The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Published by Seventh Street Books
Published 2014
Genres: Crime Mystery
Pages: 303
Source: Purchased
Read it on Amazon

The Life We Bury by Allen EskensThe Life We Bury is the debut novel of the author Allen Eskens. When the book was published back in 2014, I had no idea the author even existed. Now, reading the Allen Eskens books in order means catching up to no less than four books with the latest published in 2017.

Truth be told, I started Allen Eskens’ books with his latest novel, The Deep Dark Descending, and only when I finished reading it I realized that it’s, in fact, part of a series. Woops.

Truth be told, I started Allen Eskens’ books with his latest novel, The Deep Dark Descending, and only when I finished reading it I realized that it’s, in fact, part of a series. Woops.

So I went back to the beginning, The Life We Bury. Now, granted, the main character I came to love from the author’s last book, Max Rupert, was hardly in the book.In fact, he was a secondary character that appeared towards 65-70% of the story. But that’s OK; I figured this is the way the author wanted to introduce him to his readers, gradually.

In fact, he was a secondary character that appeared towards 65-70% of the story. But that’s OK; I figured this is the way the author wanted to introduce him to his readers, gradually.

So the book focuses on Joe Talbert, a college student, who gets an assignment during his English class to interview someone and write a report about that interview in the form of a biography of the interviewed person.

He is kind of behind his assignment, so, being in a hurry, he goes to a neighboring nursing home, hoping to catch some war veteran who could share with him something grand. What he gets, instead, is a chance to interview a convicted murderer who got transferred to the nursing home because he is dying of cancer.

Since beggars can’t be choosers, Joe decides that he’ll do the best he can of the situation and starts working with the old man, Carl Iverson, on his biography. Of course, as most convicted criminals say, he also kept pushing that he’s innocent, that he was framed.

But what if he actually is innocent? Some things just don’t add up, and Joe and his neighbor (and soon to be girlfriend), Lila, set off to prove Carl’s innocence.  But can he discover the truth before Carl dies?

The story is fast-paced and there is a lot of emotion woven through the book. Since I had read the author’s latest novel, I was aware of the darkness that prevails within the pages. This book has it too. Joe has a lot of baggage, including his drunk and difficult mother, and his autistic brother who needs his help. And then, of course, we have those people who want to keep the truth about what happened back then hidden at all costs. Even if means getting rid of Joe and Lila for good.

Having read the 4th book before the first, I can easily see how the author has grown since 2014. The first book is awesome, yes, but the 4th one left me breathless (soon to be reviewed as well). I know I’ve already mentioned Max Rupert’s absence from most of the book. Until I finally came across his name, I honestly thought this would be a standalone novel with no ties to the rest of the books at all. How glad I am that I was wrong!

four-half-stars
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