Heart of Lies
Harper, Jun 8 2010, $13.99
Hungarian Leo Hoffman has an innate ability to grasp languages rather quickly. He plans to use his skills, but his dreams of a better life ends temporarily he hopes as WWI flames across Europe with his homeland, the Austro-Hungarian Empire lined up on the side of Germany.
By 1925 with the combat over for several years, Leo tries to start anew using his uncanny skills. However, bad luck shadows him when he gets unintentionally entangled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Before he can expedite himself from that mess, he becomes wanted across the continent for a myriad of other felons including murder. He flees with his beloved Martha, whom he fell in love with at first sight in Paris. Leo hopes they can escape Europe for Shanghai where he prays he can sell valuable stolen treasure, but even in the Chinese city, he finds people who want him dead.
This is an exciting historical thriller starring a series of victims of people turning criminal to survive in the post war depression in East Europe. The story line is fast-paced as the linguistics expert lacks common sense. Although the key support cast is one dimensional never moving passed a singularity, readers will enjoy the twisting Heart of Lies as mid 1920s economically depressed Europe and to a lesser degree New York and Shanghai come vividly to life.