Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Greek countryside and a beautiful woman might seem like enough to satisfy anyone’s vacation plans, but the intrepid archaeologist Harry Thursday seems bereft of a good time if someone isn’t trying to kill him.

During WWII, the Russian Amber Room and a hoard of diamonds worth 200 million dollars were stolen from Göring’s Kunstschutz commander, Erich Koch.

Now, over thirty years later, Russian art historian Elina Kulinov is attempting to recover these items when Harry Thursday stumbles along. He joins her in a race against a Philadelphia museum and SMERSH.

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

The Big Thrill caught up with Robert Walton to discuss his adventure thriller, WISH TO DIE:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

My protagonist is a simple archaeologist whose often routine business allows him to be pulled into unsolicited adventures, if not outright seduced by their lure. He is not a spy or international secret agent, but a simple counter of bones and pottery shards.

Harry’s complexity stems from his often troubled past, and he learns that it is never too late to follow his bliss.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

I always write my novels with an adventure in mind, but find that it is impossible to have a good adventure without the aspects of intrigue and subterfuge that are integral parts of the thriller genre.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

As I wrote WISH TO DIE, I began to realize that the story’s footing in history required more research than I had originally planned, so that in the end I had to insert a historical notes page so the reader would understand the authenticity of the story’s background.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

WISH TO DIE is as much a love story as it is a thriller. It begins during WWII and moves quickly to 1981 where the story takes place in both Greece and Philadelphia and its suburbs. I hope it is a page turner.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

I think I get my love of story telling from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Bernard Cornwell is a master historical novelist, and he writes the best battle scenes ever. Clive Cussler is beyond compare in the adventure genre. Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels have a richness and depth that cannot be discerned from the films. My overall favorite author is Martin Cruz Smith in any genre, but no one turned me on to reading more than Vonnegut.


Robert Walton grew up in the small village of Narberth along the main line of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With a degree in archaeology from Penn State University, he has worked tirelessly over the years to live up to his father’s expectations. Still, this did not stop him from pursuing his interest in writing.

Bob is the creator and owner–retired of the award-winning Bob’s Bagels in Lemoyne Pennsylvania, and when he is not writing, he can be found drinking coffee in local cafes and discussing the fate of mankind.

He lives and writes in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and grand-dog. His next project will follow a sixth century priest returning from Rome to his English estate in Mercia, only to be swept into a journey far into the unknown lands of the frozen north, in a pre-Viking adventure.

To learn more, please visit his website.

Latest posts by ITW (see all)