Read Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard Online


It's Detroit, 1971. Harry Levin, scrap metal dealer and holocaust survivor, learns that his daughter has been killed in a car accident. Travelling to Washington DC, he's told by Detective Taggart that the German diplomat, who was drunk, has been released and afforded immunity; he will never face charges. So Harry is left with only one option - to discover the identity of tIt's Detroit, 1971. Harry Levin, scrap metal dealer and holocaust survivor, learns that his daughter has been killed in a car accident. Travelling to Washington DC, he's told by Detective Taggart that the German diplomat, who was drunk, has been released and afforded immunity; he will never face charges. So Harry is left with only one option - to discover the identity of this man, follow him back to Munich and hunt him down. The first of a two-hander, Peter Leonard's new novel is a classic cat-and-mouse thriller. Told with swagger, brutal humour and not a little violence, it follows a good man who is forced to return to the horrors of his past....

Title : Voices of the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780571271498
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 324 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Voices of the Dead Reviews

  • Ashley
    2019-04-28 01:47

    Peter Leonard is not his father and his style writing lets you know it!!!He does the type of story's his father does but his are more "modern crime/younger vibe feel to it.I LOVE MR. ELMORE LEONARD!!!! I LOVE EVERY BOOK I HAVE READ BY THE MAN (the myth!!)The son has a sensitive root for the main characters in his books, while Mr. Leonard's characters are usually ruthless, don't care crims!! (Always good books though) Harry Levin has had a terrible early life!!! He is a Dachau survivor, (his whole family has been killed) has to come to a scary new place as a 14 yr old kid to the U.S. to live with his Uncle!!, his wife of a year dies giving birth to there ONLY CHILD!! there daughter... and now this..his daughter is killed!!!!. This was a heartfelt, easy to feel for this man... He goes to Germany to confront the man who killed his daughter in a drunk driving "accident". He has a hell of a trip!!! UN-FUCKING REAL!!!! Well I might have said to much... GREAT BOOK THOUGHTON TO PART 2!!!!

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-04-25 18:44

    I was worried, judging by the title, that this was going to be one of those annoying zombie dystopian books or something. Luckily it wasn't anything of the sort. I loved the Seventies setting and the author's vivid writing style, too. :)

  • Donna Brown
    2019-04-25 20:42

    Voices of the Dead takes some brave steps into a difficult period of history and actually sees the book focus on two periods of time: both the Second World War and the 1970s. As a child, Harry was sent to Dachau. He managed to escape but lost so many of those he loved and his life was change irrevocably. Years later he has managed to overcome the tragedies he has faced and make a decent life for himself. However, when another tragedy befalls him he not only loses his beloved daughter but finds that the past has returned to haunt him yet again. The man who kills his daughter is a powerful diplomat – and he too has ties to Dachau.Leonard has the key elements of an excellent mystery/thriller here – remarkable coincidences, a complex plot, a stubborn lead character who refuses to be browbeaten – and he uses them adeptly to put together an entertaining tale. Harry seems a relatively straightforward character early in the book but as the novel progresses you realise that he is much more complex and extreme events have shaped him to adapt a persona that is, in part, a protective facade. However, he demonstrates a remarkable capacity for love and caring.When it comes to thrillers I like situations that are farfetched but not impossible, characters who are strong and even arrogant but not above a little weakness every now and again and a story that unfolds bit by bit to keep you enthralled and – where possible – a little bit of a twist to the end. Voices of the Dead delivers all of these and left me very satisfied with the conclusion.Voices of the Dead was a very entertaining read, which – given some of the subject matter – is a feat in itself. I felt Leonard handled it with sensitivity borne of genuine respect for the history, rather than the callousness that can sometimes come from using true life events to simply add ‘shock value’ to a book. An all round good read from a writer who has an excellent command of action and dialogue within his work.This review was originally published on Book Bags and Cat Naps. I received a copy in exchange for my fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation and all views are my own.

  • Kim (Bookishly Me)
    2019-04-23 17:38

    This was a story which was hard to put down and I read it in a day. Harry Levin wants to get justice for the dead of his daughter. But the drunk driver who killed her is a German Politician named Hess and is granted immunity. He follows Hess to Germany. This also brings back memories of the Holocaust which Harry barely survived. In the pursuit of his daughters killer he finds out something even more disturbing about Hess that will put his own life and that of the people around him in danger.The moment I started this story I kept flipping page after page, I was unable to put it down. This is a fast read, but due to the subject not really an easy read. This story does not only get into the pursuit of Harry for his daughters killer, but also the events that took place 30 years earlier when Harry escaped from ending up in a mass grave, literally. Eventhough Harry and Hess form the major players in this story, the story is told from many points of view. This gives you a great overview of everyting that is happening. Peter Leonard makes sure all these different characters have their unique voice and you don't get confused by all these different points of view. Because of all the different points of view, you can see some of the twists coming, but due to the fast pace of this story it did not bother me and takes nothing away from the plot of this story.The story takes place in 1971 and Peter Leonards writing style suits that time really well. And this together with a wel written story makes this a novel that will appeal to any-one who can enjoy a good thriller.Voices of the Dead is a fast paced and action packed novel full of unique characters, which will keep you flipping the pages.

