BOOK REVIEW: Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard


Review by Ryder Islington

The back cover blurb of this book drew me in. A marvelous plot, Voices of the Dead puts the reader into the minds of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, while we hear the voice of an SS Officer of the Third Reich.

Set in 1971, with flashbacks to the horrors of World War II, the main plot follows Harry Levin, a scrap metal dealer in Detroit, who is devastated by news that his daughter was killed by a drunk driver. But the more he learns, the worse the news becomes. The drunk driver is a German with diplomatic immunity. Harry, a Holocaust survivor, is determined to learn who the man was, and then find him. His journey takes him to Germany, to the apartment he lived in as a child, and all over the country in a hunt for the man to whom Harry is linked by more than the death of his daughter.

But there is more to this story than just Harry Levin the Jew, and Ernst Hess the Nazi. Other survivors are in danger, and other Nazis must be found. There are murders to be solved, and skinheads to be stopped. There are old friends to visit, and new friends to make. There are cops in Germany and America who think maybe Harry’s cheese slid off his burger. As more bodies are found, it is obvious that Harry, and everyone he knows, is in danger.

I would highly recommend this book for those who enjoy stories of survival and retribution.

Having said that, I must say that Mr. Leonard’s writing style takes some getting used to. He has a heavy hand when it comes to incomplete sentences, which I at first thought was due to a deep third person point of view. Except that he uses that style for most if not all of the characters. For me, this detracted from the reading. However, the plot was so good, I felt the need to continue reading. And though it was a hard read for me because of this style, I intend to read his next book, which will be out soon.

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2 comments on “BOOK REVIEW: Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard

  1. I enjoyed the review, Ryder, and I’ve put Voices of the Dead on my list.

  2. Thank you for your honest opinion. I agree with you that the plot was page turning. However, I thought that the syntax that he used for his characters made them more realistic and life like. This is one of the aspects of reviewing and blogging that I most enjoy and that is to have discussions regarding one’s thoughts on books even if we don’t always agree. Good job!!

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