I entered to win an ARC (advance reader copy) of Leonard Rosen’s new international thriller, All Cry Chaos, because it sounded like an interesting premise. Who would kill a math professor who’s researching fractals? Now that’s a novel concept (pun intended)! And I won! Yay! That means not only do I get to review this excellent thriller but I get to give away a copy to a lucky reader!
Review first, then Giveaway:
Do you have to be a math whiz to enjoy this novel? Absolutely not. Will it enhance the experience? I don’t know because I’m not a math whiz. LOL Remember how popular Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code was? Did you have in-depth knowledge about all the different kinds of symbols involved before then? I didn’t but I loved that novel! I feel the same way about All Cry Chaos. I don’t think I even knew what fractals were before reading this novel but I’m seeing them everywhere now and it’s amazing. Talk about opening your eyes to a whole new world!
Henri Poincare is an inspector at Interpol’s Lyon office. His wife, Claire, is an abstract artist who sells her paintings all over the world. Although they own an apartment in Lyon, they’ve purchased a wonderful farmhouse and vineyard in Dordogne where they grow barely drinkable wine. They spend every holiday there with their son Etienne and his family, and are looking forward to retiring there. Etienne’s twin sons and his daughter are the joy of Henri’s life.
Henri has the dubious distinction of having a great grandfather who was a mathematical genius. He’s always felt he was a huge disappointment to his father because he didn’t inherit that illusive math gene. Still Henri does love puzzles, which has made him outstanding as an Interpol inspector – that and the fact that once he’s on the hunt he never gives up until he gets his man or woman.
Having stood and wept at the ditch where countless children were massacred, Henri feels great satisfaction at having just put their mass murderer, Stipo Banovic, in jail to await trial. Unfortunately that puts Henri close by when a top-floor room is blown out of the Ambassade Hotel in Amsterdam. It looks just like a giant child reached down and grabbed the room, like a handful taken out of a hotel shaped cake, leaving everything else intact. James Fenster, a renowned mathematician and Harvard professor, was staying in that room while preparing a presentation for a World Trade Organization conference. No one on the ground can recall ever seeing an explosion so surgically precise.
“’Ammonium perchlorate,’ she said. ‘Rocket fuel, believe it or not. Burns like a flare and, under specific conditions, will explode. If the bomber had used as much C-4, the entire block would be gone.’” (Gisele De Vries, the local Dutch security services liaison to Interpol)
Luckily the explosive used was a very rare blend of rocket fuel that not many people know how to blend and work with. So this should be a slam dunk case, right? Wrong. There is a wide ranging list of suspect individuals and groups who could be behind this murder including Madeleine Rainier, Fenster’s ex-fiancé who had traces of the chemical on her clothing; Charles Bell, a wealthy hedge fund manager who funded Fenster’s fractal research in return for market analysis; Dana Chambi, a grad student who pitched in to teach Fenster’s classes but won’t talk about him; Eduardo Quito, the cagey and illusive leader of the Indigenous Liberation Front which was protesting WTO when the event happened; and the Soldiers of Rapture, evangelical Christian fanatics who are blowing up people to hasten the chaos needed to create the coming rapture.
To make matter worse, Henri’s last case is coming back at him literally with a vengeance when Banovic reaches out from jail to put out contracts on his entire family. Henri has to travel the world to find Fenster’s killer yet he feels compelled to stay close to his beloved family to protect them, despite Interpol assurances that their best agents have that covered.
“When Poincare looked up from his magazine, he saw Chloe bent over her project, a narrow red beam trained on her forehead. Before he could speak or think, he dove across the room, snatched the child, placing his body between hers and the windows, then rolled behind the table. Chloe shrieked…’Laser,’ he stammered. ‘Targeting laser. Chloe’s head.’ The child squirmed from his arms and ran to her mother.”
On top of everything else, the more he learns the more Henri is fascinated by Fenster’s work with fractals, as it opens his eyes (and ours) to how extensive the universal patterns are that shape everything. He knows these patterns are at the heart of this case, if he can only figure out how.
Leonard Rosen has created an excellent character in Henri and a thrill ride of a book in All Cry Chaos. Chaos is very involved in what is happening but so is an astounding order that I think we forget exists in our world. This is the first book in an Henri Poincare series and I’m as excited to read future installments as I was with The DaVinci Code. If you like a smart thriller with non-stop action then you’re going to love this novel!
All Cry Chaos is available now so, if you’d like to buy it, just click on your preferred online bookseller’s link in the top right column.
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1) Deadline to enter is Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 11:59pm EST. Please note: This is a shorter deadline than normal!
2) Only entries with a U.S. mailing address will be considered for this giveaway. We do not ship books outside of the U.S.
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