Wish to Die

What do six tons of amber, diamonds, a Philadelphia art museum, and a Smersh agent all have in common? Harry Thursday, for starters.

During WWII, The Russian Amber Room and a massive hoard of diamonds worth 200 million dollars were stolen from Görings Kunstschutz commander, Erich Koch. It might be mentioned that Koch stole those goodies from the Russians during their failed Soviet invasion.

Now, over thirty years later, Russian art historian Elina Kulinov, is attempting to recover the amber room that her mother masterminded when Harry Thursday stumbles along. He joins her in a race against a Philadelphia museum and the Smersh Agent in charge of recovering those very items from the Germans.

Walton’s writing is strong, crisp and easy to read. His description creates a great atmosphere: “A heavy fog crept eerily through the forest…The smell of diesel exhaust permeated the air…Here and there a crooked lamppost tried to push a dim light through the fog. Creaking iron rails moaned in the night…” Another excellent example is: “An old, crooked pear tree, bearded with dead grapevines that clung to it like webs in a forgotten room, stood nearby.” The book is full of great writing like this. There is also some innovative character description: “His blunt nose looked like the backside of a pig sitting in his thick mustache” and: “He remembered Uncle Ted as a desultory man, unable to make a clear point, seemingly distracted, and perhaps unkeeled.”

With everyone looking for the same things, who will find them first? And who will survive?

Wish to Die is available at these retailers –