Synopses & Reviews
The "riveting, heartbreaking, inspiring, and intelligent" (San Francisco Chronicle
) historical thriller by the bestselling author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon
With his international bestseller The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, Richard Zimler first made a name as a master of historical thrillers. in this chilling mystery, winner of the Marques de Ouro Prize, Zimler has woven a gripping tale in the tradition of The Shadow of the Wind.
It is autumn, 1940, and the Nazis have sealed 400,000 Jews into the Warsaw Ghetto. Erik Cohen, an elderly psychiatrist, moves into a tiny apartment with his last remaining relatives. then his beloved great-nephew Adam goes missing and his body is discovered tangled in the barbed wire, strangely mutilated. soon afterward, another body turns up, this time a young girl. could there be a Jewish traitor luring children to their deaths? With an unlikely hero and hair-raising suspense, The Warsaw Anagrams is a profoundly moving and darkly atmospheric thriller.
"Zimler, who examined the slaughter of Jews in 16th-century Portugal in The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, explores a different dark period in the Jewish people's history in this solid mystery thriller. In 1940, psychiatrist Erik Cohen moves into the Warsaw ghetto before the Nazis force him to do so, along with his niece, Stefa, and his beloved great-nephew, Adam, who appears to be about nine. Cohen is frantic when the boy vanishes and is beyond distraught when Adam's corpse is located with the child's right leg severed from the knee down. Determined to track down the killer, Cohen has further cause for alarm after discovering that Adam was not the murderer's only victim; that Benjamin Schrei, a representative of the ghetto's Jewish Council, knew the killing was part of a series; and that a Jew might be responsible for the butchery. The highly unusual setting adds tension to the investigation, and Zimler successfully manages to convey the horrors of the Holocaust through the experiences of one family. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Yet only one visionary man--Heniek Corben--can see him and hear him. Heniek soon realizes that Cohen has become an ibbur--a spirit. But how and why has he taken this form? As Cohen recounts his disturbing and moving story, small but telling inconsistencies appear in his narrative. Heniek begins to believe that Cohen is not the secular Jew he claims to be, but may, in fact, be a student of practical Kabbalah? of magic. Why is he lying? And what is the importance of the anagrams he creates for the names of his friends and relatives? Heniek traces his suspicions and comes to an astonishing conclusion?one that has consequences for his own identity and life, and perhaps for the reader's as well.
Warsaw, 1941--an exhausted and elderly psychiatrist named Erik Cohen makes his way home to the Jewish ghetto after being interned in a Nazi labor camp.
About the Author
Richard Zimler was born in New York and studied journalism at Stanford University. He has published eight novels over the last fifteen years, including the famous The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon. He has won numerous prizes for his work, and is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Visit zimler.com.