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 100 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.
It took a few chapters for me to get involved in this book. It got better once the action picked up but I still didn't find either of the main characters all that likable. It's a good book but IMO doesn't hold a candle to "The War of the Roses".
Steve Ogden's performance is SUPERB! I don't think I would've finished the book if it hadn't been for his absolutely outstanding narration. I will definitely pick up anything he narrates!
I received a free review audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Here is an example of book in which the audible version has to be better than reading the printed version. The narration by Steve Ogden is incredible as he nails so many different foreign accents. In a story full of international intrigue, spanning 3 continents and numerous countries, and characters from all walks of life from spies, to inn-keepers, to holocaust survivors, to innocent passersby; Ogden gives them all individual voices. In fact, there is an in-depth interview at the conclusion of the novel with the narrator where he explains the intricacies of the performance; in and of itself it is worth the listen.
As for the content of the story, the publisher's summary in spot on in describing what the tale is about. The characters and plot are well developed and, to the best of my recollection, there are no loose ends come the end of the listen. Although this is a fictional account going back to the days of the Cold War and further to Nazi Germany, this is a historically accurate account of the scenarios faced by a couple of different generations. The fact is that the story is not very far off from being able to be an actual accounting of real scenario. Without spoiling the story, there is a portion of the book where the main characters end up touring Auschwitz that is led by a survivor of the camp and the description of events are well documented. Although horrifying, they serve to explain why the significance of the search by one woman into her father's memories.
I would highly recommend this listen to all that enjoy the genre of international intrigue and suspense. Those that have never delved into such books would be well served by listening to this one to get started. As for any the enjoy post WWII and Cold War novels I would say this is a MUST have; well worth the credit or purchase price. I dare say that this is one of the few books that I will be listening to again as the story and especially the narration really work.
A review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
First, I found the performance of this book to be top-notch, and I look forward to more from this narrator.
The story was problematic. The main protagonist was unlikable, coming across as thin-skinned and immature much of the time, which was distracting from the story. The story itself was unsatisfying. The premise was interesting, but didn't deliver what I hoped it would.
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
The book is alright but not so good that I would recommend to a friend. I won't advice against it if asked, but I won't proactively recommend it either.
The story started slowly and took some time to pick up pace. When the real action started, it was a smooth ride. It somewhat held my attention. But the relationship between the two protagonists was the cliched sore thumb for me. How many times have we read about a professional and client getting involved / trying to get involved romantically? Apart from that, both characters were pretty one-dimensional too.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Steve Ogden?
Steve Ogden's voice acting was good and gave this book its life. Each character had its own distinct voice and separately recognizable.
Any additional comments?
I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
This is an excellent book. The suspense is palpable and the build up is superb. This story is so realistic and so believable , I'm have to keep reminding myself that it is fiction..
Warren Adler is an expert at spinning a web of psychological suspense , Action, mystery, and interweaving humor and romance making a realistic thriller that will not soon be forgotten.. Steve Ogden is impressive in his narration ..
"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."
Just an average book with above average narration. It was very slow at the beginning. Took a little effort to complete. I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Blast
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Heart of Gold in three words, what would they be?
Intrigue, Suspense, Twisted
Who was your favorite character and why?
Mary. She was the typical go to girl.
Have you listened to any of Steve Ogden’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
No extreme reaction. Just the fact that I listened to the whole book in one day.
Any additional comments?
I got this ARC via audiobook boom. The narrator was good and kept the story flowing. Little Izzy was awful.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
When I started to listen to this audio book I had no idea it was about the holocaust. As a second generation jewess who lost all her family except her mother this story is very meaningful. Warren Adler has written an amazing powerful and very disturbing story. Steve Ogden did an amazing job of bringing the character's to life. His portrayal of a secular Yiddish speaking Jew was amazingly accurate if he is not one of us. I commend him and thank him for his sensitivity. As an Orthodox Jew myself I think choosing a non observant character for Milton was absolutely the right choice, it really worked. He looked and acted like everyone else so he fitted in. Karla was hard to like, even at the end I still felt that way. I never could fathom what Milton saw in her? Her father sickened me and made me ashamed. I loathed all the players in this end game except Milton who I felt was a soft touch, a "Nebech" all still hating my people as if no time at all had passed. No spoilers from me, but the outcome pleased me. I am very glad I listened to this story even with a heavy heart because it really is memorable and the author is outstanding.