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Karolina's Twins

(Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart #3)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  11,120 ratings  ·  1,162 reviews
From the author of Once We Were Brothers comes a saga inspired by true events of a Holocaust survivor’s quest to fulfill a promise, return to Poland and find two sisters lost during World War II.

Lena Woodward, an elderly woman, enlists the help of both lawyer Catherine Lockhart and private investigator Liam Taggart to appraise the story of her harrowing past in Nazi occupi
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Susan Braun No you do not! It might help to understand their relationship and who the individual is who makes the referral, but it isn't a prerequisite.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Donna McCaul Thibodeau No, that part is fictional.

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  11,120 ratings  ·  1,162 reviews

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Angela M
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it

Lena Woodward, 89 year old holocaust survivor wants to keep a 70 year old promise to her best friend. Her selfish son, Arthur wants to declare her unfit and delusional about the existence of her friend Karolina's twins and take over her fortune and control her life. Husband and wife team, Liam and Catherine, a private investigator and attorney respectively are solicited by Lena to help her. Her mission is to keep her promise and find the twin daughters of her best friend Karolina. She also has a
Diane S ☔
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Lena's story is an important one, one based on actual events and it is in the telling of this survivor's story that Balsn's writing is the strongest. The modern day story, though I do like the husband and wife team as characters is not as strongly written. In truth, the dialogue is at times clunky, the trial, overdone and I often found myself skimming over these parts to get to the stronger parts of the past. A story of love and sacrifice, bonds between women, mothers and children, all worth ...more
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
This is the third book in a series by the author. If you have not read the author’s first two novels, it will not affect reading this book as a stand alone. In the story, the author brings back the lawyer/ private detective team, Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart, that we met in the author’s previous two books.

There are two stories in this engaging book. An 89 year old widowed woman, Lena Woodward, walks into offices of a private investigator/ lawyer team, Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart.
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I liked reading Karolina's Twins. I found it moving and hard to put down. I gather it's the third in a series featuring husband and wife team Liam and Catherine, who are respectively a private investigator and a lawyer. You absolutely don't need to read the previous books in the series to get into this one. The story has two time lines. In present day, 89 year old Lena -- a Holocaust survivor -- hires Catherine and Liam to help her find "Karolina's twins". In order to do so she must tell them th ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
While the actual WW II story line of Karolina's Twins is interesting, I found the writing style to be off putting. It reads like a YA novel. And, it contains far too many worn out cliches and coincidences. The characters aren't fully developed and lacked depth. In other words, this is a plot driven novel. Karolina's Twins will work for those who prefer heavy subject matter dealt with rather lightly.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Re-telling your nightmare of living in occupied Poland during WWII would stir up emotions that I would want to forget, but Lena Scheinman Woodward wanted it told.

Lena Woodward lived in Poland during the holocaust, lost her entire family, but did find her best friend, Karolina, in the factory where they were required to work and make coats for the Germans.

We are there as Lena tells of her experiences to an attorney and private investigator in hopes of getting the help she needs to fulfill the pr
Karen R
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Through the years, I never told a soul what really happened. Not even my husband. No one knew the details. Once the war was over, I closed the door. And locked it. Now, as painful as it is, I must open it.” Lena Scheinman

Attorney Catherine Taggart and her husband Liam are drawn into a World War II mystery when Lena Scheinman, a woman in her late 80’s and a Jewish Polish survivor of the Holocaust shows up on their doorstep asking for help in finding the twins of Lena’s deceased best friend, Karo
In 1943 in the Chrzanow, Poland ghetto, Karolina, a young jewish woman, gives birth to twins with help of her best friend, Lena. Before being transferred to a slave labor camp, Karolina makes one, desperate last ditch attempt to save her babies. Seventy years later, Lena is a Holocaust survivor and living in Chicago. She decides it's time to keep her promise to Karolina to find the twins and enlists a lawyer/PI team to help her.

