Imagine being able to speak five languages… Well Leo Hoffman can, as a young Hungarian he has an innate ability to pickup languages. After fighting in World War I Leo returns to Budapest with his and other countries destroyed. In M.L. Malcolm’s Heart of Lies we follow the life of Leo Hoffman as he rebuilds his life following the war and his new endeavors in life.
As his ticket out Leo attempts to assist Hungarian nationals in what he believes is an attempt to rebuild. However, all is not what meets the eye; these men are involved in an international counterfeiting scheme in Paris. In an act of salvation in order to escape conviction Leo runs away with a million dollar diamond necklace to Shanghai. Yet prior to this Leo met Martha Levy and fell in love at first site. Yet he must abandon his love in favor of salvation in Shanghai. As we watch Martha deteriorate- Leo is Shanghai accumulating wealth until a more appropriate time when he can send for Martha. The stolen treasure becomes his salvation throughout the novel- yet also his demise. As Leo learns he is a wanted man across multiple countries he becomes indebted to a gang lord. Amidst this blustering new Shanghai City Martha disembarks and the two loners are quickly reunited and married. Yet this all occurs during the 1930”s and happiness in Shanghai cannot be so secure as WWII begins and the Japanese invade and destroy this wondrous city.
As we follow the Hoffman family along an arduous journey to safety in an attempts to avoid gangsters, bombs, and the invasion of the Japanese.
“Leo closed his eyes and held her close. He would get through the next two years alive. He would get back his daughter. And then love would give them a second chance.”
Leo lives a suspenseful life escaping Hungary, communism, murder, Shanghai, gangsters, Black Tuesday, and so much loss. Heart of Lies is truly a harrowing tale of bravery and survival when nothing was secure. The novel is truly historical as well; as Malcolm is able to infuse a great amount of facts and background to educate the reader. This novel is compelling and thought provoking novel entices the reader to engage with each character-including suspense, love, loss, and experience that many readers engage with. This novel leads readers on a harrowing journey across continents.
M.L. Malcolm truly has taken the time to research the history behind this era. Her unique ability to infuse history with enjoyment is amazing- as the reader barely notices the historical facts infused within the novel. This saga is truly inspirational begging readers to wonder what you would sacrifice for the good of yourself, your family, or your country.
This book can be found on Amazon
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