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The Warsaw Anagrams [Kindle Edition]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Beautifully written, moving and disturbing, this packs a powerful, emotional punch. (Guardian)

A mystical, mesmerising murder thriller. (Lancashire Evening Post)

Gripping. (Independent i)

A rich, serious book. (Independent)

Compelling. (Jewish Chronicle)

A murder mystery and a moving exploration of the nature of good and evil come together in Zimler's riveting and intelligent novel. (BBC History Magazine)

Book Description

A chilling and stunningly written mystery set in Warsaw's Jewish ghetto.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 553 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1849013691
  • Publisher: Corsair (24 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Richard Zimler was born in Roslyn Heights, a suburb of New York, in 1956. After earning a bachelor's degree in comparative religion from Duke University (1977) and a master's degree in journalism from Stanford University (1982), he worked for eight years as a journalist, mainly in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1990, he moved to Porto, Portugal, where he taught journalism for sixteen years, first at the College of Journalism and later at the University of Porto.

Richard has published nine novels over the last 17 years. In chronological order, they are: The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, Unholy Ghosts, The Angelic Darkness, Hunting Midnight, Guardian of the Dawn, The Search for Sana, The Seventh Gate, The Warsaw Anagrams and The Night Watchman. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists in 12 different countries, including the USA, Great Britain, Portugal, Italy, Brazil and Australia. His books have been published in 23 languages.

Richard has won numerous prizes for his work, including the Marquis de Ouro prize in 2010 - as Book of the Year in Portugal - for The Warsaw Anagrams. This prize is voted on by high school teachers and students. He also won the 2009 Alberto Benveniste prize in fiction for Guardian of the Dawn (for best Jewish-themed novel published in France), and the 1998 Herodotus Award, for The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon (Best First Historical Novel). Additionally, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon was picked as 1998 Book of the Year by three British critics. Hunting Midnight, The Search for Sana, The Seventh Gate and The Warsaw Anagrams have all been nominated for the International IMPAC Literary Award, the richest prize in the English-speaking world. He was also granted a 1994 U.S. National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, Hunting Midnight, Guardian of the Dawn and The Seventh Gate form the "Sephardic Cycle," a group of inter-connected - but fully independent - novels about different branches and generations of a Portuguese Jewish family.

His latest novel, The Night Watchman, was a bestseller for three months in Portugal during the fall of 2013. It will be published in the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand in June of 2014.

A short film he wrote and acted in - The Slow Mirror - was awarded the Best Drama award at the 2010 New York Downtown Short Film Festival.

When Richard is not writing, he enjoys gardening at his weekend house in the north of Portugal.

Here is a synopsis of my new novel, THE NIGHT WATCHMAN:

When can a single crime reveal the depth of the moral crisis undermining a nation?

July 6, 2012... Chief Inspector Henrique Monroe is summoned to a luxurious Lisbon mansion to investigate the slaying of a construction magnate named Pedro Coutinho. The handsome 59-year-old has been gagged so cruelly that he choked to death before bleeding out from the bullet wound in his gut. On the wall behind him, five Japanese characters - ディアーナ - have been written in blood. After questioning the victim's guilt-ridden daughter, Henrique comes to believe that Coutinho might have been killed for defending the troubled teenager from the violent sexual advances of a family friend. And yet files on a hidden flash-drive he soon finds indicate that the victim may have been silenced by any one of a number of politicians whom he'd bribed in order to win construction contracts.

Henrique has occasionally alienated his police colleagues with his extraordinarily observant but wildly erratic behavior at crime scenes, and as he investigates Coutinho's murder, his conduct becomes ever more peculiar. We come to learn that he was severely abused during his childhood in rural Colorado and that a uniquely intuitive and highly protective guardian took over his mind and body when the mistreatment became impossible to bear. As Henrique struggles to keep the walls of his identity from crumbling in, another member of the victim's family dies under mysterious circumstances, destroying any chance he has of continuing to keep his alter-ego a secret.

In this uniquely moving portrait of a troubled police detective, Zimler has created a chilling psychological mystery that explores the ongoing effects of child abuse. Along the way, he has also given us a sensitive portrait of contemporary Portugal, a country just waking up to how badly it has been betrayed by a corrupt elite and suffering under the weight of its own historical errors.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Warsaw Anagrams 5 Mar. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Erik Cohen is an elderly psychiatrist - but that was in 'Before Time'. Before the Nazi's sealed him, and countless others, into the Warsaw Ghetto. Now he lives with his niece, and grandnephew Adam, in a tiny apartment. It is 1940, freezing cold and life has been turned upside down. It seems to Erik that anything can happen, especially the worst. Then Adam goes missing and his body is found tossed on the barbed wire. It has been thrown there from outside the ghetto and his body has been mutilated. Stranger still, Erik finds a piece of string in his mouth and then discovers that other Jewish children have suffered the same fate. With his old friend Izzy, Erik sets off to discover who is luring Jewish children to their death and how, and why, Adam had left the Ghetto. This is a very atmospheric and exciting thriller, with great characters. Although the setting and situation is dark and dangerous, and the author portrays this with great tension and realism, the book also has humour and the spirit of humanity that nobody could take away from Erik and Izzy - who are great heroes indeed. I have never read anything by this author before, but I am sure I will be rectifying that. I read the kindle edition of this book, which was well edited and without typos. Highly recommended.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent historical mystery. 22 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A most unusual mystery, because of place and time and the background tragedy of the Warsaw ghetto - indeed the tragedy of Poland, since Hitler hated the Poles almost as much as he hated the Jews. This novel is beautifully written, with a clever plot. It reminds us...we should never forget....of man's inhumanity to man. But importantly it also showcases the nobility of the human spirit. The characters are exquisitely drawn. I could not put it down.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desolate and despairing, yet somehow uplifting 20 May 2011
By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
As with many other reviewers, I had not come across this author before and, indeed, only happened on this book by chance. But what a chance.

