cover image Bound for Gold

Bound for Gold

William Martin. Forge, $29.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8421-8

Bestseller Martin’s engrossing sixth Peter Fallon novel (after 2012’s The Lincoln Letter) takes the Boston-based historian and rare book dealer to San Francisco, where his lawyer son is handling the last will and testament of wealthy Maryanne Rodgers. A codicil in her will states that before her estate can be liquidated, all seven original sections of a journal written by Maryanne’s pioneer great-grandfather, James Spencer, must be gathered together and digitized. These are in the hands of various far-flung relatives and include an account of Spencer’s voyage from Boston to California’s gold fields in 1849. What seems like a straightforward job for Fallon is, of course, anything but. International gangsters, the FBI, assorted fraudsters, and even a vintner or two keep things jumping. Sections of Spencer’s vividly written journal alternate with the contemporary action and bring the adventures and heartaches of the California gold rush to life while shedding light on the era’s racism, rough justice, and occasional kindness that forged friendships to last a lifetime. Martin provides a thought-provoking view of American history along with plenty of thrills. [em]Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media. (July) [/em]