  • David Williams
    2019-05-09 00:35

    Voices of the Dead is the newest book from Peter Leonard. Leonard is the son of the celebrated Elmore Leonard. Peter is proving to be an excellent novel in his own right. The book tells the story of Harry Levin. A young man who escaped Dachau and made a life in Detroit. When his daughter is killed by a drunken driver with German diplomatic papers a chain of events leads him to return to Munich, his childhood home, and to track down the man responsible. Along the way he has to come to grips with his own past, and with the rise of the neo-Nazi movement. Harry is not a super hero or a super sleuth. He is just a man who is not willing that his daughter's killer go unpunished. When he realizes that the man is a former member of the SS and may be a serial killer of Jews, he determines to stop him. The book takes place in the early 1970s with flashbacks to Harry's escape from the Nazis. This is an enjoyable, well-written story of a man seeking justice and caught in a web that he can't escape.

  • Keith
    2019-04-26 20:46

    The Game of the NamePeter Leonard is the son of the Great Elmore Leonard, and in case we were in any doubt, there's an encomium from his dad as the preface to Voices of the Dead. In it, Leonard senior praises Leonard junior for having read his Ten Rules of Writing, especially the one about leaving out the parts that readers find boring. Well, that's certainly true here. Voices of the Dead moves along like a steam train, barely pausing for breath (if a steam train breathes ... ). Set initially in 1971, it tells the story of Harry Levin, a Detroit scrap metal merchant, who finds himself hunting down an ex-Nazi who he remembers from the war, and who is still roaming the world killing Jews who might incriminate him. The story moves back to Dachau in 1942 for some key scenes that explain Harry's actions and give context, perhaps, for contemporary readers who don't know what went on in the concentration camps. This aspect of the story, and particularly a scene where Hess, the ex-Nazi, is recognised in a street, is immediately reminiscent of William Goldman's Marathon Man, and indeed Hess has some of the characteristics of Goldman's villain, played memorably by Laurence Olivier in the movie. He's arrogant, clever, daring and ruthless. Fortunately he's matched by Harry, who doesn't fit whatever perception we had of scrap dealers by being active, fit and good with a gun. Ah, but he's an American scrap dealer ... Leonard's style is very dynamic. It's full of active verbs, short sentences and key details, especially when it comes to time:Harry took a cab from the airport to Washington Hospital Center, a big white building complex on Irving Street. He arrived at 8:37, went to the reception desk and asked where his daughter, Sara Levin, was. A black woman with a well-trimmed Afro, reminded him of Angela Davis, told Harry to have a seat, pointing at couches and chairs arranged in front of a picture window with a view of a courtyard, someone would be out to talk to him. There was no one else in the waiting area. Harry scanned the magazine rack, picked up TIME. The headline said: “The Occult Revival,” with an illustration of a guy wearing a black hood, and in smaller type: “Satan Returns." Note the exact time of arrival - not 'about eight thirty' but precisely 8.37. This is a constant motif throughout the book - giving precise times - and the effect is to add credibility to Harry's actions. It places him at a certain location at an exact time and adds a sense of tension, as though detailing the times is leading us to a definitive point where the story will end. The description of the cover of TIME adds to the precision, and you just know that Leonard has been doing his research on the period and found this magazine cover to refer us to. The reference to Angela Davis, a black activist of the period, also helps position the story in its period.Leonard's phrasing also hurries the story along:Harry took a cab to the Washington DC Police Department on Shepherd Street, met with Detective Taggart in a room with a long table, two ashtrays on it, pink walls and a clock. Taggart looked about forty, dark curly hair, sideburns, light green dress shirt, brown tie pulled down, slightly askew, revolver in a black shoulder holster under his left arm.A 'standard' way of writing the first sentence here would have been:Harry took a cab to the Washington DC Police Department on Shepherd Street and met with Detective Taggart in a room with a long table, two ashtrays on it, pink walls and a clock. Using 'and' somehow slows the sentence down infinitesimally, renders it into two halves - taking a cab to the police department AND meeting with Detective Taggart. By exchanging the 'and' for a comma, Leonard 'runs on' the reading process, makes the meeting with Taggart part of the same internal breath as you read. Similarly, in the second sentence, Leonard's punctuation emphasises speed. Consider if it had been punctuated like this:Taggart looked about forty. He had dark curly hair, sideburns, a light green dress shirt and a brown tie pulled down, slightly askew. He wore a revolver in a black shoulder holster under his left arm. This is perfectly acceptable but 'writerly' in that the description is broken down into discrete elements composed into sentences. In Leonard's original version the descriptions are again run together, separated only by commas, giving the effect that they're almost asides, inessential details to Harry's real purpose, which is to find out what Taggart knows. The fact that you're not allowed to draw a breath - between sentences - adds literally to the 'breathless' speed of the reading process. Two other stylistic choices add to the pace of reading. First, the use of descriptive phrases as sentences:Everything on the left side from the front fender to the trunk was crushed, pushed halfway through the interior. Roof peeled back like a sardine can. Steering wheel bent out of position. Driver’s seat angled sideways against the front passenger seat. The last three sentences here omit the definite article and a verb: 'THE roof WAS peeled back like a sardine can.' This emphasises the immediacy of Harry's viewing of the car, his eyes roving over the roof, the steering wheel and the driver's seat. We see what he sees.A sense of immediacy is also given by Leonard's use of his father's most famous stylistic creation - the active present participle:“That was an unprecedented time in our history. Unparalleled,” Hess said. Looking like he wanted to relive the past, pumped all of a sudden, grinning, recalling the good old days. Traditionally, this might have been written like this:“That was an unprecedented time in our history. Unparalleled,” Hess said, looking like he wanted to relive the past, pumped all of a sudden, grinning, recalling the good old days. The present participle 'Looking' here is part of a descriptive phrase. For example, '"Yes," he said, walking to the door' - the speaker is described in an action, and the action is in the past, the tense established by 'said'. By using the formulation of: ... Hess said. Looking like he wanted to relive the past ...... Leonard tells us what was said, but then the present participle after the full stop launches us into the present, which is re-emphasised later in the sentence by the use of 'grinning' rather than 'he grinned'. Alternatively, if it had been written: ... Hess said. He looked like he wanted to relive the past ... ... the full stop followed by the simple past of 'He looked like' slows the pace because there's a breath for the full stop and the verb is in the past.Later on the same page we have a similar usage:Hess looked nervous now, face turning serious.Note 'face turning serious' - a present action rather than: 'Hess looked nervous now; his face had turned serious.' In Leonard's version we're in the scene; in the 'standard' version, we're being told about it after the fact.Elmore Leonard more or less invented the use of the present participle in this way and his son pays homage effectively.Where the son is less effective than the father is in concluding his book. Elmore frequently has acts of casual violence springing from almost nowhere to finish off the bad guys. We've wished for it during the course of the book, but the arrival of the conclusion is often a surprise because it's not built up to. As in life, the violence comes as a shock to everyone. Peter Leonard goes for somewhat the same effect in Voices of the Dead, but somehow it doesn't quite come off. The set-up to the conclusion is effective but the denouement is over too quickly - it's as if the paciness of the storytelling up to that point actually infects the manner in which Leonard concludes the book. If it had been more drawn out it would have heightened the tension. Leonard has chosen a controversial theme for the book and there are difficulties trying to make a thriller out of the Holocaust. Do you engage in a broader discussion of Hitler's project to purify Germany by eliminating non-Aryans? Or is it acceptable to take this merely as the backdrop and concentrate instead on a more personal story? This is the route that Leonard has taken and on its own terms, it works. It must be tough to write thrillers with the name Leonard when that name is already well-established amongst the pantheon of crime writers. Perhaps that's why he's gone into the past - to separate himself chronologically from his father's current work. On the other hand, he could just have used a different name.

