The Tenth Witness by Leonard Rosen combines a World War II mystery, the Holocaust, modern-day slave labor, a love story, and a 1799 shipwreck. Interested yet? You should be because this book successfully intertwines these stand-alone topics, and keeps the reader interested until the last page.
Henri Poincaré is a mechanical engineer working for Lloyds of London to salvage the Lutine, a ship full of gold that sank in 1799. Taking a break from the grueling dive preparation, Poincaré joins a group hiking across the Wadden Sea at low tide. He immediately enjoys the company of the tour guide, Liesel Kraus, and the enjoyment is mutual.
Liesel and her brother are directors of Kraus Steel. The family appears to be hiding a secret: a secret that has its roots in the ghettos and concentration camps of World War II. Kraus Steel has become a multimillion dollar international corporation and it’s the history of this company, and thus the history of the Kraus family, that will cause Poincaré to work with Interpol and lead to a possible betrayal of his new love.
The reader will be wrapped inside this mystery; the plots and characters because the book is so well written. More than just a good read, though, The Tenth Witness provides the reader fodder to consider her own thoughts and beliefs on what she would do in Poincaré’s situation: Liesel’s father built the family fortune on the backs of slave labor in World War II and maintains it with slave labor in the present. It is easy to judge the businessmen who flourished during the war by exploiting prisoners – or is it?
I recommend The Tenth Witness for its great writing, wonderful character development, very interesting topics, and for just being a downright good mystery.
– Reviewed by Karen Mitchell
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