Title: Heart of Lies
Author: M.L. Malcolm
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
Paperback: 336 pages
About the book:
Meet Leo Hoffman, a dashing young Hungarian born with a gift for languages. After his dreams for the future are destroyed by WWI, he attempts to use his talent to rebuild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. When he discovers he’s wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes including murder, he escapes with his lover to Shanghai, taking with him a stolen treasure that will prove to be his salvation or his death warrant. But he soon learns that the gangsters who control the decadent city do not intend to let him outrun his past; and when the Japanese invade, one wrong move costs him everything he holds dear.
Heart of Lies by M.L. Malcolm is a beautifully crafted historical fiction novel spanning both world wars and several continents bringing the reader an adventure unlike any other. The story begins in Budapest, the year is 1919 during a period of tremendous political turmoil and economical decline where loyalist and proud Hungarian Leo Hoffman must conceal his Jewish identity to survive. Fast-forward to 1925 and Leo, the head concierge at the Hotel Bristol, finds himself accepting a job to be an international translator and spy for arms dealers. While on his first assignment in Paris he meets and falls in love with Martha Levy. Unfortunately Leo was a little too eager and far too trusting and found himself not only involved in an international fraud but also a wanted man who narrowly escapes to Shanghai. At this point the novel takes off at a rapid fire pace, entertaining the reader with brilliant twists and turns leaving one to wonder just who can be trusted.
Heart of Lies is filled with an array of characters from the loving to the unscrupulous. Malcolm's depiction of her characters, countries, and historical time-line is well done as she weaves together stories that will capture the reader's attention and keep the reader engaged until the last page. Of all the many character my favourite character is Maddy. To others who have read the novel, I would very much like to hear your impressions of Martha, Amelia, and some of the decisions made by Leo as clearly I cannot say more without adding spoilers. Heart of Lies is a book I would not hesitate to recommend and one I would highly recommend to book discussion groups, as I truly would have liked to discuss this novel with others.
About the Author:
M. L. Malcolm is a Harvard Law graduate, journalist, recovering attorney, and public speaker. She has won several awards for her short fiction, including recognition in the Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Competition, and a silver medal from ForeWord magazine for Historical Fiction Book of the Year. She has lived in Florida, Boston, Washington, D.C., France, New York, and Atlanta, and currently resides in Los Angeles.
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I received a complimentary copy of Heart of Lies by M.L. Malcolm from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.