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The Life We Bury Paperback – October 14, 2014
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AWARD RECOGNITION FOR THE LIFE WE BURY:
WINNER! Left Coast Crime Rosebud Award, BEST DEBUT MYSTERY
WINNER! Barry Award, BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
WINNER! Silver Falchion Award, BEST FIRST NOVEL: traditional
2015 Edgar® Award Finalist, BEST FIRST NOVEL
Minnesota Book Award Finalist, BEST GENRE NOVEL
Anthony Award Finalist, BEST FIRST NOVEL
ITW Thriller Awards Finalist, BEST FIRST NOVEL
MysteryPeople 2014 BEST DEBUT NOVEL
Suspense Magazine BEST BOOKS OF 2014/DEBUT AUTHOR
PRAISE FOR THE LIFE WE BURY:
"Thriller fans should keep their eyes on Eskens; he's a comer." --BOOKLIST
"Compulsively suspenseful." --BOOKPAGE
"[A] masterful debut...." --PW STARRED REVIEW
"An intelligent and compelling story with characters that will capture you from the start.... This debut novel never lets the reader off the edge of the seat--the mark of a great story."
--THE BIG THRILL
"Set against the backdrop of a brutal Minnesota winter, The Life We Bury is much more than a satisfying, suspenseful novel.... This story kept me turning the pages, and it touched my heart. The characters are as real as my next-door neighbors, the story compelling, and the writing superb." --SUSPENSE MAGAZINE
"Eskens delivers interesting puzzles, clever problem-solving, and plenty of stay-up-all-night-reading suspense." --REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE
"Eskens's first-person narration grabs the reader and never relinquishes its hold."
--LIBRARY JOURNAL EDITOR'S FALL PICK
"Eskens' debut is a solid and thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years--none more dangerous than championing a bitter old man convicted of a horrific crime." --KIRKUS REVIEWS
"A mesmerizing debut, unfolding decades of secrets in a rewarding tale of redemption."
--JULIE KRAMER, Minnesota Book Award winner
About the Author
Allen Eskens is the award-winning and USA Today–bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, and The Heavens May Fall. A criminal-defense attorney for twenty-five years, he lives with his wife in Minnesota, where he is a member of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.
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For years I couldn't speak about the war, whether because of the shame the American public cast upon our service, or because of my participation in the war itself.
Sprayed and betrayed by our own government, then shunned by the rest of the country, no wonder so many of us went insane or turned to self-medication.
I loved the plot of The Life We Bury, Mr. Eskens' mastery of detail and his mastery of the art of storytelling, I would have given it a 5-star rating, if it weren't for some details, and editing issues that struck me as not quite hitting the mark.
For example, nobody who had ever graduated from Army recruit training would ever refer to it as "Boot Camp". His spelling of the Vietnamese town of Khe Sanh (the site of one of the deadliest and costliest battles of the war) as Que Son, would leave any Vietnam Vet scratching his head, and wondering why. One other glaring example was referring to the M16 as a gun. No military personnel would ever call his weapon a gun. There were some other editing issues that detracted from a great story by a first rate storyteller.
Mr. Eskens, my hat is off to you, for telling a tale, that from my perspective, symbolically exonerates Vietnam Veterans.
Thanks to you sir, from me and all that deserved better when they came home. May we all come out of the shadows, take our place as proud Americans, and look closely at the life we bury.
Robert Romaniello, Author of Marble Mountain Memoirs.
This novel is probably classified as a thriller but I consider it a literary thriller. There's thrills and spills to make it a page turner but it doesn't over rely on such action. For me it was the rich character development, character interaction and psychological aspects that make this a great story and read. My only disappointment (albeit minor) is that the story never reveals if the class project (the biographical paper) was a success with the English professor and whether the student decided to become a journalist or professional writer. As a reader I was left to draw my own favorable conclusions for these minor questions.
I seek out debut novels as they tend to be more honest than the writing of more "experienced" writers who often seem to be lured off course by fame, fortune and laziness. This novel is genuine writing and I'm looking forward to this author's future work, hoping to find similar honesty. I'm recommending and/or gifting copies of this novel to all of my reading friends.
Fair to say we both loved it and it was fun checking in on her progress as she devoured it knowing what was in store.
A college assignment morphs into an investigation into a 30 year old murder mystery, that touches on a lot of things…..family, relationships, affection, abuse, parenting, autism, communication, guilt, loyalty, friendships, Vietnam, war, death, alcohol abuse, cancer……….and a whole lot of other things besides.
Great story line, superb characters that you care about, especially Joe and his neighbour Lila. I think the family dynamics and the evolving relationship between Joe and Lila and the part Jeremy unwittingly played was one of the most satisfying parts of the book. A close second to that would be the developing friendship between our murdering, cancer-stricken, veteran Carl and Joe.
I do like the odd book where the investigation into the mystery is conducted by a non-professional sleuth. It makes for a refreshing change from the police or more usually PI books, I read. Eskens arranged an interesting puzzle, which I was keen to see resolved, which it was.
Intriguing, entertaining, gripping and totally satisfying.
Definitely recommended if you like your mysteries, on the whole fairly straightforward, but with a lot of character and heart.
Debut author Eskens has two new fans in the UK!
5 from 5
Allen Eskens hails from the US.
Many thanks to Seventh Street Books for my copy.