Secrets of the Gold

Young Adult - Mystery
360 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Baer Charlton is an internationally recognized Best-Selling author. His many interests have led him worldwide in search of the off-beat and unique.
As an internationally recognized photojournalist, he tracked mountain gorillas, sailed across the Atlantic, and drove two to eighteen-wheeled vehicles for combined million-plus miles. He has raced motorcycles to sports cars and hiked mountain passes in sunshine and snow.
Baer writes from the philosophy that everyone has a story. But, inside of that story is an even better story. Those hidden stories drive his stories.
Doctors have stitched him back together more times than a hockey team, where his long-suffering wife and their cats have nursed him back to the keyboard for the next adventure.
Baer writes from a life among animals, peoples of varied backgrounds, and a love for unusual happenstances.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Secrets of the Gold by Baer Charlton is a suspense-filled young adult story about an extraordinary friendship between people with different pasts. Seventeen-year-old Bean is running away from an abusive home when she encounters Duff, a biker running from vicious assassins and a history he cannot remember. Bean cannot wait to turn eighteen, become independent, and get away from the foster care system. But, before then, she has to find a way to escape. So she convinces Duff to take her with him and cross various states together. Along the way, they develop a deep friendship, and Duff introduces her as his niece throughout the journey. Both main characters grow as they face dangerous situations and learn lessons together.

Charlton brings together two unlikely characters who forge an intriguing and believable friendship. Each character is fascinating in their way. I loved Bean’s perceptiveness and enjoyed reading about her growth as she makes new friends along the road and pursues her goals. The storyline provides her backstory, which further helped me understand her as a main character. The people they meet are equally fascinating. Duff’s mysterious past adds a thrilling twist to the plot, and tension mounts as the story ends. The conversations between Duff and Bean are entertaining and enhance the tale. Secrets of the Gold by Baer Charlton is a captivating mystery novel with riveting turns and convincing characters. You will love the lead characters’ growth and enjoy the absorbing experiences they have on their journey.

Alma Boucher

Secrets of the Gold by Baer Charlton is a young adult mystery. Bean lost her parents when she was nine years old. She went from one foster home to another and waited for a chance to run away. On turning seventeen Bean had the opportunity and made her escape. Elsewhere, Duff was shot twice and woke up in a pool of water and his blood. Duff’s only clues about who he was were the identity card and license in his wallet. Duff had no memory of what had happened or his past. After three years, Duff still hoped that his memory would return. While eating at a diner, Bean settled on the stool next to Duff. There were men after Bean and Duff told them that he was her uncle. Bean begged Duff to take her with him and so their journey began.

The plot in Secrets of the Gold is exciting and entertaining. I could not put the book down, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. I was engaged from the start until the end. The events were described in detail, and it was easy to be part of this journey. The characters were excellently developed and authentic. Baer Charlton created their backstories by dropping random bits of information as the events unfolded. Bean and Duff became good friends and they trusted each other. Bean was a frightened young girl who grows throughout the story. Bean and Duff’s journey was an adventure for both of them. The story was well-written with a fitting ending.

Bernadette Longu

In Secrets of the Gold, Baer Charlton has taken intrigue, suspense, detectives, murder, and espionage and pulled them all together in a story that has the reader's attention from the prologue to the very last page. The main characters are Bean and Duff. They come together and show the rest of the world that there are still good people out there, with all the wonderful characters that walk through the book with them. Good people are not really hard to find but they just don’t make themselves known unless they feel sure it is to the right person. The story takes place in the modern day and is a tribute to those of us who try to avoid social media, TV, and the like, and just enjoy the world around us as it is.

Secrets of the Gold is an apt title for this novel and the reader has to read to the end to find out just how fitting it is. They will get caught up in the twist in the tale that is so unexpected and so surprising that they will wish there had been more to read. Baer Charlton has really written a wonderful and exciting book; what a great read. The story is told with such grace and fine detail that the author actually brings the events and people to life. The reader will find it hard to put the book down and eventually will want to find a quiet corner with a never-ending cup of coffee to get to the end without the interruptions of daily life. A very good story. Thank you, Baer. The novel really made me realize that there is still good in this world of ours.

Rabia Tanveer

Secrets of the Gold by Baer Charlton is a story of familial love and found family between two people lost and alone in the world. Bean was just nine years old when she lost her parents. From then on, she jumped from foster home to foster home until she had enough. At 17, she ran away from the final foster home and came across Duff. Duff lost his memories after a near-death trauma. He had his documents on him and 88 flat gold ingots that he had no idea what to do with. Bean came into his life like a spitfire and stuck to him like glue. She wants to escape her perpetrators, and Duff wants to remember what he has forgotten. As they travel together, Duff and Bean learn valuable lessons that will stay with them until the end.

Baer Charlton writes a fantastic story and ensures we are in the moment with the characters until the final page. Secrets of the Gold is a mystery, thriller, and suspense novel combined with the best aspects of these genres. Charlton writes with precision and incredible wit. I loved how the story flowed fluidly without breaking the suspense. I also loved the way he wrote his characters. There is an innocence to Bean despite all the hardships she went through. On the other hand, Duff is vulnerable and a little too lost. However, they both develop wonderfully. Their connection is instant, and they quickly become each other’s surrogate family. Leon and Ingrid are just the right people to complete the family and have each other’s back. The dialogues are snappy, the descriptions are vivid, and the story’s pace is perfect. I loved the story, I loved Duff and Bean, and I have already recommended it to at least three of my friends.

K.C. Finn

Secrets of the Gold is a work in the suspense, mystery, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is intended for mature young adult readers but could easily be enjoyed by adult readers, and is penned by Baer Charlton. In this sophisticated and exciting drama laced with mystery and suspense, we meet our young protagonist, Bean, when she is running from an abusive foster situation. Meeting the drifter, Duff, Bean isn’t quick to trust him, especially when he can’t remember why he’s carrying ingots of gold in his coat, but an expedition to restore his memory brings them together with a bond that neither is looking for, but both of them sorely need.

Baer Charlton has crafted a fascinating tale of mystery, intrigue, and adventure, but one with family, bonding, and a deep desire for emotional stability. The shining centerpiece of the narrative is its character work, which allows us to get to know both Bean and Duff individually and explore their damage and strategies for coping. We also witness the development of a powerful bond of care and support that allows them to grow and explore more profound feelings. The moments of unlocking, both in terms of memory and emotional realizations, really hit home hard. This is gently layered into an interesting on-the-road style plot where the events of the journey complement the sentiments at play. I recommend Secrets of the Gold to fans of intricately penned adventure novels, sophisticated YA mysteries, and fantastic character dramas.