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-24 22:28

    What would you do if your only child was killed in a car accident, and the person responsible was granted immunity because of his diplomatic status? Would you be able to forgive and forget, or would you do whatever you had to do to get justice? What if this diplomat was also someone from your past, your very tragic and traumatic past? Would knowing that this horrible person was walking around free enjoying his life tempt you to seek justice even more? How about if this person had an evil secret, one that had him still perpetuating the evil deeds he committed during WWII? Would this add to your need to seek justice? These are the questions that challenged forty-three year old Holocaust survivor Harry Levin, when he sought justice against an evil ex-German SS officer, Ernst Hess, and became the champion for the Voices of the Dead!Voices of the Dead is a story that revolves around two time periods: WWII Germany circa 1942 and Detroit, MI, Munich, Germany and Miami, FL circa 1971. It is a story of two men whose lives unknowingly intertwine through both time periods, and whose lives will once again collide and change forever. It is a fast-paced international suspense thriller that is action packed and full of intrigue. The storyline is well written, and the historical / international theme surrounding WWII and the Holocaust is very powerful and compelling. The characters are realistic, their complex personalities and individual stories, coupled with their intertwining interactions with each other, gave the story depth and made it that much more powerful. This suspense thriller had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I was captivated by the story's many twists and turns, and my need to know what happened next kept me riveted and turning the pages to the very chilling end. The attention to detail was first rate as the author transports the reader back to WWII and 1971, and created settings that the reader could easily conjure in their mind. I admire how the author portrayed the horrific era of WWII and the Holocaust. This dark time period in the world's history was respectfully and accurately described in the story by the author. Voices of the Dead is a historical suspense thriller novel that will captivate fans of both historical and suspense thriller genres, it is a must read! Disclaimer: At the request of the author, the publisher and Partners In Crime Tours, an ePub edition of the book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review and participation in the virtual book tour event. http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot...

  • Kathleen Kelly
    2019-05-09 21:22

    Voices of the Dead is a story of Harry Levin, a Jew who is also a holocaust survivor. He and his parents were put in Dachau in 1942 and one day a group of prisoners were told that they were going to be sent to Palenstine. Instead they were taken to a field and lined up alongside a trench, 50 at a time, and shot until 600 people were dead or dying. Harry had been able to escape at his father's insistence but was captured and left for dead in the trench. Except he didn't die and eventually ended up in Detroit after the war. 1971 he becomes a successful business man but when his daughter, who is in Washington DC in school, is killed by a drunk driver, his life as he knows it is no longer. Meanwhile the man who killed Sara is a respected and rich German who manages to use his diplomatic immunity to be able to escape being charged. This man is pure evil and continues his vendetta against Jews. He leaves bodies in his wake in Germany and the US because he finds that some people did not die but are able to recognize him, including Harry. This novel takes many twists and turns as Harry seeks justice, not only for the death of his daughter, but for his parents and all the other people that were killed at Hess's orders.I enjoyed Peter Leonard's writing style and this book had me eagerly turning pages until the end. A very suspenseful story that comes right out of history. I highly recommend this book and I hope to read more by this author.

  • Sapphyria
    2019-05-15 20:34

    What a mind bender! When Harry's daughter is killed by a drunk driver in Washington DC, he hops the first plane from Detroit to DC to get the details...and right into the life of a Nazi war criminal. This gripping noveltakes you from 1971 Detroit to 1971 German and flashes back to Nazi controlled Germany of 1942 on several occasions.The characters, good and evil, are raw and riveting, each playing their part in the mystery perfectly, cats and mice scurrying about. The mice are trying to figure out who the cat is while attempting to stay ahead of it and the cat is tying up loose ends as fast as he can. But will the mice win and expose a new threat to Jews across the globe or will the cat catch his prey, burying evil from the past while continuing to encourage violence against those of the Jewish faith?The writing style of Mr. Leonard is simply amazing. His descriptions of the characters, the surroundings, and the actions of each character are well written and make it easy to set the scene(s) in your head as you move from paragraph to paragraph, from start to finish. It's noted above as being a suspense novel but there are a lot references to what happened in Nazi Germany; i.e.; Holocaust, concentration camps, etc., that it could be classified a historical novel too.