The structure of this book was maddening. It can best be summed up a
Dale Harcombe
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
89 year old Lena Woodward is insistent about engaging the services of husband and wife team, Catherine Lockhart, a lawyer, and her private investigator husband, Liam Taggart. Exactly why she needs to see both of them is unclear initially to them. When Catherine and Liam meet her and Lena begins to tell her story, they are drawn into uncovering the story behind the promise to her friend, Karolina which has haunted Lena for the last seventy years. There are questions that need to be asked, answers ...more
Bon Tom
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One more incredible book in the super interesting and readable series. All the trademarks are here, including the satisfying ending and unexpected, even shocking twist. Simply great.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review was done by KissinBlueKaren

KAROLINA’S TWINS is the third book in a series. It can be read as a stand alone, but the character’s investigating the story are featured in two other books. This story is mostly about Lena, and 89 year old widow. She comes into Liam’s private detective office, but she demands that his wife, Catherine, be present to hear the story. Catherine is a lawyer and she sometimes helps her husband with investigations. Lena wants Catherine and Liam to help her fi
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
No matter how many books I read about this period of history, I'm always amazed at how each author can put their own take on history and write an unforgettable novel. This is the first book I have read by Ronald Balson but after having thoroughly enjoyed this one I will definitely go back and read his other novels. Especially since I see that they again feature Catherine and Liam in the present day storyline as well as a story centered on WWII. His vivid descriptions of the atrocities of war wer ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

This book didn't really grab me at the beginning. It starts from the standpoint of an elderly woman talking to a lawyer and PI about finding children lost during WWII. It treads over familiar territory of Jews in Poland without bringing anything new to the table. As the plot progresses, my interest picked up somewhat as the book details the Polish Secret Army. The problem is that for some reason, Lena’s telling of her story is flat. I found it difficult to connect. Maybe because her story is rel
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
The amount of 5 star reviews this has received makes me question the education of our masses. While dealing with heavy subject matter, the writing is so flat I felt like I was reading a high school history paper. I feel this subject has been covered in a much richer and fulfilling manner by many others, and although it's "based on a true story" it just never grabbed me. I'd be more interested in reading an autobiography of the woman this is based on than this drivel.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this World War 2 novel. The story alternates between present day and war torn Poland after the Nazi occupation. I loved the friendship of Lena and Karolina.
If you enjoyed The Nightengale, you'll probably like this as well.
Judy D Collins
Ronald H. Balson delivers his third book in his riveting series, KAROLINA’S TWINS (Liam and Catherine #3) after the riveting Saving Sophie (2015) --catching up with Liam Taggart and his attorney wife, Catherine—for another complex and emotional case.

As the book opens, Chicago private eye, Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart-Taggart are contacted by Lena Woodward, a wealthy widow in her late eighties. Lena wants to find the twin daughters of her friend Karolina, who perished during the Holoc
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was a goodreads giveaway winner of "Karolina's Twins. I have an advanced readers edition. This is a very well written book. I found myself reluctant to put it down. Karolina's Twins. Starts with the Holocaust survivor Lena Woodward in present day. She is in her late 80s. She hires a lawyer and a private investigator to help find her friend Karolina's twins that were born during the Holocaust . They had to make a quick decision to save the babies during this horrible time. Now Lena wants he law ...more
Bonnye Reed
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-or-pdf
GNAB I received a free electronic ARC of this novel from Netgalley, Ronald H. Balson, and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all, for sharing your work with me.

Lena Woodward is an elderly, widowed Polish holocaust survivor. She involves Chicago private investigator Liam Taggard and his lawyer wife, Catherine Lockhard, in her search for twin babies lost from the train when she and her friends Karolina and Muriel were being shipped from the Chrzanow ghetto, where she, h
Monica Hills
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel was like eating a bag of potato chips where you can't stop eating them. I couldn't stop reading it. Lena Woodward, a holocaust survivor asks Catherine and Liam Taggart to help her find two twins that her best friend lost during the war. Part of the novel is Lena telling her story of what happened to her during the war. It flashes back in time to Poland in the late 1930s and early 1940s. She is Jewish and from a influential and wealthy family. Her best friend Karolina has been like a s ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
This story is entirely implausible. Maybe I just know too much about WWII history and the Holocaust, but the fact the twins were still alive and knew they had the same mother seventy years later is ridiculous. The author relates Holocaust history to the reader as if we knew absolutely nothing about it, and the protagonist Lena seems to be a real intellect about Cold War governments in the Eastern Bloc. Throw in the simpering relationship between the attorney and her investigator husband, and you ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just when I think I've read every aspect of the holocaust, another one comes along. This is set in current times in Chicago with a survivor telling a lawyer and private investigator her story. Storytelling switches back and forth between holocaust times and present times. The holocaust aspect was very compelling. The lawyer/present time was written weaker without as much depth. Still, the overall experience was worth the read. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.

