The Tenth Witness
Published by: Permanent Press
Release Date: September 15, 2013
Book Club Discounts
Late spring, 1978. Mechanical engineer Henri Poincaré has worked to near-exhaustion preparing for the salvage of a possibly gold-laden shipwreck off the Dutch coast. Before diving begins, he takes a rare holiday: a hike at low tide across the vast, muddy flats of the Wadden Sea.
His guide is the smart, capable, and appealing Liesel Kraus, who along with her bother is heir to a business that has generated enormous, possibly corrupting wealth. The closer Poincaré draws to this woman, the stranger his life becomes until love and a death threat compel him to investigate what no one else, aside from Interpol, will.
Touching on themes of love, loyalty, racial hatred, and the legacy of war, The Tenth Witness—a prequel to the award-winning All Cry Chaos—is the tale of a young man upended, who discovers that pain, as well as treasure, can be dredged from the past.
“Justice and true love are at loggerheads as a deeply ethical man falls in love with the daughter of a former Nazi who stoked his steel foundries with laborers from a nearby concentration camp. A fascinating exploration of what happens when good and evil reside under the same roof.
—Boston Globe Best Crime Fiction of 2013 Read
“One of the more profound paradoxes about the human condition prefaces Leonard Rosen’s “The Tenth Witness,” a novel I’m sure will make my best of the year list. The book’s prologue is from novelist and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel: “I still believe in man in spite of man.” Rosen’s deeply compelling mystery explores the hope and the despair, the evil and the good at the core of Wiesel’s statement.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best Books of 2013 Read
“Corporate greed, WWII deceptions, fear, loyalty and dishonesty deftly unravel in this intense and brilliant thriller.”
—Entertainment Realm Read
“The Tenth Witness is a brilliant follow up to Rosen’s first thriller. Here is an author who cares as much about the pained human heart as a page-turning plot and manages to infuse this book with pathos, wit, wonder, fabulous historical detail, mystery and breathless anticipation. If you’re looking for a smart thriller – look no further – Rosen is stupendous!”
—International Bestseller, M.J. Rose
“Rosen is a gifted writer of dialogue and scenery. . . . In Henri Poincare, readers of all ages can appreciate the terrible beauty of a life lived with love for others.”
—ForeWord Magazine Read
“Rosen combines a probing Holocaust story with elements of an action thriller. A fine novel and further indication that Rosen is a writer of immense talent.”
“[A] story as heartfelt as it is ambitious.”
—Kirkus Reviews Read
“Terrific read combining thriller elements with a beautifully interwoven set of historical disclosures.”
—San Francisco Review of Books
“Rosen writes with polish and confidence.”
—Publishers Weekly Read
“A joy to watch how Rosen weaves [this plot] together.”
—NY Journal of Books Read
“A gloriously literary thriller.”
—Federation Star Read
“Rosen is a gifted writer and The Tenth Witness is just as deserving of awards as was All Cry Chaos.”
—Jewish Book Council Read
“Leonard Rosen’s The Tenth Witness is not just a good book; it is a great book.”
“Rosen’s Henri Poincare books are so well-written and memorable, one earnestly hopes he will write many more volumes filling in the blanks between Henri’s younger self in this book, and the older man of All Cry Chaos.”
—Provo City Libraries Read
“Combining history and suspense, The Tenth Witness is an outstanding novel that will provide revelations of monstrous crimes against humanity committed by people who mostly got away with it, along with their American corporate partners in murder.”
—Huntington News Read
“As with All Cry Chaos, there is so much going on in this novel; murder, romance, science and technology, a chase after Nazis, and the quest for a gold-laden shipwreck. The plotting is intricate but fast-paced, the storytelling lean but with plenty of food for thought and emotion.”
—Read Me Deadly Read
“The story of how Henri Poincaré chose his life’s work is told with intelligence and compassion. It will keep mys tery buffs spellbound and please anyone who wants to enjoy a well-crafted novel.”
—Free Lance Star
“The Tenth Witness is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book that explores the long-reaching effects of war, racism and evil. . . . Poincaré is an immensely sympathetic character.”
—Crime Spree Magazine Read
The Second World War cast a long shadow over my childhood. I was raised in the most secure of homes in Baltimore, Maryland, with loving parents and brothers. I wasn’t a fearful child; I had no reason to be. Still, every kid has nightmares, and mine concerned German-speaking, swastika-wearing soldiers who tore into homes in the dark of night and herded children into cattle cars. The parents of close friends survived that treatment, though they lost entire families. The horror was very real to me as a child and has remained so.
I’ve tried facing my fears in this story by asking the young Henri Poincaré, protagonist of All Cry Chaos, to care deeply for a woman whose father was a Nazi. What is the legacy of such hatred? We know the perpetrators were bad people. But what of their children? Growing up in such a household, what does one choose to remember and to forget? Must the sins of fathers be visited on sons and daughters? I took these and related questions with me to Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands as I conducted research.
The Tenth Witness is the result. It is a love story, I hope. Also a mystery and thriller. It gave me a chance to open a closet door and stare down a boogeyman. I invite you to read—and, if you do, to let me know what you think.
Read an Excerpt
Every Christmas, for thirty years, my friend and former business partner sends me a basket of pears. With each delivery comes a note and the same unspoken question, posed in a teasing, left-leaning script: “Say the word, Henri. Your desk is waiting. Best, A. C.”
I’m flattered to think Alec would have me back after all this time. For most of my career I could have used the money, and I could have done without the long stretches away from home and the violence and anxiety that attend police work. But I never was much of a businessman. During those first years, I turned down jobs that offended me. I took on clients who could barely make their rent, let alone pay us. Alec and I argued. In the end I’m convinced our venture would have collapsed due to what he rightly called my aggressive naïveté.