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  2. College welcomes author Allen Eskens to discuss his debut novel, The Life We Bury
  3. Allen Eskens discusses his mystery, "The Life We Bury" | Mystery to Me : An Independent Bookstore
  4. Life We Bury, The

Professor Sanden warns that it is unlikely that Carl will be exonerated before his death without a confession. Determined to clear Carl's name, Joe visits Douglas who knocks him out and kidnaps Joe with the intent of dumping his body under the ice in a river. Fortunately, Joe escapes and hides in a cabin during the snowstorm.

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However, when he makes his way to a nearby farmhouse, the sheriff arrests him. Then, Rupert picks Joe up.


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Rupert believes Douglas is guilty, but he has disappeared and his farmhouse has been burned to the ground. Rupert warns Joe of the investigation since this dangerous man has his wallet. At Dan's house, Joe and Lila are surprised when Mrs. Lockwood refers to her husband as DJ.

After fleeing when he returns, they steal trash that night in hopes of obtaining a DNA sample from one of his cigarette butts. On the drive home, Joe receives a call from Jeremy because Larry hit him.

Joe rescues his brother and invites him to live with him, chiding their mother for her lack of concern for her children. After leaving Lila and Jeremy at the apartment, Joe returns home to receive a call from Dan who has kidnapped Lila. Dan offers to exchange Lila for his trash, and Joe drives off to meet him, knowing that Dan plans to kill them both.

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He uses Jeremy's phone to alert Detective Rupert, but he fears the call went to voicemail. At the farm, Joe tries to attack Dan who shoots him in the thigh and ties him up to make him watch what he plans to do to Lila; however, Rupert and several other officers lurk in the shadows and kill Dan at their first opportunity.

Carl is overjoyed when he learns that he has been exonerated, but he dies that night in his sleep. At the funeral, Virgil praises Joe for clearing his friend's name. Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. All rights reserved.

College welcomes author Allen Eskens to discuss his debut novel, The Life We Bury

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The Life We Bury Book Review *spoilers*

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.


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There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam vete College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer.

Allen Eskens discusses his mystery, "The Life We Bury" | Mystery to Me : An Independent Bookstore

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. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher.

Life We Bury, The

From the Trade Paperback edition. Get A Copy. 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. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.