Voices Of The Dead
Published: January 17, 2012
Leonard’s previous novels have been jaunty crime capers similar to those of his father, Elmore. This one, set in 1971 and the first of a two-parter, has the same energy and precision but is much darker thematically, more painful and considered. On the surface it’s a cat-and-mouse thriller: scrap-metal dealer Harry Levin is determined to track down the German diplomat who killed his daughter when driving drunk. The police tell him the man has been afforded immunity and won’t face charges, so Harry travels back to Munich, where he was born, to dispense vigilante justice ... Leonard’s handling of Harry’s wartime internment in Dachau proves he’s no one-trick pony. There are thrills here but also a desperate pathos. If you haven’t read Leonard before and you must this is a great place to start.
‘Voices of the Dead is as good as and more ambitious than anything Leonard senior has ever done ... the hard-sprung vibrancy of Leonard’s sentences ... Written in the present tense of the screenplay your eyes float across them with effortless glee of a child at the fair ... it pins faces and places down with auto-focus precision. And boy does it ratchet up the tension. Clapping the book shut (having read it in a single sitting) I practically needed a massage. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get through the 12 month wait for Back from the Dead.’
Good heavens. Ayn at Faber sent me the new book. ‘Voices Of The Dead.’ Read it one fell swoop, just fantastic. Brutal Deadpan noir humour. And breakneck pace with wondrous writing. I loved it, can’t wait for the 2nd part. It is just brilliant.