turned I found the name Benoit Mandelbrot, the pioneer who not only observed these same correspondences but created a mathematics to describe them.

I knew I had a story—but what kind? After experimenting, I settled on the thriller as my form. One character would be a mathematician who found recurring patterns everywhere he looked, not just in Nature but in objects of human creation. Certain large questions followed, for instance: if there are patterns, is there a Pattern Maker?

My mathematician turned out to be James Fenster. But because he had already plumbed the mysteries of fractal geometry, I realized that he could not be my main character. I needed a protagonist who would discover the significance and wonder of fractals as the story unfolded so that the reader might have the pleasure of making these discoveries alongside him.

Additional research led me to sources on chaos theory where, once again, a single name surfaced as an early pioneer: Jules Henri Poincaré. Before long, playing the what-if game, I gave this famous late-19th century mathematician a fictional great-grandson who would become the main character of All Cry Chaos (and of other titles planned for the series): Interpol Agent Henri Poincaré.

Something would happen to Fenster, I knew. Poincaré would investigate. The story was launched.


Read an Excerpt

He could not approach the grave all at once. Instead, Henri Poincaré wandered the Cimetière du Montparnasse until the gloom drew him in and down to a place where he could hear spirits scuttling, calling his name.

For thirteen years he had come, circling past monuments to poets, philosophers, artists, and scientists—heroes of the republic all. As a young Inspector, he believed that one day he might rest among them, beside his great-grandfather, as a reward for his service to country and love of justice. His ambitions had been that large, driving him not merely to solve cases but to solve them with a fortitude and intelligence that would credit the family name.

What a fool he had been. To restore this one life, he would have given his own a thousand times over. He would have signed away his soul. Yet no Devil’s bargain, not even suicide, could have canceled his existence. For Poincaré had lived and had hurt the ones he loved, the most terrible proof of which lay in a quiet corner of this cemetery.

Read the full excerpt