Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blog Tour: Voices of the Dead - Leonard

*This book was an advanced reading copy sent to me, free of charge, for my honest review and opinion.  All comments in this review are the honest opinion of the blogger.

TITLE: Voices of the Dead
AUTHOR: Peter Leonard
PUBLISHED BY: The Story Plant

SBN-10: 1611880327
ISBN-13: 978-1611880328
GENRE: Suspense

ADDED INFO: 300 pages, Publication date 01/17/12

SYNOPSIS: 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.

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.


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 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.




CMash said...

Thank you for your honest review. Great post.