A good mystery thriller unravels thread by thread, making it impossible to put the book down. The plot grips you as tension builds, and you wait for the inevitable... sure you know what will happen next!
But a great mystery thriller leaves you doubting even what you were so certain of, and makes you question what you thought you knew about the characters. As I eagerly turned the pages of Allen Eskens's debut novel The Life We Bury by the light of my bedside lamb at 2 a.m., I knew I had found the latter.
In his well-crafted first thriller, Eskens introduces Joe Talbert, a college student at the University of Minnesota who has escaped his dysfunctional family home, leaving his autistic brother in the care of his alcoholic mother. While struggling with the guilt of leaving his brother behind, Joe is given a class assignment to write a biography of a stranger and stumbles into a nursing home looking or a subject. Introduced to Carl Iverson, a man who has spent 30 years in prison for murder and who is now dying of cancer, Joe accepts this challenge and soon sets out to prove Carl's innocence with the help of his female neighbor, Lila.
Eskens has crafted a thoughtful and highly satisfying mystery, layered with each character's troubling past, including Carl's time in Vietnam and Joe's struggles to protect his brother. The Life you Bury was chosen as the Library's Open Book Club title in July and our book club members were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview Eskens via Skype.
To participate in lively discussion with fellow reading enthusiasts and to take advantage of exciting events like author interviews, join us the first Monday of each month, 10 a.m. at our Perry Creek Branch Library and 5 p.m. at our Morningside Branch Library. Find The Life We Bury and other great thrillers at any Sioux City Public Library. Check It Out!
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