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Monday, April 1, 2013

Back From The Dead by Peter Leonard (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes back Peter Leonard, author of Back From The Dead!

Author Guest Post

Top 10 Things We Don't Know About You

1. I write longhand on lined yellow legal pads. I typically write a scene and then transpose it to my Apple MacBook.

2. I usually start my workday at ten and write until five-thirty or six. I sit at a desk in a paneled den and my dog Sam sits next to me in his little dog rocking chair.

3. I do most of the cooking in my family, which includes among other dishes: French stews, gumbo, Sicilian red sauce, ribs, grilled fish and I'm experimenting, trying to make the perfect hamburger.

4. My favorite color is blue.

5. I spent a week in an Italian prison for stealing a taxi.

6. I love baseball and I have Detroit Tigers season tickets

7. I once spent a weekend with Pamela Anderson in Daytona Beach, Florida.

8. My favorite authors are Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Philip Roth, Jim Harrison, Russell Banks and my father, Elmore Leonard.

9. My favorite movie is the Godfather

10. I can't sing or play an instrument, but I'd love to be in a rock band.

About The Author

Peter Leonard lives in Birmingham, Michigan. He has published five novels: QUIVER, TRUST ME, ALL HE SAW WAS THE GIRL, VOICES OF THE DEAD, and BACK FROM THE DEAD.

Back From The Dead by Peter Leonard ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Book Review

Back From The Dead by Peter Leonard
Book 2: Harry Levin Series
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Format: Paperback - 282 pages / Kindle - 594 KB / Nook - 710 KB
ISBN: 1611880637
Genre: Suspense / Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: Back From The Dead

BUY THE SERIES: Harry Levin Series
Book 1: Voices Of The Dead
Book 2: Back From The Dead

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Peter Leonard’s jaw-dropping VOICES OF THE DEAD introduced us to two mortal enemies: Holocaust survivor Harry Levin and Nazi death angel Ernst Hess. Now, their struggle reaches its dramatic conclusion in BACK FROM THE DEAD.

Bahamas, 1971. Ernst Hess, missing and presumed dead, regains consciousness to find himself stuck in a hospital bed on a strange ward in a foreign country. He must do what he needs to do to get his life back and to finish the job he has been doing for decades.

Harry believes he has already stopped Hess. When he finds out that the war criminal has somehow survived, Harry must do the only thing he can do – kill Hess again – even if it means crossing continents and putting his life and the lives of those that matter to him on the line.

Action-packed and darkly humorous, BACK FROM THE DEAD is the unforgettable conclusion to a story that launches Peter Leonard into the pantheon of great suspense novelists.

Book Excerpt:

Harry pulled in the driveway, parked and went in the side door. He expected to see Colette in the kitchen, starting dinner. She was going to make sauerbraten, potato dumplings and red cabbage, an authentic German meal. He’d been thinking about it all day and he was hungry. Colette was a terrific cook, and that was another benefit of living with her. He threw his keys on the counter, hit the message button on the answering machine. Another one from Galina.

“Harry, you going to call me one of these days?”

No, he said to himself. Walked into the foyer, glanced in the den and moved into the living room. Someone was sitting in his leather chair, legs crossed on the ottoman. The man had dark shoulder-length hair and wore black jeans, a white shirt and a black leather jacket.

“I don’t think you’re a burglar,” Harry said, “or you’d be looking for the silver, so tell me what you’re doing in my house?”

“I stopped by your office. We could have handled it there, but you were too busy to see me,” he said with an accent that sounded like he was from Berlin.

“You buying or selling?”

“I am trading.”

“For what?” Although Harry had a pretty good idea.

“Where is Ernst Hess?”

“I’d try his estate in Schleissheim or his apartment in Munich. Maybe start by talking to his family and business associates?"

“I know he came here to see you.”

“Where’s Colette?”

“Safe for now. Tell me about Herr Hess.”

Harry pulled the Colt from under his shirt and aimed it at him. “I’ll tell you what. You want to trade, I’ll trade Colette for you. We can start there, see how it goes.”

“Put the gun away. You are not going to shoot me or you will never find her.”

The guy got up and came toward him. He was tall, six two, six three, and looked like he was in shape. Harry pulled the hammer back with his thumb. “First one’s going to blow out your knee cap. You better hope there isn’t a second one.” That seemed to persuade him. The German froze.

“I’m going to give you another chance. Where’s Colette?”

“Not far from here.”

“Let’s go see how she’s doing.”

“I have to call, tell them we are coming.”

“How many are there?”


“We’re going to surprise them,” Harry said. “And if they’ve done anything to Colette, you’re the first one I’m going to shoot. Believe that if you believe anything. Take off your coat, throw it over here and turn around.” He did and Harry checked the two outside pockets of the jacket, found a parking receipt, and a pair of handcuffs. There was also a piece of notepaper that had an address on Crooks Road in Troy and a phone number. “This where they have Colette?” 

In the other pocket he found car keys and a small semi-automatic. He ejected the magazine and put it in his pocket. The German had his back to Harry, looking over his shoulder.

“Take off your clothes. I want to see what else you’ve got.”

