THE GOLD OF TROY by Robert L. Fish


Email this review


Whatever happened to the Heinrich Schliemann treasures from Troy that have been missing since last seen in a Berlin museum before World War II? A good question. . . but a mediocre novel--which begins when someone sends Ruth McVeigh, the 34-year-old new head of the Metropolitan Museum, a gold button from the missing Schliemann collection; it's a teasing invitation to bid for the whole boodle at a secret auction being held among the world's leading museums (no offer under $15 million will be considered). So Ruth convenes a London conference of international museum directors to try to arrange for joint purchase of the treasure. Meanwhile, however, flashbacks follow the secret 1945 history of the treasure--as a professorial Russian sergeant discovers the gold in a Berlin bunker and plans to ship it to the USSR while Kurt Schurz, a member of ODESSA, in fact steals the treasure for the Fourth Reich and gets it loaded onto a ship. . . which sinks into the Baltic near Copenhagen, thanks to Schurz's suicidally depressed accomplice. And that's where the treasure sits--till 1979, when it's discovered by a diving fisherman, whose avaricious cousin buys the stuff for a pittance and teams up with strapped art-collector Count Lindgren. So, back in the present, Lindgren is holding that auction; and Ruth and Gregor Kovpak, widower head of the Hermitage, set out on a European odyssey that leads them to Lindgren in Copenhagen and also into a hopeless love affair even more entangled by the CIA and KGB agents on their trail. . . . Lots of potential here--and one longs for the sort of missing-treasure atmosphere that made Claire Taschdjian's The Peking Man Is Missing so alluring. Veteran thriller-maker Fish, however, mostly just plows through in mechanical, leaden, plot-heavy style--a scenario with movie possibilities, perhaps, but a disappointingly flat read.

Pub Date: Oct. 3rd, 1980
Publisher: Doubleday