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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Review: Heart of Lies by M. L. Malcolm

Heart of Lies by M. L. Malcolm
Paperback, 336 pages
Harper Paperbacks
June 8, 2010
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review from publicist
“Leo Hoffman was born with a gift for languages. When his dreams for the future are destroyed by World War I, the dashing young Hungarian attempts to use his rare talent to rebuild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Suddenly Leo is wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes, including murder. Left with no options, he must escape to Shanghai with his lover, carrying with him a stolen treasure that could be his salvation . . . or his death warrant. But the gangsters who control the decadent Asian city have no intention of letting him outrun his past. And when the Japanese invade, one wrong move could cost Leo Hoffman everything he holds dear."
I’m going to throw this out there, right off the top, I LOVED THIS BOOK! Prepare for the gushing.

This story is fast-paced, beautifully detailed, and really sets the reader right into the time and place – which could be challenging because there are several very different settings. The story is initially set in a couple of European countries – Hungary, France, and Germany. These are all areas that I am familiar with. Then the story shifts to Shanghai, China – this is where everything was new to me. China, between the two World Wars, was an extremely different place than it had always been and how it would become in the future. Many of the world powers had influence there at the time. I enjoyed learning about the areas where wealthy Europeans and Americans lived and the culture there. Toward the end of the book we move into the United States. Each of these locations were like characters themselves the way they were wrought out by this author.

Right from the very beginning I was invested in Leo’s story. He was a very unique person who was very driven for what he wanted – which happed to be a beautiful woman he meets by chance. His passion was so palpable. Although I can’t imagine myself ever being in some of the situations that he ended up in, it was so believable to the character and the time period that I was instantly absorbed. I think I fell in love with this character!

This is the second book that I have read recently that was set between the World Wars. It was enlightening to see how the impending war affected different places in the world – in this book you can see three very different perspectives. You really get to see how the tensions affect the people who are just trying to live their lives and get out from under World War I, only to be thrown into the impending World War II.

I honestly do not have one single bad thing to say about this book. From the time I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. This is certainly a book you should not miss!

To read an excerpt of the book (which I recommend) – check this out.
I have a giveaway of Heart of Lies coming up this week, as well as a guest post from the author, so keep watching for more.

I am now anxiously awaiting the follow-up novel, Heart of Deception! It is scheduled to be released in April of 2011 (so very far away) and sounds so exciting. Here’s the description:
“Leo Hoffman is a man of many contradictions. He is a Hungarian national with a French passport, a wealthy businessman with no visible means of support, and a devoted father who hasn’t seen his daughter in years. He is also a spy.

Recruited by the Allies to help lay the groundwork for their invasion of North Africa, Leo intends to do as little spying as possible; he just wants to earn his American citizenship, get to New York, and find his daughter, Maddy. But while Leo dodges death in France and Morocco, Maddy learns the truth behind her father’s mysterious past, and as she matures, this haunting knowledge compels Maddy down her own dangerous path of deception and discovery.

Spanning the years from World War II to the turbulent 1960s, this sequel to Heart of Lies tells the riveting story of a family struggling with the choices that war forces them to make, and the consequences that take a generation to unfold.”

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes& Noble | RJ Julia

Also by M.L. Malcolm:

heart of deception
Heart of Deception (Sequel to Heart of Lies)
[My Review]

the cuban connection
The Cuban Connection


Find M.L. Malcolm: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Will be back for the guest post and giveaway--this looks like an incredible read!! I'll be honest about my shallowness--that incredible cover would have snagged me :)

  2. I like the gushing part! the book sounds wonderful. Am sorry only that the giveaway is not international!!!!

  3. Rowenna and Mystica - I think you will love the book, I loved it. Mystica - sorry about it not being international, no my choice.

  4. I entered the giveaway under my first impression from the blurb that I would like this read. After reading your review, I think I am right. I think that I will like this story. I love reading historical fiction and World War I and II are amongst my favorite time-periods and interesting enough, I have not read much that is set during these periods.

  5. Ibeeeg - If you like the World War era in hist fic than you will love this one. It's a must read.


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