The Blogging Owl’s Favorite Author for 2017

It would be an understatement to say I read a lot of books. My preference is to read new authors who have just published their first book although I love the classics and seasoned authors too. This past year I read some great first books and not all of them were published in 2017. But after reading many books this year, there is no doubt that Allen Eskens is my favorite author for 2017.

Allen Eskens is the best at reader foreplay

The first book I read by Mr. Eskens was his first book published in 2014 by Seventh Street Books, Amherst, NY, The Life We Bury. My initial attraction to the book was the title. Don’t we all have a life we have buried or would like to? I was also familiar with the book’s geographical setting in Minneapolis as I have traveled there often for business.

Eskens is a criminal defense attorney that lends credibility to his stories in the crime mystery genre. Not only does he know his topic, but the author is great at character and plot development. When I say he is the best at reader foreplay, he takes his time with the story with enough intrigue and surprises to causing the reader to impatiently want more but yet at the same time not wanting the story to end.

I couldn’t wait to meet up with another of Mr. Eskens novels again so I hurriedly purchased his next two novels, The Guise of Another published in 2015 and The Heavens May Fall published in 2016. These next two meetings were even better than his debut novel. In all of the four Eskens books I read in 2017, a few of the characters reappear in each novel. And what I love best about what Eskens has done with each of his novels is the storytelling stands on its own. The reader need not read the first novel to understand and thoroughly enjoy the next novel, or the novel before for that matter. Each novel reading experience is pure bliss.

Deep Dark DescendingI pre-ordered his last novel that finally arrived on bookshelves last October, The Deep Dark Descending. Oh my dear, Mr. Eskens, dare I say it? Not only are you the best at reader foreplay, you are the best at the finish line too. The ending of each novel is not quite how the reader may anticipate but assuredly takes the reader’s breath away.

Rolling over and sipping the last in my scotch glass and wanting to light a cigarette (I don’t even smoke), how can each novel be better than the last? That’s what makes Allen Eskens my favorite author for 2017.

I do hope another Allen Eskens novel is in my future in 2018.

 

Sidebar: Blogging Owl Book Reviews

In 2017 a few authors sent me their books in exchange for an honest review in which I happily complied; however, in 2018, I will no longer accept this book-for-a-review arrangement. (I purchased all four Allen Eskens novels.)

If authors would like me to review their book, authors may email me at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com with the following criteria:

• The title of your book
• Honestly answer why you wrote the book you would like me to review
• Your publisher’s contact information

I respond to all emails. Because of the sheer volume of books I read, I cannot offer a deadline for when a review will be given. The Blogging Owl gives a 1 to 5 Hoot Rating.All book reviews are posted here at The Blogging Owl and shared on social media. I will also post book reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble websites. All genres and reading age-levels are considered.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale
The books I purchase for review either remain in my personal library or are donated to non-profit organizations, schools, and libraries. (Sorry, I am not giving up my Allen Eskens novels.)

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Happy Reading in 2018!

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Book Review: The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens

Detective Max Rupert makes a front and center appearance in Eskens’ third novel, The Heavens May Fall. I have to say the author set up Max Rupert’s character perfectly for his starring role in this third novel. Had Max had the starring role from the get go in Eskens’ first two novels, this novel could not have been as interesting or revealing to the reader.

The Heaven's May Fall.jpg
Eskens’ third novel tells the story of pushing a friendship to a breaking point involving finding the truth of Jennavieve Pruitt’s death. The author almost has the reader believing in one ending and suddenly the stunning truth emerges just in the nick of time. Even so, I didn’t feel the suspense was as riveting as Eskens’ prior novel,  The Guise of Another, however, the novel shows us the ugliness of wealth, power, and ego.

An attorney the reader can love

Attorney and professor, Boady Sanden and student, Lila Nash appear as central figures in this novel along with Detective Max Rupert. The reader will remember Boady Sanden and Lila Nash from Esken’s first novel, A Life We Bury.

Side Bar:  The bestselling novel, A Life We Bury, is in development for a feature film which proves Esken’s has storytelling talent.

I love these familiar characters, especially Boady Sanden.

The novel reveals the friendship between attorney Boady Sanden and detective Max Rupert. The friendship becomes strained when Max is convinced that another attorney, Ben Pruitt, who tried to disparage Max Rupert’s reputation in a previous case has pleaded Boady Sanden into representing Ben in the murder of his wife, Jennavieve.

An attorney the reader can hate

Ben Pruitt whether he is innocent or guilty, he’s the type of attorney most readers will feel like they want to take a shower after meeting him or at least they will want to wash their hands. The reader cannot help vacillating between being on Boady’s side and Max’s side on whether to believe Ben Pruitt. The author does an excellent job in keeping us guessing right up to the ending.

Another winning novel

The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens is another storytelling winner. Eskens definitely has the right touch in bringing crime mystery to a level that takes his readers for wonderful ride into well-developed characters and plot lines. Allen Esken has certainly become one of my one new favorite authors of the year.

The Blogging Owl gives, The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens a definite 5-Hoot Rating.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

Pre-Order Allen Esken’s Next Book due October 3, 2017:

Amazon: The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens

Barnes and Noble: The Deep Dark Descending by Allen Eskens

Please also support your local independent bookstore. They can order the book for you too!

Book Review: The Guise of Another, by Allen Eskens

The Guise of Another is the second novel by Allen Eskens. I am just going to come right out of the gate to announce that I hope this novel is obtained for the action thriller movie. Just make sure that Matt Damon is not chosen to play Detective Alexander Rupert.

The Guise of AnotherIf you read, The Life We Bury, by Allen Eskens (if you haven’t you should – see my review The Life We Bury), police detective, Max Rupert is the older broker of detective, Alexander Rupert. The story as in the previous novel is set in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Little brother, Alex is trying to salvage his police career on the suspicion of police corruption while seeing the opportunity to rehabilitate his reputation in solving a case of identity theft.

Crime Mystery ripe for a movie thriller

The story is perfect for an action thriller movie with all the elements of a crime mystery involving big business, international intrigue, betrayal, soured marriage, and murder. This novel is a one-sitting read with short chapters that keep you wanting more and more right up to the ending. It is everything a reader wants in a crime mystery – it is chilling, filled with suspense, and loaded with surprises.

Besides Drago Basta a fascinating character, I found the women characters to be almost as villainous as Drago in their own right.

Favorite sentences can turn into favorite movie lines

My favorite sentence in the book is, “It fascinated Drago the way that people could believe the unbelievable. He had entered her home, pointed a gun at her face, tied up in a chair, and now straddled her lap. Yet she had stopped screaming because she believed him when he said he wouldn’t hurt her.”

And another sentence, “People about to die will bargain away the world for one more breath of life. They will lie and cheat and betray their own mothers in order to live.”

Questions begging to be asked

What is the chance of not being killed if she follows his demands?

Would I lie, cheat and betray even my own mother in order to live?

A must-read book!

Allen Eskens second novel, The Guise of Another cements Allen Eskens as one of my new favorite authors. Will his third book, The Heavens May Fall make this a lasting feeling?
The Blogging Owl gives, The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens a definite 5-Hoot Rating.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale

Support Your Local Independent Bookstore!

Available on Amazon

Available at Barnes & Noble Bookstore