On the night of October 9, 1799, the frigate HMS Lutine breaks apart on the shoals of the Frisian Islands off the Dutch coast. When the insurer Lloyds of London pays on the wreck, it takes ownership and plans expeditions to recoup the lost millions in gold and silver. Nearly two hundres years later, after a series of largely failed salvage operations, Lloyds tries again – this time on the strength of new technologies and a strategy devised by the gifted young engineer Henri Poincare.
It is late spring, 1978. Poincare has worked to near-exhaustion preparing for the Lutine dive. Before the salvage season begins, he takes a rare holiday: a hike at low tide across the vast, muddy flats of the Wadden Sea. His guide is Liesel Kraus – smart, able, appealing…and troubled. She and her brother Anselm, directors of Kraus Steel, are haunted by a violent history that generates both rage and an enormous, corrupting wealth. The closer Poincare draws to Liesel and Anselm, the more warped life becomes until love and a death threat compel him to investigate what no one else – aside from Interpol – will. Pain as well as treasure, he discovers, can be dredged up from the past to reshape the present.
The Tenth Witness, a prequel to the award-winning All Cry Chaos, is the tale of a man upended: a twenty-eight year old who rejects a brilliant career in engineering for an uncertain, darker one: international police work.