  • Jeanie
    2019-04-24 20:42

    The plot was compelling...A nazi in the 70's that escaped being prosucuted after World War II, who is on a killing spree. The writing was terrible and a little to crass for my taste.

  • Kristi RM
    2019-04-29 01:34

    It was ok.

  • Jessica Long
    2019-05-02 19:49

    Exciting thrillerIt was a page turner, a great beginning to ( hopefully ) a great series. Will read more from Leonard!

  • Col
    2019-05-10 19:39

    Synopsis/blurb.............Peter Leonard has already begun to establish himself as a distinctive, must-have voice in suspense fiction. Now he delivers his most compelling, most jaw-dropping novel yet, introducing us to a character you're not likely to forget anytime soon.The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Travelling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges - he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter's killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.Brimming with action and dark humour, Voices of the Dead, firmly positions Peter Leonard as a writer ever suspense fan needs to read.---------------------------------------My take.........After recently lapping up the excellent sequel to this one, Back From The Dead a couple of months ago I was offered the opportunity to travel back in time and see where scrap-metal dealer and holocaust survivor, Harry Levin first crossed swords with Third Reich Nazi executioner, Ernst Hess.Voices Of The Dead didn’t disappoint. It’s fast-paced and addictive. Levin’s a likeable protagonist, with a funky, freaky and unlikely sidekick, Cordell Sims. Sims is young, black and in-between jobs; still deciding what sector of the career criminal ladder to aim for, after a failed stint as a heroin dealer and a dishonourable discharge from the US army. A great double act is borne when fate has them collide with each other and some young Nazi skinheads in a Munich bar. Harry Levin is in Munich to track down Hess, a German diplomat responsible for the death of his daughter, Sara. Hess is another Holocaust survivor, but from the dark side of the tracks. Hess is intelligent, capable, cunning and successful. He’s a ruthless operator with a penchant for survival and dark secrets that he feels no remorse for.Our calculating Nazi sets his sights on tidying up some loose ends, with some extreme housekeeping, while Harry Levin tries to achieve some measure of justice for his daughter and Hess’s other victims, by taking him down. Inevitably they collide at the climax of the book.Leonard effortlessly blends this heady mix of characters in an explosive cocktail. I don’t know if a writing style is hereditary, but Peter the son, exercises the same level of economy with his words as his late father, Elmore. 2014 has introduced me to some fantastic new writers; John Florio, Terry Shames, Leif G.W. Persson to mention a few – Peter Leonard is the latest addition to my list of favourites. I do have some of his earlier books on the shelf to get to, Quiver (2008), Trust Me (2009), All He Saw Was The Girl (2011). Next year sees a new book published – Eyes Closed Tight. By then I hope to have relaxed the loose embargo on adding books to my collection.This short series would definitely benefit from being read in order, and my enjoyment was slightly tempered by kind of knowing how things would pan out – but for that I’ll blame myself.4 from 5 Thanks to Lou at The Story Plant for my copy of this.

  • J.C. Martin
    2019-05-08 18:25

    The story started in the thick of action. I enjoyed how the no-nonsense attitude of the protagonist, Harry Levin, was made clear from the start. A survivor of the Holocaust living in 1971 Detroit, his daughter is killed in a car crash involving a German diplomat driving under the influence. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the guy has diplomatic immunity, and is never charged for the crime.This tragedy prompts Harry to stalk the German all the way back to Munich, but his plans for revenge uncovers something much more horrifying (view spoiler)[: the German diplomat, Hess, was not only a Nazi in the Second World War, he was the commanding officer in charge of executing truckfuls of Jews in the forest, including Harry's parents, and burying them in mass graves. Harry himself survived and later climbed out of the grave. Harry discovers that Hess is not finished with his Nazi days, continues to support neo-Nazism, and he continues to hunt down and murder Jewish couples in execution-style killings even today.When Harry teams up with a reporter and a charity seeking to reveal the names of Nazi war criminals, their lives are placed in danger as Hess works to silence the all remaining witnesses, and to derail any further investigations into the past. (hide spoiler)]Voices of the Dead is a roller-coaster ride through the streets of Detroit and Munich, with a plot that gripped me right to the end. Harry is a likable protagonist, and Hess makes for a chilling villain. The history of Nazi Germany may not be a distant memory for some, it is for younger generations like myself (one of the increasingly rare occasions I can class myself as the 'younger' generation!). Although we are aware of the atrocities that happened, we never lived it, but Leonard's portrayal of the suffering and plight of the Jews made me see this slice of history in a whole new light. The Detroit and Munich of the 1970s (also before my time) were brought to life, complete with racial prejudices, neo-Nazi groups, and sex, drugs, and rock & roll.There may be some aspects of Leonard's book that some people may not appreciate: the sometimes contrived-sounding dialogue (in a number of occasions, every other spoken sentence contained Harry's name. In reality, how often do we mention a person's name when speaking to them?); Leonard's spare writing style, with halting sentence structures that could take a bit of getting used to; the presence of rather crude sexual references that seemed unnecessary (click spoiler for an example: you have been warned!),(view spoiler)[ like how Harry's neighbour and casual sex partner has "breath that smelled like sauerkraut, and privates of wild geese." (hide spoiler)]Too much information, perhaps? There is also the odd backstory dump that I tended to skim over, and at least one instance of a confusing point-of-view shift between two characters. Nevertheless, these detract little from the fact that Voices of the Dead has a compelling storyline and an intriguing plot, and I found myself just having to read the next chapter: "I'll stop after the next one, promise!"

