Friday, June 26, 2015

The Life We Bury; Allen Eskens

The Life We Bury; Allen Eskens
 Seventh Street Books – 2014

The Life We Bury is an addictive debut novel that hooked me from the very first paragraph and never let go:

The story begins with 21 year-old Joe Talbert, a college student who is struggling financially.  He has an irresponsible, alcoholic mother and an autistic brother named Jeremy at home.

As part of a college English assignment, Joe must meet with a senior citizen, and write about that person's life.  Joe sets out to interview, Carl Iverson, a Vietnam Vet and convicted murdered who was sent to prison after being found guilty of raping and murdering a 14-year old girl who lived next door to him.  Carl is dying and no longer in prison, instead spending the remaining weeks in a nursing home since his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Throughout his arrest and confinement, Carl has maintained his innocence. Joe along with Lila, a romantic interest, and Joe's brother Jeremy, set out see whether what Carl professes just may be true. Is it possoble that the real murderer is still running free?

Part thriller, part mystery, part coming of age story, The Life We Bury, is fast paced and well written. Most of the characters have depth and substance, and the story line keeps you engaged, with some edge of moments, making this one hard to put down.  It's a story that has some controversial threads - child abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism, and a sometimes failed justice system. The author does a terrific job tying it all together.  After finishing the book, I now see just how perfect the title the author chose for this one is as well.

Readers who enjoy well written mysteries and stories about justice and redemption are likely to enjoy this one as well.  The author has a second book coming out in October called, The Guise of Another, that sounds very good as well.

4.5/5 stars
(personal copy)

17 comments:

  1. Now I wonder if Carl is innocent! This sounds really good!

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  2. This sounds really good, but you know, the cover makes me want to defer it till winter! :--)

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    1. Yes, winter cover, but a great summer choice as well.

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  3. You had me at those wonderful themes...and the characters sound so fascinating. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. The writing is very good as well. Impressive debut.

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  4. This is a very heavy novel. I find all the issues interesting.

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  5. This sounds like a fascinating book and one I'd enjoy. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Thanks Monica, it was, hope you can try it sometime.

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  6. I have the urge to read the book so I can find out if he did it or not. I love the cover, it makes me miss snow even more than I already did. This would make a perfect winter read, so I'm adding it to my tbr list.

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  7. This sounds really good. The thought that a college student would decide to interview a Vietnam vet and convicted murderer is intriguing. Thinking about the possibility that he is not really the murderer piques my interest more. Love the thriller/suspense aspect of this.
    http://thankyoumsbowen.blogspot.com

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  8. Sounds very intriguing. I like the interviewing but as well.

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  9. You liked this one a lot. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    readerbuzz.blogspot.com

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  10. This one is going on my list - it sounds a little like my latest read and a well-written mystery is always a winner!

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  11. oh, this looks so good! off to add it to my list!

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