The Hercules Trust
M.W. Conley was Associate Professor of Political Science at Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Freelance writer Clarke Wallace’s fourth novel is that ideal book for a southern beach or a cosy winter fireplace. Combining his love of skiing with the glamour and excitement surrounding the rich and powerful, Wallace takes us on a whirlwind tour of some of the best ski resorts in the world.
Once-successful businessman turned ski-bum Philip Stone finds his life suddenly changed with the appearance of his old friend Gerry Warden. Stone, happily teaching outdoor survival and cross-country skiing, has not seen Warden since losing his lover Sarah to Gerry fifteen years ago. Warden tells Stone that he is in need of help and that Sarah is in danger. Within hours, Stone’s life of tranquility is shattered and Gerry Warden is dead. From this point on Stone seems to fall into one trap after another while searching for, and attempting to protect Sarah from, something — what, he does not know.
The excitement of the skiing communities of Steamboat Village, Colorado, and Chamonix, France, is juxtaposed with the intrigue of illegal art transactions among powerful members of the Hercules Trust. The head of the Trust, Gerhard Hegler, is a former Nazi who has set up an underworld network dealing in stolen art and cultural treasures. Murder, seduction, and violence are sure to follow. And they do, in rapid succession.
Although not of the calibre of John Le Carre or Brian Callison, Wallace has written an interesting thriller, easily read in five or six hours. Take it with you on your next vacation.