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-29 20:45

    VOICES OF THE DEAD by Peter LeonardPublished by The Story PlantISBN-10: 1611880327ISBN-13: 978-1611880328At the request of The Story Plant, an EBook Edition was sent at no cost to me, for my honest opinion. Synopsis (from publisher): The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Traveling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges – he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter’s killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.Brimming with action and dark humor, Voices of the Dead, firmly positions Peter Leonard as a writer ever suspense fan needs to read. My Thoughts and Opinion: I feel I need to start this review with a caveat because even I was surprised by my thoughts and opinion of this book. If I was to solely choose this book based on the synopsis for my personal library, without the request for review, I would most likely have not picked this one up as I tend not to enjoy espionage thrillers. However, with this book, I would have missed out on a great read. The book pulled me in quickly with the car accident and death of Harry Levin’s daughter. From that moment on, the action begins, the suspense ramps up, and the books holds you to the very last page. It takes you from Detroit to Germany to Miami during the years of 1971 and shares the memories of Harry when he was a 14 year old boy, who watches his parents executed by the Nazi regime but was one that was able to escape the atrocities of that time. The characters come to life. The settings are conveyed so that detailed imagery can be formed in one’s mind, especially of the years of 1940s. Mr. Leonard’s writing style is flawless, and the type of read that I call, a “one more chapter” and before you know it, you have read 5 more chapters. What I found amazing, was that a book with a premise of a horrific time in our history, Mr. Leonard could interweave some humor without being disrespectful. As the synopsis states, who is this diplomat Hess, that has been given immunity, for an accident that was his fault and that resulted in the death of a young and vibrant daughter of Harry Levin? Why does this man Hess look familiar to Harry? Harry is so distraught over his daughter’s passing, he travels to Germany, where Hess resides, and what he finds, is bigger than he imagined. More deaths? But why? The hunt begins.Highly recommend!!!!! My Rating: 5

  • Daniela
    2019-05-17 17:37

    Set in 1971 Detroit, Harry, a Jew who has escaped Dachau and now lives in the States looks for the man that killed his daughter in a drunk driving accident. It is not simple because the man, Hess, is a German diplomat and therefore protected through immunity. Coming face to face with the man, when confronting him, Harry has no idea what is hiding behind the groomed exterior of the German. Following the diplomat back to Munich to seek revenge he reopens a chapter of his life he thought he had left behind 27 years earlier and then some...Author writes weirdly. Leaves out parts of scentences (namely subject and article) frequently. As in the first two partial scentes of this paragraph. This made me want to put the book down often, although from the cover discription I was intrigued by the content and therefor kept reading. And that was well worth it even though the irritation about afore mentioned butchering of the English language was both at times tiresome and confusing; as it was occasionally unclear if it was still a character thinking (in which case partial scentences are believable) or continuing the narrative.Also some of the dialogue in the book was awkward. It was probably meant to sneek in some historical recounting and facts without seeming school masterish, but seems at times stilted. Written as a "Do you remember.." between Harry and one of his parents' friends, Martz; or later between Hess and his body guard Rausch recapping the shootings in the concentration camp when one would think that the two men have covered that ground before as just a couple of paragraphs before it is mentioned that they have known each other closely for 30 years. The dialogue just doesn't click at that point.My favourite line in the book is when Harry and his found 'partner in crime' Cordell have to flee. The fashion concious Cordell in underwear, upon some comment from Harry, is saying: "It's from the New Save Your Ass line". The friendship between those two characters and how it developes is also one of my favourite parts of this book.The actual subject matter of 1970's neo-Nazis in Germany and the mystery and suspense part of the book are well described and thought out, lending a good flow and the above mentioned nail biter quality to the book. All in all, if you can get used to the semi finished scentences Leonard uses, this is a great read.

  • Sid Nuncius
    2019-05-08 21:22

    Although this book had its merits, I'm afraid I didn't think much of it in the end. It is decently written with a flat, punchy prose style which suited the story, and the Holocaust background did lend it some extra weight but overall I thought it was pretty thin stuff.It is hard to give a flavour of the plot without giving more spoilers than I would like, but the whole story hinges on a ludicrously improbable coincidence and gets more unlikely by the page. It's a revenge story set in Detroit and Munich in 1971 with a wronged American, a survivor of Dachau concentration camp, in pursuit of a not-so-ex-Nazi who is now a prominent citizen and potential future Chancellor, but who is currently touring Germany and the USA personally killing dozens of Jews and people who might expose his past. I was never really gripped by it and eventually realised that it resembled one of the less subtle action movies. The characters are all pretty stereotypical and all the ancient clichés of the genre are there: the realisation that It's Personal, the flimsy reasons for not going to the police, the unrealistic action sequences which you can see coming a long way off, the unlikely buddies thrown together and so on - even the Implausibly Available Beautiful Woman. It really did get a bit much and even the Tense Climax wasn't particularly tense.In fairness, I thought that the Holocaust stuff was genuinely important to Peter Leonard and he wasn't just using it to lend a spurious gravitas to the book, but even that was made ludicrous in places. A Nazi who led a squad which shot 600 Jews whom he regards as subhuman animals remembers one individual among the victims thirty years later. Oh, really? The sheer weight of implausibility became almost too much to bear in the end.I did finish the book, largely because it's not too long and I thought, "Now I've got this far..." but if I'd left it on a train I wouldn't have worried too much and I certainly won't be waiting for the sequel. Only the most lukewarm of recommendations, I'm afraid.

