Voices of the Dead: A Novel
The Story Plant
Harry Levin rules over a successful scrap yard and easily navigates Detroit’s meanest streets carrying his Colt Python for backup. He’s boiled harder than an egg that’s been left on the burner until the odor of sulfur permeates the house. It’s easy to understand why. Harry is a Holocaust survivor, one of many who were orphaned at Dachau concentration camp. He managed to escape and eventually made his way to the States, but he seems to be the reincarnation of Job. He suffered the loss of his parents, but kept going. His wife died, leaving him alone with a young daughter and his memories, but he kept going. And now, his adult daughter has been killed when the car of a German businessman hit her broadside on the streets of the nation’s capital. To make matters worse, Ernst Hess has diplomatic immunity and won’t be held responsible for her death.
Harry is now running on grief, fury, and a passionate desire for revenge. He returns to Munich for the first time since the Holocaust with the goal of slaying Ernst Hess. While sitting at the bar at a Bavarian restaurant, he meets an American soldier, who has been dishonorably discharged and is preparing to return to the States. The guy is also from Detroit, an African American street kid who joined up when a judge told him that prison was his only other option. The unlikely pair accomplish some serious male bonding during an ugly bar fight with a group of neo-Nazi skinheads and they join forces. That pretty well sets up the story. More details would give away too much of the plot.
For those who like noir fiction that’s infused with a good dose of testosterone, this should prove an enjoyable read. It is occasionally necessary to suspend disbelief as there are a number of coincidences that push the envelope, but the book is well penned and a step above many of the formulaic novels written in this genre.