ALL CRY CHAOS by Leonard Rosen

Book Quote:

“Henri Poincaré was a man who longed to believe, a man who was moved by mystery and beauty but a man for whom belief was impossible. He was too much a scientist, ever the investigator in a world bound up in webs of cause and effect that had served him well in every regard save one: that at the hour between dusk and darkness, when the sky slid from deepest cobalt into night, he suspected something large, momentous even, was out there just beyond his reach….”

Book Review:

Review by Eleanor Bukowsky  (NOV 3, 2011)

In Leonard Rosen’s superb mystery, All Cry Chaos, Henri Poincaré, fifty-seven, is a veteran Interpol agent who believes that it is “better to let one criminal go free than to abuse the law and jeopardize the rights of many.” One of the malefactors that Henri tenaciously and successfully tracked down is Stipo Banovic, a Serb accused of ordering and participating in the mass murder of seventy Muslims in Bosnia. A furious Banovic vows to make Poincaré suffer. In a stunning exchange, during which Henri trades invective with the imprisoned criminal, Banovic screams, “Did you once stop to think why a man becomes a killing machine?” He goes on to say, “I will put you in my shoes before I die.”

Such confrontations do Henri no good, especially since he suffers from heart arrhythmia. His wife, Claire, has repeatedly urged her husband to retire to their farm in the Dordogne; she would like him to spend stress-free hours with her, their son, and their beloved grandchildren. Instead, Inspector Poincaré persists in using his experience and uncanny intuition to “anticipate a criminal’s moves as if he were the pursued.”

Poincaré’s next case involves an explosion in an Amsterdam hotel where a thirty-year old mathematician, James Fenster, had been staying prior to delivering a speech to the World Trade Organization. All that is left are the corpse’s charred remains. Who would want to destroy this man of ideas, a gentle and brilliant scholar with no obvious enemies? The search for Fenster’s murderer will lead Henri down many byways, during which he will encounter, among others, a Peruvian activist, a fabulously wealthy mutual fund manager, Fenster’s former fiancée, and a graduate student in mathematics. Most fascinating of all is the possibility that the crime occurred as a result of Fenster’s prodigious mathematical knowledge and wide-ranging imagination.

Nothing is obvious or can be taken for granted in this beautifully constructed and intricate novel. Rosen’s vividly depicted characters have lively discussions that touch on philosophy, economics, psychology, theology, mathematics, and jurisprudence. Passages of deliciously dark humor and vivid descriptive writing enhance All Cry Chaos, a challenging brain-teaser as well as a powerful, literate, and entertaining police procedural. Rosen expresses ideas about family, human rights, morality, and justice that take on added significance in a unsettled world marred by war, financial collapse, political infighting, and lawlessness.

AMAZON READER RATING: stars-5-0from 33 readers
PUBLISHER: Permanent Press (September 1, 2011)
REVIEWER: Eleanor Bukowsky
EXTRAS: Excerpt
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November 3, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Debut Novel, Sleuths Series, World Lit

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