  • Misty Rayburn
    2019-04-29 18:49

    Harry Levin is a Holocaust survivor who works as a scrap metal dealer in Detroit. When his daughter is killed in a car accident, he goes to Washington DC to identify her body. He learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk and that he has been released and granted immunity. Enraged, Harry discovers the identity of the man and flies to Munich to hunt him down. What he finds is a bigger plot that will affect his life and the people around him.Elmore Leonard says in the end of his introduction to this book, that once you read the first chapter, you won’t sell this scrap dealer short. Harry is an amazing detective and his resolve is inspiring! He’s probably the most realistic character you could ask for. When he starts this manhunt, he goes into it with the blind rage of a father who just lost his daughter. He questions himself as time goes on and seems to even doubt his ability to do what he feels is right. Before he can give into those doubts, he’s swept up into a plot that could threaten him anyway and so he goes forward, seeing it through till the end.I read this book in a day and a half because I just couldn’t put it down. From page one, it’s nothing but action that leaves you dying to know what happens next. Add in a little dark humor and supporting characters that are just as complex as Harry and you’ll find even when the viewpoint switches, you’re not left with the feeling that you want to be with Harry all the time. If all of Peter’s books are like this, I think he just found himself a new fan!Thank you to Partners in Crime blog tours and Peter Leonard for the review copy. It in no way influenced my review.

  • Matt Laduke
    2019-05-14 21:29

    Voices of the Dead by Peter LeonardVoices of the Dead is published by The Story Plant. I received this book as a preview copy. It will be available as an e-book and in paperback Q1 2012. I read this book on a Sony eReader.Mr. Leonard is the son of the award winning author Elmore Leonard, and this is his fourth book, and is the first in a two part series. Voices of the Dead is the first book I have read by Peter Leonard. It will definitely not be the last. One positive aspect of his writing for me is that I am from Michigan, which is where Mr. Leonard lives and uses as one of the locations for his story.The book is part of the Crime & Thriller Genre. It is a believable, non-stop action story that makes you cheer for the hero, and hate the villain. It is not often that I get emotionally attached to the characters, but Mr. Leonard made the characters realistic.To all fans of Crime and Suspense books, I totally recommend this book. You will not be disappointed. From the Publisher:The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Traveling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges – he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter’s killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.

  • Viviane Crystal
    2019-05-06 17:28

    Harry Levin, is a scrap metal dealer who has become successful businessman. His life is turned upside down when his daughter is killed in a car crash. He travels to Washington D.C. and then Germany to find the man who callously killed his daughter and received no penalty for this horrific murder. But when he finally figures out who the man actually is, he tries to approach him and is attacked by the man's bodyguard. Fortunately, Harry has no problem handling the attacker but he is horrified by the callous treatment of the man who killed his daughter, a casual offer to pay for the funeral. This simple, poignant tale, in which Harry himself displays any emotion other than anger and some mention of tears, becomes even more terrible when Harry discovers that this man is the notorious Ernst Hess, now a German diplomat still carrying out unbelievably awful deeds! The reader learns that Harry Levin is a Holocaust survivor who escaped being shot to death by playing dead and then crawling out of a hole filled with other dead bodies during World War II. After following Hess, he discovers Hess is still doing something to Jews that absolutely must stop. The story of the chase between the two, with Hess realizing who Harry is and determined to stop him from pursuing his course and Harry looking for proof to finally get some justice on many levels, is tautly plotted and gripping on every page.This is a story that must be told, even if it is in fiction form, for it is still occurring in some parts of the world today. No spoilers here - there is so much more that will hold the reader in awe and horror, but one can't stop reading...and hoping that justice must be accomplished. What a story - fine, fine writing Peter Leonard!

  • Alan Williams
    2019-05-19 19:33

    Voices of the Dead is chilling, it takes elements of the holocaust and fictionalises them into a very believable tale that immerses you into it's pages from the first to the last.The characters leap from the book and tie the reader into their lives, making you feel compassion and camaraderie with the hero, and hatred toward the villain, as well as some black humour that'll make you laugh.Set in the 1970's the author cleverly ties that time period, back to the 1940's and then binds them together to take the reader on a journey across continents and emotions. It handles a period of history that most struggle to understand let alone comprehend in a very sensitive way, not glamorising it nor belittling it but at the same time making sure the reader understands the scale, horror and enormity of what happened.The prose are clean and neat, conveying enough to the reader without requiring the author to write long descriptive passages to explain the action and plot direction. The dialogue is similarly balanced and each character has their own unique voice, contributing their own perspectives as the story unfolds.If I have to find a criticism of this book, it would have to be that it was over too soon, not because the book was short, but because I wanted to read more. To that end I will definitely be checking out more of Peter Leonard's novels over the months to come.Peter Leonard is the son of Elmore Leonard, but don't make comparisons, the two authors are distinctly different and having now read books by both, I think this is now a case of a father having big shoes to fill rather than the son.I highly recommend Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard.

