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Voices of the Dead (Harry Levin #1)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
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 t ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Faber & Faber
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rebecca McNutt
Oct 05, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 25, 2012 Donna Brown rated it really liked it

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 t
...more
Ashley
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
...more
Keith
Jul 12, 2012 Keith rated it really liked it
The Game of the Name

Peter 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
...more
Kathleen
Mar 20, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Kim (Bookishly Me)
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
...more
Kathleen Kelly
Feb 22, 2012 Kathleen Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
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 u ...more
Sapphyria
Mar 17, 2012 Sapphyria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 novel
takes 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 o
...more
David Williams
Feb 18, 2012 David Williams rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jeanie
Aug 27, 2012 Jeanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
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.
Col
Nov 25, 2013 Col rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, l
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 th
...more
J.C. Martin
Feb 06, 2012 J.C. Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 reveng
...more
Cheryl
Dec 07, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-read
VOICES OF THE DEAD by Peter Leonard
Published by The Story Plant
ISBN-10: 1611880327
ISBN-13: 978-1611880328
At 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 diplo
...more
Daniela
Jan 28, 2012 Daniela rated it liked it
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 lef ...more
Sid Nuncius
Sep 28, 2015 Sid Nuncius rated it liked it
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
...more
Misty Rayburn
Jan 22, 2012 Misty Rayburn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Matt Laduke
Dec 09, 2011 Matt Laduke rated it it was amazing
Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard

Voices 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 m
...more
Viviane Crystal
Dec 23, 2011 Viviane Crystal rated it it was amazing
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 t ...more
Alan Williams
Dec 09, 2011 Alan Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
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
...more
Jay Fromkin
May 04, 2012 Jay Fromkin rated it liked it
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 death ...more
Paul
Mar 30, 2015 Paul rated it liked it
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 t ...more
LORI CASWELL
Jan 17, 2012 LORI CASWELL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
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 discove ...more
Katy
Dec 07, 2011 Katy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers/suspense, esp. w/ historical aspects
Recommended to Katy by: Spread the Word Initiative
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 hi
...more
William Dyson
Dec 16, 2011 William Dyson rated it it was amazing
Voices of the Dead by Peter Leonard

Voices 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
...more
Shannon
Feb 16, 2012 Shannon rated it liked it
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
...more
Teresa
Sep 09, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
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 peri ...more
Marilynn Larew
Jan 15, 2012 Marilynn Larew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller


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 whe
...more
Sandra Stiles
Feb 26, 2012 Sandra Stiles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, adult
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 ...more
Annette Reynolds
Sep 11, 2013 Annette Reynolds rated it liked it
Shelves: own-these
This was a grab-you-by-the-scruff-of-your-neck-and-never-let-you-go page-turner.

Having said that, I'll now say that Peter Leonard has an interesting style and voice, but it was one I found a little bit off-putting.

Written in that machine-gun, neo-noir style, it's almost a little too self-conscious.

The story takes place in 1971, with flashbacks to 1941 and the Dachau concentration camp. The main characters (the ones that manage to stay alive throughout the entire book) are a tad stereotypical.
...more
ILoveBooks
Jan 04, 2012 ILoveBooks rated it really liked it



Harry Levin, a Detroit scrap metal dealer and Holocaust survivor, follows Hess, a German diplomat Nazi, to Munich. He intends to kill Hess. Hess, protected by diplomatic immunity, cannot be held accountable in the U.S. for the drunken driving killing of Levin’s daughter. As Levin learns more about Hess, Harry, who escaped, also remembers Hess to be the young SS officer who led the mass murder of Jewish prisoners during World War II. Working with likely and one unlikely, funny accomplice, Harry a
...more
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220840
Son of Elmore Leonard.

Peter Leonard lives in Birmingham, Michigan with his wife and four children. He is a partner in the ad agency Leonard, Mayer & Tocco, Inc.
More about Peter Leonard...

Other Books in the Series

Harry Levin (2 books)
  • Back from the Dead

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