The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Eskens’ competent thriller starts off slowly as he builds his characters’ backgrounds and personalities. The story is compelling – Joe Talbert, a college student dealing with an autistic brother and an irresponsible mother, is on deadline to complete a writing assignment requiring him to interview a stranger and the subject he is forced to accept is a convicted murderer, dying in a nursing home. Carl Iverson’s crime was hideous – raping a young girl and burning her body – but while the Vietnam vet admits to being a killer, he maintains he is not a murderer. Joe is determined to find the truth in that statement but he also has to protect his little brother from their drunken mother. The adrenaline builds as Joe plays private investigator, a role that will put his life in serious danger.

Joe’s quick-thinking survival skills are so clever as to be farfetched, given his background, and the resolution is Hollywood-worthy but, overall, The Life We Bury offers good characterization and solid plotting for a thriller with a serious tone, occasionally lightened by Joe’s interactions with his brother.

Readalikes:  Harlen Coben’s thrillers (likable protagonist; issue-oriented; investigative/adrenaline)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s