Review: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

I was looking for a new author to love (new meaning an author whose novels I had not yet read or a newly published author) when I came upon the novel, The Life We Bury by Allen Eskins.

the-life-we-bury-front.jpgThe Life We Bury back

 

Kudos, to Mr. Eskens for being a finalist and award winner for his debut novel, The Life We Bury. However, I have been duped before into investing my time and book budget by these types of accolades only to be disappointed in the reviews.

It’s always a gamble investigating a new author. Again, new being someone’s novel I have not read before or new to the book scene. In my humble reader’s opinion, there is no guarantee an established author will have a great new novel, and by the same token, a green author’s novel isn’t necessarily a work in process.

Side bar: The Life We Bury was published by Seventh Street Books in Amherst, New York; but whether the book is self-published or by a publishing house is irrelevant to me.

Ultimately, three things about this novel convinced me to invest in it. Firstly, the title, The Life We Bury intrigued me and it is what drew me into investigating further the purchase of this book.  Who doesn’t have a few secrets in their closet?

Secondly, the premise of a college student completing a writing assignment for an English class that sounded familiar to anyone who as ever taken an English course but never had a subject as interesting as Carl Iverson. Throw in a dysfunctional family and I wondered if the author could really pull off well developed characters without losing sight of the assignment.

And lastly, I told myself I should at least give this new author an opportunity to convince me that all the accolades were worthy indeed. As a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Eskens is no doubt adept at presenting cases and leading juries to his desired conclusion. Yet many juries have been overwhelmed with too many details, and could the author write this story as thrilling and suspenseful as quoted on the back cover of the book without putting me to sleep?

Not only were the accolades accurate, Mr. Eskens has a captivating writing style and well developed characters. I felt I was there within the story. I also enjoyed the short chapters which I felt kept with the suspense of the story moving it to a thrilling ending.

The Life We Bury is a debut winner! So much so I went out and simultaneously purchased his second novel, The Guise of Another, and his latest novel, The Heavens May Fall.  

Did I have find my find a new author to love?  Stay tuned for my reviews of Mr. Esken’s follow up novels on The Blogging Owl.

Hoot Rating:

Genre: Mystery, Crime

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, the novel, The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens earned 4 hoots.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale - 4 hoots

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