Review: Voices of the Dead – Peter Leonard

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Story Plant, The (January 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1611880327
ISBN-13: 978-1611880328
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This book covers two different time periods in Harry Levin’s life. His life in 1943 as he watches his parents, grandparents, and neighbors die at the hands of Nazi’s. Then we also see him in the early 1970s out for vengeance. This technique works well here as we get to see through flashbacks what his experiences were, and we get to know Harry through those experiences.

The story is extremely well written, and Mr. Leonard had me hooked on it from page one, and I literally could not put it down until I finished it. You get to explore 1940s Germany as well as the Germany of the 1970s as you travel through the book, and you learn about one of the darkest periods in human history.

Along the way Harry will make some friends, lose some he is close to, and have to keep getting himself out of trouble. One friendship I really liked was his friendship with former soldier. However it was also this relationship that I felt was one of the weakest parts of the book. There seemed to be an abundant use of negative words used to describe his black friend, as well as other minorities. In the context of the dialogue, I could see the necessity, to make it true to the times. However, it was when it was in the context of the prose that it seemed to be out of place.

However, that I feel is a minor problem. I figure it could be the writer making the novel feel as if it was written in the 1970s, it could be my own personal sensitivities to language such as that, or any number of reasons, but I feel that if it did stand out to me, it may stand out to other readers as well.

Putting that aside, Mr. Leonard has written a very strong novel and created a very strong character in Mr. Henry Levin, and I would definitely try more of Mr. Leonard’s novels out. This is one I highly recommend, but as I pointed out is for older teens and adults due to language, strong situations and war violence.


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.

Author Bio:

Peter Leonard’s debut novel, QUIVER, was published to international acclaim in 2008 (“A spectacular debut…you will be holding your breath until the final page.”– The New York Sun).

It was followed by TRUST ME in 2009 (“TRUST ME is fast, sly and full of twists.” – Carl Hiaasen, New York Times bestselling author).

The Story Plant will publish Leonard’s newest novel, ALL HE SAW WAS THE GIRL, in the spring of 2012.


Hess found out the woman lived on P Street in Georgetown, not far from the consulate. He told the ambassador he was having dinner with potential clients, and wanted to drive himself. It was unorthodox, but plausible. He had been issued one of the embassy’s Mercedes sedans. He stopped at a bookstore and bought a map of the area, and located P Street. He drove there and saw the Goldman residence, a federal-style brick townhouse.

Hess went to a restaurant and had dinner and a couple drinks. At ten o’clock he drove back, parked around the corner on 32nd Street between two other vehicles so the license plate was not visible to anyone driving by. He walked to the Goldmans’, stood next to a tree in front of the three-storey townhouse. There were lights on the first floor. He walked to the front door and rang the buzzer. He could hear footsteps and voices inside. A light over the door went on. Hess stood in the open so whoever it was would see he was well dressed. The door opened, a man standing there, assumed he was Dr. Mitchell Goldman, dark hair, big nose, mid-forties, top of the shirt unbuttoned, exposing a gold chain and a five-pointed star. Hess smiled. “My car is on the fritz. May I use your phone to call a tow truck?”

Dr. Goldman stared at him with concern.

“I am staying just down the street at the consulate,” Hess said, smiling. Now the door opened and he stepped into the elegant foyer, chandelier overhead, marble floor.

“Mitch, who is it?” a woman said from a big open room to his right.

Dr. Goldman looked in her direction. “Guy’s having car trouble, wants to use the phone.”

“It’s ten o’clock at night.”

“He’ll just be a minute,” the dentist said.

Hess could see the woman sitting on a couch, watching television.

“The phone’s in here.” The dentist started to move.

Hess drew the Luger from the pocket of his suit jacket,and aimed it at Goldman.

The dentist put his hands up. “Whoa. Easy.”

“Who is in the house?”

“Just the two of us.”

“Are you expecting anyone?”

He shook his head.

“Tell her to come in here,” Hess said.

“What do you want? You want money?” He took his wallet out and handed it to him. “There’s eight hundred dollars in there.”

“Call her,” Hess said.

“Hon, come here, will you?”

“I’m watching ‘All in the Family.’ Can you wait till the commercial?”

Hess could hear people laughing on the television.

“Just for a minute,” the dentist said.

Hess saw her stand up and step around a low table in front of the couch, moving across the room, still looking back at the television. She turned her head as she entered the foyer and saw him holding the gun. Her hair looked darker in the dim light but he had only seen her briefly that day.

“Oh-my-god,” she said, hands going up to her face.

“We’re reasonable people,” the dentist said. “Tell us what you want.”

“The pleasure of your company,” Hess said. “Where is the cellar?”

Mr. Leonard is currently on tour with Partners in Crime Tours. As part of the tour we offer a giveaway of his next title: All He Saw was the Girl. For a chance to win a copy go here and enter our contest.

Here is his tour schedule:

January 19th: Review~ CMash Loves To Read
January 24th: Review + Giveaway~ Misty @ The Top Shelf
January 27th: Review~  Katalina Play Room
February 10th:  Review~  Katalina Play Room
February 13th: Review~  Words By Webb
February 15th:  Review + Giveaway~ Books and Needlepoint
February 16th:  Review~ Shannon’s Book Bag
February 23rd: Review~ Pudgy Peguin Perusals
February 24th: Review~ Tontowilliams Electronic Scrapbook
February 27:Review~ Musings Of A Book Addict
February 28th: Review~ Joel M. Andre, Author
February 29:Review~ Kimberly’s Bookshelf
March 1st: Review~  Books R Us Online
March 3rd: Review~  Live To Read
March 6th: Review~   Popcorn Reads
March 7th: Review~  Community Bookstop
March 10th: Review~  Ryder Islington’s Blog 
March 12th: Review~  The Book Diva’s Reads
March 14th: Review~  My Reading Room
March 15th:  Review + Guest Post~ Everyday Is An Adventure
March 16th: Review~  Kritter’s Ramblings
March 18th: Review~  Sapphryia’s Book Reviews
March 19th:  Review~ CelticLady’s Reviews
March 20th: Review~  Books For Me
March 23rd: Review + Giveaway~  Jersey Girl Book Reviews
March 25th:  Review~ Book Bags and Cat Naps
March 27th:  Review~ Sweeping Me
March 29th:  Review~ J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer
April 2nd: Review + Giveaway~  Reviews By Molly
April 4th:  Review~ Everything Distils Into Reading
April 6th:  Review~ Curling Up By The Fire
April 9th:  Review~Kim”s Bookish Place
April 11th:  Review~OkBoLover

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Cheryl at Partners in Crime tours for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

2 Responses to “Review: Voices of the Dead – Peter Leonard”

  1. Rhodes Review - Review Section Says:

    […] sure and see our review of Voices of the Dead by Mr. Leonard here. 0 people like this post. […]

  2. Cheryl "Mash" Says:

    Excellent review and post!! Well written, detailed and descriptive. Great job….Thank you!!