05 January 2015

book review: the life we bury

the life we bury by allen eskens

joe tolbert is a college student at the university of minnesota and has the task of writing a biography of an older adult.  the due date is nearing and he still hasn't selected a subject, so he heads to the local nursing home to ask to meet with one of the residents. the administrator connects joe to a man named carl, a convicted murderer who was released from the local prison and transferred to the nursing home as he is dying of cancer.

joe never could have imagined that a simple school assignment would bring him deep into this 30 year old murder case, leading him on an even more important mission to not just complete the assignment but exonerate carl as he learns of his innocence. with help from his next door neighbor lila, a lawyer at the local law school, and a law clerk who worked on the original case, joe dives headfirst into his quest to clear carl's name before he dies - all of this amidst dealing with a strained relationship with his mother and caring long distance for his autistic brother.

one aspect to this book i enjoyed was the fact that the setting was minnesota.  it's always cool reading a book set in the area where you live and recognizing the neighborhoods where the characters live, work, or go to school and particular characteristics of the city that only a native would understand.

although i am not really a murder mystery or suspense book reader, i was interested in this book since it takes place in my state and featured a character from a nursing home since i work with seniors at a nursing home.  and though parts of it were unbelievable (in the truest sense of the word), it was well written and engaging and had many similarities to the serial podcast that i became pretty fascinated with last month (boo that it's over...).

are you a reader of murder mysteries, suspense, or psychological thrillers?

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