This book was a giveaway by the author. I would like to thank Len Rosen *very* much for sharing his book with me, taking the trouble to sign it, and include a personal note. I try to keep my "good books" in perfect condition; this book, has been well read and well loved. The note included is still tucked in it's pages.
Let me start by saying, I read this book in two long sittings; unfortunately they were not all that close together. It wasn't that I didn't want to get back to the book (like some others), life just interfered.
Once I did complete it, I had to sit with this book for a long time. Two weeks to be precise. It tackles themes that I've been questioning recently myself; the book does a beautiful job exposing them like a flower with the petals opening, exposing a new thought, a new way of looking at the situation, a new conundrum. The love story is stunning and powerful; as are many of the relationships, grandparents, parents, and children, "uncles" who are not related by blood-but by love, war comrades, and enemies across generations.
It was fascinating to read a book written completely from the European point of view. All of the primary players are European, though there are travels to other continents, and important discoveries made during those trips. Through the characters we see both war torn Europe during WWII, and the lingering effects on the population in the late 1970's (not just in Europe, but worldwide).
I tend to avoid most books written by European authors (the exception being books about books, such as Shadow in the Wind or The Club Dumas), however Mr. Rosen is an American, therefore his writing does not have the affected, pretentious tones that I find in so much European literature.
This book is a prequel to his "much-honored debut" All Cry Chaos (which, luckily I had not already read, since I *hate* reading books in a series out of order, regardless of when they were written). All Cry Chaos was the winner of two Awards, and a Finalist for three, including the highly prestigious Edgar Award for Best First Novel. I am now looking forward to getting it and finding time to read it!
I did notice on GoodReads that The Tenth Witness is shown as Henri Poincaré Mystery #2; since it is a prequel should it not be #.5 if All Cry Chaos is #1? Curious about that.
You can find this review and more at my Blog MsLeighM Books at http://msleighmbooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/theres-no-such-thing-as-too-many-books.html