Heart of Lies

By M.L. Malcolm
(William Morrow Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780061962189, 336pp.)

Publication Date: June 2010

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2010 Indie Next List
“M L Malcolm weaves an engrossing tale of a man in conflict with himself. Leo Hoffman's unique mastery of languages offers him opportunities that motivate choices with far-reaching consequences in the years between the World Wars. Beginning in Budapest, Leo's journey into self-deception will take him into the subcultures of Paris, Vienna, and Shanghai and threaten his integrity and his love for the beautiful Martha Levy. Readers will be captivated by the well-researched history, exciting international intrigue, and one man's enduring passion.”
-- Jane Glaser, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer '11 Reading Group List


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.

An epic tale of intrigue, passion, and adventure, Heart of Lies heralds the arrival of a remarkable writer.

About the Author

M. L. Malcolm has won several awards for short fiction, including recognition in the Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Competition, and a silver medal from ForeWord magazine for Historical Fiction Book of the Year. Malcolm has lived in Florida, Boston, Washington, D.C., France, New York, and Atlanta, and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com


  1. In many ways Leo is a deeply flawed character. Did this affect how you related to him? Can you think of any other literary figures who were similarly "morally challenged"?

Praise For Heart of Lies

“Fascinating and deftly-written....The writing is exquisite, wrapping the reader in another time and place.”
-Historical Novels Review on Heart of Lies

“Ambitious, captivating....The expansive plot and rapid-fire pacing are underscored by brilliant depictions of post–World War I Europe and Asia.”
-Atlanta Magazine on Heart of Lies

“A sweeping saga reminiscent of Jeffrey Archer and Susan Howatch, Heart of Lies is brilliantly researched and beautifully written. I could not put this book down.”
-Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on Legare Street

“Heart of Lies takes the reader on a thrill ride that spans continents and decades, but at heart it’s an enduring love story.”
-Melanie Benjamin, author of Alice I Have Been

“A deeply compelling and extraordinary debut novel. It has everything you want: suspense, adventure, and romance across several continents.”
-Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author of Return to Sullivans Island

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