17233995Reviewed by Claudia Robinson

“I found myself wishing that Kraus was the hero his biographer made him out to be. Never mind that his steel was turned into Hitler’s tanks and bombers. Von Kraus was part of Nazi apparatus, but he could also have been one of the righteous who saved Jews at great peril to themselves. These people existed, and I desperately wanted Liesel’s father to be one.”

Henri Poincare and Alex Chin have been in the business of consulting and engineering for the Interpol for a few years when Lloyd’s of London commissions them to design a floating dive platform in the North Sea in an attempt to raise some treasure from the bottom of the wreck, HMS Lutine. Neither could have known, however, the implications and subsequent tribulations, accepting the job would bring. When Poincare meets and falls in love for the beautiful, strong, independent Liesel Kraus, Poincare has no idea what kind of ride he’s in for.

Complicating things further, Poincare’s father calls to let him know that his beloved Uncle Isaac has passed away. When a mysterious man appears, weeping at his Uncle’s funeral, a tattooed number on his left forearm, Poincare realizes, with great remorse, how little he really knew about his Uncle and his life during the war, when Nazis reigned supreme. Determined to honor his Uncle’s memory by piecing together his past, Poincare embarks on a literal trip down memory lane that, unknown to him, could possibly be his last trip, anywhere. Especially, when he realizes all is not is what or who, it seems, including the lovely Liesel and her father, Herr Kraus.

Leonard Rosen’s The Tenth Witness is an intricately, delicately woven tale of love, murder, history, mystery and deception. The story forces readers to walk through a dangerous and horrific time in history, get to know the people who suffered, on either side of the wall, and engage in their personal sagas, trials and tribulations. Powerful, well researched, emotionally challenging, and raw, Rosen’s characters inhale his readers in to the story, allowing them to feel, alongside Poincare, the pain raw, gaping wounds a trip like Poincare’s, through the past, can cause. When is the past best left behind and when is it not only necessary, but moral, to commune with the ghosts of a past perhaps, left alone. Rosen allows readers to determine this dilemma on their own, as Poincare must, ensuring a full bodied, passion driven novel, that delivers excellence from start to finish.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Claudia lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband and two children.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by The Permanent Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.