The German stripped down to his briefs and tossed everything on the floor at Harry’s feet. Harry picked up the man’s pants and checked the pockets, found the key to the handcuffs and his wallet. Opened it, name Albin Zeller from Munich on the driver’s license.

“You a Nazi, too, Albin?” Harry said.

Zeller, with his back to him, didn’t say anything. He was less threatening now in his underwear, thin legs, pale skin that had never been in the sun.

“Why are you looking for Hess?” He didn’t respond.

“You break in, say you want to talk, but you don’t say anything.” Hess was a wealthy man and a member of the Christian Social Union, an important political figure in Germany. Harry could understand why there were people who wanted him found. Hess must have told someone his plans. Otherwise how would Zeller have been able to follow his trail to Detroit? Harry threw him the handcuffs. “Put them on.”

Zeller turned, caught them, clamped them on his wrists. “Where’s your car?”

“On the street.”

That wasn’t going to work, walking a handcuffed Nazi in his undies out to the car at gunpoint.

“All right, let’s go. We’ll take mine.”

“They are expecting a phone call.”

“Well they’re going to be surprised then, aren’t they?”

“What about my clothes?”

“You’re not going to need them.”

“You drive up to the house they will kill her,” Zeller said.

“Then we won’t drive up to the house.”

Harry was parked in the driveway by the side door. It was 5:30 and almost dark. He led Zeller out, popped the trunk, took his eye off the German for a second and Zeller took off, hurdled the neighbor’s fence like a track star and disappeared. Harry started after him and stopped. Went back to the car, closed the trunk and drove to Troy to find Colette.

My Book Review:

Just when you think author Peter Leonard couldn't top the suspenseful thrill ride in Voice Of The Dead, he proves me wrong with the sequel, Back From The Dead.

Set in 1971, the story picks up where it left off in Voices Of The Dead, with Holocaust survivor Harry Levin thinking that he had killed Nazi war criminal, Ernst Hess, having dumped his body off the Florida coast. But Hess survives the shots to his chest and winds up in the Bahamas, where he recovers from his wounds. Hess is not deterred from continuing his murderous ways, he continues to plan to eliminate the remaining survivors and anyone else who gets in his way. Meanwhile, Harry Levin is back at home in Detroit, Michigan, when he learns that Hess has survived. The cat and mouse game resumes taking Levin and Hess globetrotting around the world from Florida, the Bahamas, Michigan, Germany and France. Levin is determined that this time Hess will pay the ultimate price for his murderous ways.

In Back From The Dead, author Peter Leonard seamlessly continues the suspenseful cat and mouse game between arch-enemies Holocaust survivor Harry Levin and Nazi war criminal Ernst Hess that began in the first book of the Harry Levin series, Voices Of The Dead.

Written in the third person narrative, the author weaves a thrilling tale with enough action and suspense that easily draws the reader back into the story, captivating them with the calculating cat and mouse game and globetrotting, that keeps them sitting on the edge of their seats guessing what will happen next. The characters come to life and leap off the pages, they are realistic and believable, you can't help but want to follow their every move. Even though I was completely satisfied with how Voice Of The Dead concluded, I think that the sequel, Back From The Dead is an edgy continuation that is just as riveting and action packed, the reader easily will get hooked back into this story.

Back From The Dead is a fast-paced suspenseful sequel that takes the reader to the edge, keeps them guessing and holding their breath until the chilling conclusion.

I would not suggest this book as a stand alone read. In order to really appreciate the complete story and thrilling cat and mouse game between these two men, you have to read the books in order.


Tour Participants

Feb 2 - Review by Krystal @ Live To Read
Feb 5 - Guest Post by Jodi @ Words by Webb
Feb 23rd - Review by Gautami @ Everything Distils Into Reading
Feb 25th - Showcase by Kate @ Read 2 Review
Feb 26th - Review by Athena @ The Stuff of Success
Mar 1st - Review by Misty @ The Top Shelf 
Mar 3rd - Review by Kim @ Bookishly Me
Mar 4th - Guest Post by Mason Canyon @ Thoughts in Progress 
Mar 7th - Guest Post & Review by Lori @ Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book
Mar 30th - Review by Gina @ Hott Books
Apr 1st - Guest Post & Review by Kathleen @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews 
Apr 2nd - Interview & Review by Kristi @ Books and Needlepoint
Apr 3rd - Review by Susan @ My Cozie Corner
Apr 7th Interview & Review by Jean BookNerd 
Apr 10th - Review by Kathleen @ Celticlady's Reviews
Apr 11th - Review by Mary @ Mary's Cup of Tea
Apr 12th - Review by Victor @ Vic's Media Room
Apr 14th - Review by Tammy @ The Self-Taught Cook
Apr 15th - Review by Rick @ Rhodes Review


  1. Awesome post!! I agree with you, this sequel did not disappoint. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I LOVE the top 10 list. Thinking this also needs a sequel..Pamela Anderson? taxi? Fantastic job. Thank you.

  2. Hi Cheryl! I was really surprised, usually sequels just don't live up to the first story, but I was immediately drawn back into the story. I look forward to reading more of Peter's books. Thank you for the kind comments and for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.