  • Jay Fromkin
    2019-05-10 19:41

    Peter Leonard, son of author Elmore Leonard, has written a good - not great - novel of history and revenge. Harry Levin, a Detroit scrap metal dealer's life is turned upside down when his only daughter is killed in an auto accident in Washington, D.C. The man who killed his daughter is a German diplomat, and in accordance with political etiquette, he walks. Coming east to deal with his daughter's death, Levin finds that the accident coincides with the murder of a wealthy Jewish couple. The deaths spur Levin, who escaped from a concentration camp as a boy, to travel to Germany to seek revenge for his daughter's death. Partnering with a black recently-discharged American soldier - coincidentally also from Detroit - Levin discovers a trail of murders leading back to World War II and the SS officer who murdered Levin's parents and a trench-full of other Jews.There's a lot to like in this book, particularly the distinctive characters Leonard has created. But I was thrown by the coincidence of Harry's meeting and partnering with Cordell, the discharged black G.I.; jumping into a sexual relationship with a beautiful German free-lance journalist; and finding himself searching for the same man who killed his daughter and murdered his parents. I also was surprised by some glaring grammatical errors such as the use of "anxious" instead of "eager"; "further" instead of "farther." I was also thrown by the use of exposition about the division of the two Germanies when Harry says he can't remember why the Berlin wall was built.I liked "Voices of the Dead" and recommend it, but with reservations.

  • Paul
    2019-05-02 00:22

    Not bad, although the body count and the lack of any kind of engagement by police seemed a bit unrealistic, even for the early 70s. The casual racist language from some of the characters seemed in-keeping with the time. Some coincidences also seemed rather far fetched, and the main character, with no training and no background in violence seemed to get lucky far too often. I'm not sure why the main antagonist, Hess, had diplomatic immunity either - he didn't appear to be a diplomat and I don't think visiting businessmen or politicians necessarily have that kind of immunity - if Hess is a politician, which is never clear. Nor did Harry (the 'hero') seem overly concerned with morals or justice - I would have expected him to at least consider the question 'at what point do my actions make me no better than these nazis I'm hunting?' - I didn't think Leonard provided his characters with authentic emotional responses, which, given the nature of the material (holocaust survivors, the father of a girl killed by a drunk in a car crash) they really needed, and would have made the story much more powerful. There were a lot of characters we never really engage with before they get wasted, although I guess the story is bleak enough without being given reason to care more what happens to the characters. The local Detroit neighbour Harry has a relationship with, and who has a meal in Harry's home with Hess - what actually happened to her? That is never made clear. I found the prose generally straightforward, with the occasional odd structure. Readable, even a page turner, but could have had more suspense and could have been more believable than it was.

    2019-05-06 21:43

    The year is 1971. The place is Detroit. Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, has just learned that his daughter was killed in a car accident. Traveling to Washington, DC to claim the body, he learns that the accident was caused by a German diplomat who was driving drunk. This is only the beginning of the horror for Harry, though, as he discovers that the diplomat will never face charges – he has already been released and granted immunity. Enraged and aggrieved, Harry discovers the identity of his daughter’s killer, follows him to Munich, and hunts him down. What Harry finds out about the diplomat and his plans will explode his life and the lives of everyone around him.Dollycas ThoughtsThis is quite a suspenseful piece of fiction. We travel back and forth from 1971 to one of the most horrific times in history, Detroit to Germany to Florida. The author takes us on a odyssey with personal accounts so real it is almost like watching a movie. I actually jumped when the guns were fired. I really enjoy Leonard’s writing style, the main characters were vivid and well developed. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat and the pages rapidly turning.This book would appeal to anyone who likes a good suspense read but also history buffs as well. It has a ripped from the headlines feel like this story from 2011.My only problem with this book was the coincidence that put this whole story in motion. Situations just fell together just a little too easily for me. For that reason I give the story 4.5 Stars. Not quite a perfect escape! But well worth your reading time.

  • Katy
    2019-04-23 19:35

    Disclosure: I received a free e-galley from netGalley in exchange for an honest review.Synopsis from Goodreads: Detroit, 1971. Harry Levin, scrap metal dealer and holocaust survivor, learns that his daughter has been killed in a car accident. Travelling to Washington DC, he's told by Detective Taggart that the German diplomat, who was drunk, has been released and afforded immunity; he will never face charges. So Harry is left with only one option - to discover the identity of this man, follow him back to Munich and hunt him down. The first of a two-hander, Peter Leonard's new novel is a classic cat-and-mouse thriller. Told with swagger, brutal humour and not a little violence, it follows a good man who is forced to return to the horrors of his past. My Thoughts: Harry Levin was just a teen during World War 2 when he and his family were taken to a camp. He managed to escape and get to America after the war, but I won’t go into details and possibly spoil anything for you. This story interweaves his past in Munich and the camps and his present (1971) in Detroit as a scrap metal dealer. This is a well-written thriller, full of suspense. While we’re all along aware of exactly who has done what – this is suspense, not mystery – the twists and turns that occur to Harry and those around him are what makes it an interesting read. Also the wonderful details that help the reader fit into the time frame. A highly recommended book for those who enjoy thrillers and suspense, especially mixed in with historical situations. I will be reading and reviewing his next upcoming book, All He Saw was the Girl, soon.

  • William Dyson
    2019-05-13 22:49

    Voices of the Dead by Peter LeonardVoices of the Dead is published by The Story Plant, from whom I received the galley proof. It will be available as an e-book and in paper in early 2012. I read this book on a Kindle.The book is basically a chase (cat and mouse) type of mystery/thriller, with the action occurring in Washington, D. C., Munich, Germany, Detroit, Michigan, and Palm Beach, Florida. In many books of this genre, the characters are flat and are like cardboard cutouts. The characters in this book, however, are fleshed out and seem to be full of life. Throughout the book the characters, the locations, and the action are all thoroughly believable.In 1971, Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer, is devastated to learn that his daughter, Sara, has been killed in an automobile accident. The driver who killed her was drunk, but because he is a German businessman, he is given diplomatic immunity. Harry's trip to Munich to rectify the situation uncovers the fact that the businessman was a Nazi SS officer in World War II, and killed Harry's parents in a Nazi death camp. Harry is determined to see that justice is served.Mr. Leonard is the son of Elmore Leonard, and the son's writing resembles that of the father's. But Peter Leonard is a writer unto himself and he has a unique voice of his own. The entire book moves along at a brisk pace, and it is very difficult for the reader to put down.If you are a fan of mystery/thrillers, I highly recommend this book. You will not be disappointed.

