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Posts Tagged ‘Days of Rapture’

ALL CRY CHAOS by Leonard Rosen: Book Review

A great novelist is like a magician with words. He or she can make you care deeply about the characters in a book, even though you know that these characters aren’t real.  You’re made to laugh, cry, sympathize with or despise the people in books, even when your mind is telling you it’s “just a story.”

Leonard Rosen’s fiction debut, All Cry Chaos, is an amazing novel. It brings together the worlds of mass murderers, mathematical geniuses, combative indigenous protestors, Interpol detectives, and Christian believers in the End of Days, and all these worlds fit together perfectly.  That’s quite a talent.

Henri Poincare is an inspector with Interpol.  Two years before the opening of this novel he was the man who brought Stipo Banovic, a Bosnian convicted of murdering seventy-seven Muslim men and boys during the ethnic wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, to justice.  In the years after that conflict Stipo had evaded arrest, married, and fathered two children.  When Henri visits him in prison, Stipo threatens him and his family.  “You will walk in my shoes,” he tells the inspector.

Henri has been assigned to a new case, a bombing in Amsterdam. A single room in a hotel was blown up, and the only victim was an American mathematician from Harvard, James Fenster.  There are two strange things about the explosion.  First is the fact that only this single room was damaged, lifted from its surroundings as if by a giant hand; second is the fact that the propellant was rocket fuel, an unusual ingredient in the making of a bomb when there are other ingredients that are more easily obtainable.

James Fenster was working on the chaos theory.  According to Margaret Rouse, editorial director of, chaos theory is the study of nonlinear dynamics, in which seemingly random events are actually predictable from simple deterministic equations.   Please don’t ask me more than that, but apparently everything in the universe is related.  And this has huge implications in our world where economics, mathematics, science, and business all intersect.

When Henri first interviews Madeleine Rainier, who is also staying in Amsterdam, she tells him that she and James were engaged but the engagement was broken off a few weeks earlier; she refuses to say by whom.  The next day Henri discovers that Madeleine, who was named in James’ will as next-of-kin, has already cremated his body, and when he returns to her hotel to question her further, he finds she has left with no forwarding address.

At the same time, two other events of major importance are happening in Amsterdam. The World Trade Organization is meeting in the city and security is at an all-time high.  The head of the Indigenous Liberation Front, Eduardo Quito, has brought thousands of followers to confront the WTO leaders.  A brilliant economist and academician, his political and human rights movement hopes to force the rich nations of the world to share their wealth.

Also in Amsterdam are the Rapturians, an evangelical Christian cult that is counting the weeks to the End of Days. In their philosophy, Jesus will return when the world is in complete chaos.   They are working to bring that time closer, orchestrating murders and bombings around the world.

All Cry Chaos brings these disparate characters and groups together, plus others.  Leonard Rosen makes us care about them, even perhaps understand them, from Henri to the most minor characters. He even makes the reader care about the chaos theory.

You can read more about Leonard Rosen at his web site.