This book almost entirely focuses on Lena's story of her life as a Jewish Polish woman during the Nazi occupation. That part of the story is very enthralling and during the breaks from that narrative where it goes back to 'present day', I found myself wishing those breaks were not part of the book didn't as they weren't nearly as interesting. Also, I wish this was told from a first person narrative flashback instead of kind of passively being told via a conversation.

I still enjoyed the
This story is almost entirely set in Poland during WWII. The book’s leaflet claims, “Just when you think there could not be anything new to unearth from World War II…” and I couldn’t agree more. For the first time I came across a mention of one of the greatest wartime heroes, Witold Pilecki, who was awarded the Cross of Valor twice, and the highest award posthumously of the Order of the White Eagle in 2006.

It is a very vivid story of one’s woman ordeal during the horrific anti-Semitic war. When
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not since I read Daniel Mendelsohn's Lost: A Search for Six of the Six Million have I been so moved by the poignant story of one person's unrelenting determination to locate displaced Holocaust survivors. At the beginning, we're presented with Cat, a lawyer, Liam, her husband who does inspections,, and Lena, an 89-year woman. The story unfolds from there.

I read this EARC courtesy of St. Martin's Press and Edelweiss. Pub date 09/06/16
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great historical fiction novel based on actual events. The characters are realistic, events well researched and written with emotion and brilliant descriptions. I will certainly be reading more from this author.
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This is a fictionalized account of the true story of a survivor named Fay, and that is why it rates 4 stars vs 3. I applaud the author for bringing the heroic story of Fay to life. If this had been purely fictional I would have worried more about the lackluster writing and "telling vs showing" style that I really do not enjoy. The author had to respect the genesis of the story and use factual information and details and that may have led to the flatness (as other reviewers have noted) of the wri ...more
Karolina's Twins by Ronald Balson is a different sort of Holocaust novel. It is a contemporary/historical legal thriller. It is also the third in a series dealing with the cases of private investigator Liam Taggart and lawyer Catherine Lockhart. It centers on locating a pair of twins who have been missing since WWII. I received a request to review this book through the publisher and downloaded it from Net Galley in return for this honest review.

Lena Woodward, the fictional client in Karolina's T
Maureen DeLuca
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have read Once We Were Brothers (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart #1) by Ronald H. Balson and Saving Sophie (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart #2) by Ronald H. Balson which were books 1 & 2 in this series.... both were excellent books. You do NOT have to read them in order, but I always suggest doing so. In this case we have Liam & Catherine and as you read further along in the series, their relationship goes forward. I will say that the second book Saving Sophie was bit of a hard read, I felt the author had way too many different story lines going on and I have to admit, I did skim through some of it. But Once we were Brothers and th ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
How could anyone today hope to find what happened to two infants, twin girls, who vanished somewhere in Nazi-occupied Poland? It seems an impossible task.

Chicago lawyer Catherine Lockhart and her husband, private detective Liam Taggart, have a reputation for solving mysteries from the WWII era, which is why Lena Woodward, an elderly widow and Holocaust survivor, asks them to help her. Lena intends to keep a promise she made long ago: to find her friend Karolina’s long-lost twins. “She was my de
Mandy Wultsch
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book has two parallel story lines: one set in World War II and a contemporary one. The older one is where most of the action takes place and, to me at least, is the more interesting one. The two are connected by the presence of one of the characters.

The World War II part of the story is told as the remembrances of one woman. I read the modern parts of the story impatiently, wanting to get back to World War II and all the action. It is a story of survival and loss, but hope, also.

Some parts
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Play Book Tag: Karolina's Twins by Ron Balsam. 3.8 stars 1 7 May 21, 2020 03:42AM  

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When he’s not writing books, Ron is a practicing attorney with the firm of Stone, Pogrund & Korey in Chicago. He has been a civil litigation attorney for forty-three years. He was an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business for twenty-five years and was a frequent lecturer in the federal bar certification course and in trial advocacy seminars.

Other books in the series

Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart (5 books)
  • Once We Were Brothers (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #1)
  • Saving Sophie (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #2)
  • The Trust (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #4)
  • The Girl from Berlin (Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart, #5)

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