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Publisher's Summary

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.
As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Aided by his skeptical neighbor, Lila, Joe throws himself into uncovering the truth. Thread by thread, he begins to unravel the tapestry of Carl's conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it's too late to escape the fallout?
©2014 Allen Eskens (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"More complications ensue, until the novel's satisfying resolution." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Lori on 12-14-15

Good listen!

For a bargain book, this was pretty good. I usually stick with cozy mysteries because I don't like the violence in normal ones, and this one does get pretty graphic. But the mystery was good, kept me listening (on 1.5 speed). I bought the book because it takes place in Minnesota, where I grew up, and where else am I going to read, "The tufts of hair stood out of my head in all directions, like I'd been cowlicked by a drunken heifer" but in a book taking place in the midwest?

The main character, Joe, was likable from the beginning, he just had this authentic feel to him, and when I found out his backstory, I liked him even more. The same is true with the girl who lived next door to him. They both had some baggage, but neither one of them let it get them down much, or if they did, admitted to themselves they were doing it and accepted that. That was kind of refreshing.

The relationship between Joe and his brother was really sweet and added a layer to the story that made it all that much more worth listening to.

The narrator was really good, perfect choice for the voice of Joe.

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153 of 172 people found this review helpful

By Ted on 12-13-17


Okay, I sorta knew from the first where this was going. Who wrote that there are only a handful of really different plots available? So while Eskens takes a predictable road in "The Life We Bury" it's the journey's twists and threats that let this fine writer provide a satisfying trip.

Here's the kind of escape into narrative that makes Audible books so useful when I'm washing dishes, raking leaves, gym-sweating, or commuting. Zach Villa's brought the story to life by inhabiting each of its characters so credibly.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mr. Raymond L. Kingdon on 10-26-16

A most enjoyable story.

What did you like most about The Life We Bury?

The actual progression of the story with its twists and turns and changes in pace.
Narration was well-suited and warm; the tone and emphasis just right.

What did you like best about this story?

As above: twists and turns.

Which character – as performed by Zach Villa – was your favourite?

Characters complementary: wrong to single-out one character.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not possible.

Any additional comments?

On the look out for other works by the same writer and narrator.

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By paula on 06-22-16

The life we bury -review

This book is an excellent read, captivating the reader from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator however, his woman's voice was a little irritating. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys suspense and action novels with an interesting & compelling narrative.

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Customer Reviews

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By Shane on 08-07-16

Edge of the seat

Although parts of the plot were slightly improbable and the ending was a neatly tied bow, I was mostly on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what would happen next in this story.
The narration by Zach Villa was excellent - a well modulated voice, great story telling ability and none of the characterisations grated.
I've listened to many audiobooks and this is the first one I just couldn't put down.

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By Tereina on 05-31-16

Beautiful descriptive writing. Lovely detailed characters and great suspense

Lovely characters, well detailed. Loved the narrator and his own life story entwined in the suspense filled discovery of a tragic crime he walks into exposing.

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