With relations by proxy in Poland I have been to Auschwitz, a journey every citizen should take once in their lifetime, if only to see what civilised people can do to each other. This book so adroitly shows also what civilised people can do to endure these terrible hardships and to finally overcome them. This is not a book which is easy on the mental images. The Warsaw ghetto, one of many created by the Nazis to force the Jewish inhabitants into a life of degradation and squalour and eventually on to transportation to the death camps, is brutally described by the author. And yet, through all, shines the life of Erik Cohen, an elderly psychiatrist, now attempting to discover the killer of his young great-nephew.

So begins our jouney, too, as Erik recounts his story to a friend who, in turn, chronicles every word. This is, without doubt, a murder mystery in its own right but it soon becomes clear the young boy is not the only victim. Erik calls in favours and most of all uses his extraordinarily good friend Izzy to help him discover the truth. In the event, without Izzy, I rather think Erik would have failed but this is what makes the book all the more interesting. For this human spirit permeates through the story and I think a Latin phrase used in the book sums up the courage and fortitude shown by the Ghetto inhabitants - festina lente or make haste slowly.

I'm glad I've read the book. There were no surprises for me for I am of an age that remembers only too well but the author brings such clarity and vibrancy to an otherwise sombre and heartrending situation that younger readers must surely want to learn at least a little more about Central Europe during the 1930s and 40s.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would have very happily read this novel even without the murder mystery element such was Zimler's moving portrayal of life in the Jewish Ghetto of World War II Warsaw. Having said that, the murder plot was very clever indeed and unless you suss out the anagrams and speak Polish and German you're surely not going to unravel it before the author reveals it slowly.

You're taken beyond the cliched images of the bewildered, haggard Jews in the ghetto which you're used to seeing in documentaries. The characters in the novel refuse to submit meekly to their fate, getting what they can out of life in such a desperate situation. In the midst of the squalor (which they often use as a source of gentle teasing of each other), they were trying to lead as normal a life as possible and Zimler gives you a heart-warming insight into their courageous refusal to give up.

You desperately want all the (good) characters to survive but even the person telling the story doesn't know who made it out alive.

Highly recommended.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written 17 April 2011
A beautifully written book. I haven't read anything as good about the Warsaw Ghetto since Mila 18 by Leon Uris. I really enjoyed the way he interweaves history and a criminal investigation. The characters are developed very well and the plot moves inexorably to its conclusion. Reviewed by Tim Ellis - Author of: 'A Life for a Life'.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one book this year, make it this one! 13 Mar. 2011
This was my first book by author Richard Zimler, i'll be totally honest and say i'd never heard of him before. I love discovering new authors, and even though you shouldn't, there is still alot to be said for a cover of a book, however on this occasion it was the strap line at the foot of the cover which reads "Evil will flourish even when good men fight it", which made me pick it up and give it a try.

I was not disappointed, and couldn't put it down. The book is told through the eyes of Erik Cohen, an elderly man, who is forced to live with his neice and 9 year old great-nephew, Adam. The year is 1940 and the Nazis have sealed 400,000 Jews inside a small area of the Polish capital. Adam goes missing and his body is later found tangled in the barbed wire which surrounds the ghetto. Erik does everything within his power to trap his nephew's killer, even putting his own life at risk in the most forbidden corners of Nazi-occupied Warsaw.

I found this book heartbreaking in places, and because the author done such a fantastic job with the detail and descriptions, it was sometimes really difficult to believe you wern't there, walking those freezing cold Warsaw streets with Erik.

If you read only one book this year, please pick up this book. It's a great story, and will keep you captivated from page 1!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Enjoyed this book.
Published 4 months ago by christine pearce
4.0 out of 5 stars great read, wartime murder mystery
Only reason I'm not giving this five stars is because I felt it focused a little too much on the "what's" and not enough on the "whys"
Still a cracking read,... Read more
Published 7 months ago by georgiewankenobi
5.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking reminder of the evil humans do!
A very good book but upsetting, as it should be as we remember the horror of the evil that drove so many to stand by or even take part in the torture and murder of so many of gods... Read more
Published 9 months ago by nmunro66
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
As some of the other posts have mentioned this is an unusual book and the first chapter confuses the reader a little. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Oonagh O'Byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars A horrible act in a horrible world in a gem of a novel
To set a murder mystery in the Jewish ghettos of Nazi Warsaw is something of a stroke of genius that not only sets an immediate scene of mayhem and an added element as to which... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bluearmy
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book...
A beautifully written but truly harrowing story, I'll never be able to understand how this was allowed to happen.. Although I suppose it still does..
Published 14 months ago by Esther R
5.0 out of 5 stars An all-thought-provoking, highly emotional story.
One can never, it seems, become mentally sanitised to the horrors of Nazi atrocities. Even if you think you’ve “heard it all before”, one needs a fairly strong stomach to read... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Brenda Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read
Having visited the Krawow Ghetto recently I wanted to know more about the daily life of living in a ghetto, as visiting it gave you factual details, not so much about the daily... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Probably one of my favourite of Zimler's work this is a gripping story, centred around the murder of a boy. Read more
Published 21 months ago by ChristophFischerBooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruno
Delivered on time in good condition. I would recommend this produce. I will be using this sellar again to purchase other products
Published 24 months ago by Bruno
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