Monday, February 27, 2012

Voices of the Dead - Peter Leonard

Publisher:  The Story Plant (1/17/12)
Pages:  300 pages
Source:  Partners in Crime supplied an ebook in exchange for an honest review
Genre:  Suspense

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 with 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 every suspense fan needs to read.

My Thoughts:

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.

Author Bio:
Peter Leonard's debut novel, Quiver, was published to international acclaim in 2008 (A spectacular 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?"

Author Sites:
The Story Plant:

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review and post. I agree with every aspect you mentioned. I have also become of his writing and looking forward to his future work. Great job!! Thank you.