  • Shannon
    2019-04-19 20:35

    Voices of the Dead is part gripping suspense novel, part historical fiction. While I enjoy good historical literature, I rarely read action/suspense type novels. The mixture of these two genres really caught my interest.Leonard is quite a good writer. He develops characters well and clearly did his research. His writing easily evokes images of both 1970's Detroit and 1940's Germany. These views into history made this read quite enjoyable. The combination of stories, the loss of his daughter and the Holocaust, was very well done.Leonard's writing left me with two complaints though. First, his writing style is a bit staccato at times. His paragraphs move smoothly along, so smoothly that he skips nouns and definite articles (such as "he" or "the"). This may make him a literary genius for some. Personally, I found this quite annoying and the teacher in me wanted to whip out my red pen. Leonard sometimes goes chapters without doing this and then suddenly, annoyingly, it returns.My other complaint is that this book is over 40 chapters long. Yes, I said 40. Now, to be fair, the chapters are short which keeps the story moving. But the constant jumping back and forth between the 40's and the 70's makes the book choppy. I couldn't help but wonder if some of the chapters could have been combined, making the book smoother to read.Overall though, this was a wild-ride of a story and I am glad I read it.I hear a sequel is coming. Personally, I don't like sequels and think I will skip it.

  • Teresa
    2019-05-19 18:27

    I loved this book until the end. It had an implausible ending. Even though I didn't like the ending, I'd forgive it since there is a sequel and I know that the author is just setting the stage for the next book. Therefore, I'll let the rating of 4 stars stand. I certainly liked the book well enough to read the sequel. The things I liked in the book were the two settings and the two time periods, and the irony. I love irony in a story, and there is good use of irony here. I love the two time periods the book was set in (WWII in Germany and 1970's in Detroit). Who would have put these two together in the same book? WWII settings are great, and there aren't enough books set in Detroit. The book was easy to get into and hard to put down. I don't write a synopsis of the book, I write what I think of the book. If you want a synopsis read the one provided with the book. About my ratings:5 star= exceptional book, well written and life-changing, teaches me a lot about something I didn't know, or changes my views, beliefs or thoughts. Sequel? I want it NOW!4 star= great book, well written, great plot, great suspense or conflict. Sequel. Yes, absolutely!3 star= good book, well written, good plot, good suspense. Sequel? Good chance I'd read another.2 stars=it was okay, the writing may be okay, but I mostly wish I hadn't wasted my time since there are so many good books out there. Sequel? Most likely not.1 star=in the trash it goes, probably won't finish the book. Sequel? You've got to be kidding me?!

  • Marilynn Larew
    2019-04-28 00:36

    In this tense and fast-moving thriller, Harry Levin, a Detroit scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, must go Washington, D.C., to identify his daughter Sara’s body. Sara has been killed when her car is hit by a drunken German driving a Mercedes. When he arrives, Harry learns that the drunk driver, Ernst Hesse, has diplomatic immunity and has already left the country for his home in Munich. Hearing that, Harry begins a journey to avenge his daughter. He visits the old Munich neighborhood where his family lived before they were taken to Auschwitz and finds some of the neighbor still alive and engaged in hunting down Nazis who escaped justice and in documenting the crimes of the new Nazis. Peter Leonard skillfully cuts between modern Munich and Harry’s terrible memories of the death camp and his escape. Those memories help him identify Ernst Hesse as the Auschwitz SS officer who killed his father and nearly killed him. Hesse is now high in the counsels of the new Nazi party, a position that must be hidden at all costs. As the bodies start stacking up, Harry realizes that he must struggle once again to survive the Nazi menace. Leonard’s minor characters are as vivid and well-fleshed out as Harry himself is, and the twists and turns of the plot carry the reader on a roller coaster ride to a satisfying conclusion. Peter is the son of famed mystery writer Elmore Leonard, who provides an introduction to this book. Peter Leonard doesn’t really need any introduction. His work can stand on its own two legs.

  • Sandra Stiles
    2019-05-07 22:29

    This was an absolutely wonderful book. All of the characters are very well defined and come to life so that you have a well rounded picture of all of the characters. Traveling from the United States to Germany, and then back to the United states is not confusing for the reader. The settings are so well laid out that you feel as if you are on a physical journey with the main character. When Harry was in Germany and the memories resurfaced, of what happened to him the night his parents were killed, I felt like I was there with him. I felt his anguish and survivor's guilt. I've listed to survivors talk of their escape and what it was like. I had the same feelings while reading this book as I had listening to those survivors tell their story. When trouble followed Harry back to the United States I kept wondering why the police couldn't put two and two together. I realized in cases such as this that there are people savvy enough to get in and out of the country under an alias and commit crimes. The research that had to have gone into this book would, in my opinion, made this a story that had to be told. I commend the author.I love thrillers and to have it bounce back and forth through memories or flashbacks to a historical period I love learning about, made it all the more interesting. Although this was my first book by this author it will not be my last. He definitely has my recommendations for his works. I will proudly recommend this book to my friends.