The Life We Bury
Series: Max Rupert and Joe Talbert #1
Author: Allen Eskens
Narrator: Zach Villa
Published: October 14, 2014
Audiobook: 8 Hours 23 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: June 10-15, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
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. 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. Thread by thread, Joe unravels 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?
This was a very good one! It was intriguing with the listener liking the characters they were supposed to like and vise versa! I was pulled in wanting to know everything, which we end up getting!
We have Joe Talbert having a college assignment to interview someone and tell their story. Joe gets more than he bargained for with Carl agreeing to be interviewed and give his dying declaration… See Carl is a convicted rapist and murderer. He is only out of prison because of his medical condition and not having much time left in his life.
Joe’s life is complicated which we also experience through Joe’s circumstances, and meeting with Carl and hearing his just complicates it even more. We hear about Carl’s time in Vietnam, which doesn’t take up a lot of time in this story. I was more interested in everything else that was going on. And as we get closer to the climax I really was invested in what was going to happen because it goes in a direction I was not expecting. It just kept speeding on to that ending.
I am curious about the rest in the series and will hopefully continue it. There are just so many books and only so much time! But Joe I like and want to see what happens with him next!