Heart of Gold
by Warren Adler
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Pub Date 15 Mar 2017 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2022
A new thriller from the critically acclaimed novelist Warren Adler, well known for his iconic novel turned box office hit, The War of the Roses, and many more notable titles including Random Hearts, Target Churchill and Mother Nile…
Milton Gold is a fringe operating “hustling lawyer,” barely making it in the cutthroat chaos of 1970s New York City. His world is suddenly turned inside out when he meets the mysterious and beautiful Karla Smith, a Polish-American woman, who approaches him with an assignment that will test his skills beyond anything he has ever experienced. Karla hires him to find what he thinks will lead to his biggest payout yet: her inheritance of one-hundred million dollars in gold coins hidden by her banker father from the Nazis during World War II.
Despite his skepticism he joins Karla in a fantastic, dangerous and adventurous trek through communist dominated Europe to Auschwitz where the treasure has been hidden in an unsuspecting place. Milton and Karla discover things along the way that profoundly change their relationship and ultimately test their moral view of the world and society.
Balanced with humor and tragedy, Heart of Gold explores the brutality of life behind the iron curtain and the boundaries of morality during the darkest days of the Cold War.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 8 members
Warren Adler’s Heart of Gold is a top-notch crime/espionage/thriller that has a slumlord trickster of a New York lawyer matching wits with thugs and spies and others for ten suitcases of gold hidden away in Communist-controlled Poland in 1980 for forty years. Milton Gold reluctantly agrees to meet with Montana-bred Karla Smith in a New York deli, finding her tale of hidden gold almost too much to believe until he finally becomes convinced something’s up when a group of thugs start trailing her. Even then, he has no idea how he can help get the cold out from behind the Iron Curtain. But, Milton’s schemes and skimming are co,I got to a head and he has little left besides chasing Karla’s impossible pipe dream of finding her father’s hidden cache, estimated in value at $100 million, enough to have more than one spy agency and a band of revolutionaries sniffing around.
What separates this novel from every other one with a horde of treasure seekers matching wits and swords for a secret cache is that Adler has made this more than just another wild adventure. It has at once a story of a treasure hunt and also a story of how much we are prisoners of our pasts, of our legacies, of our heritages. It is furthermore a story about how much we bear the collective guilt or victimhood of our forbears.
Milton and Karla are as different as can be, even to the fact that he is a Jewish deli-going lawyer from New York descended from a Jewish family who had dwelled in the Pale of Settlement at the edge of Poland and Russia and she a Polish girl raised to hate Jews by her Polish-born father who secreted away a fortune while surviving World War Two. Milton doesn’t forgive the scars of the betrayal of his people by their Polish neighbors and centuries of hate before that. But it is their past in a world swept up by Nazi evil after Poland fell to the blitzkreig that haunts them both. Forty years later two people who hadn’t even been born bear the scars and enmity of that time. Moreover, despite the explosive attraction between them, Milton can never fully trust femme fatale Karla, always asking if she is for real or if she is just using him to get at the fabulous loot.
Thus, Adler at once offers us a treasure seeking adventure, a star-crossed romance, and a story of international intrigue. Well done!
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