The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens
Published by Seventh Street Books on October 6th 2015
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Who was James Putnam?
The person who is believed to be James Putnam it turns out is not him. This is not a spoiler – it’s in the description of the book but it does start the reader’s journey down the path of this book. Detective Alexander Rupert is a Minnesota detective who needs some redemption. He is currently under investigation and his life is falling apart fast. He is assigned to work in the Fraud department and is not too popular with his fellow detectives as he is under investigation for corruption. He needs to win and win big in order to turn his troubled life around. He takes on a case of identity theft, hoping it will be enough to save his reputation with the force.
The phrase “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind as it appears that Detective Putnam has bitten off more than he can chew. He draws the attention of an assassin who is also looking for someone and the case becomes a cat and mouse chase for the truth. His brother Max, a fellow police detective tries to help him on this case but as one slips down the rabbit hole…can they be saved?
There were some twists with this book. I found the storytelling to be good. I did enjoy his other book “The life we bury” a more enjoyable read for me, but this was still very sound storytelling. Eskens is simply a great writer. His written word is so enjoyable to read. His writing is intelligent, his books are well thought out, paced and never feel too long nor too short. He is an Author who does not disappoint. I look forward to reading more of his books.
The Heavens May Fall by Allen Eskens
Published by Seventh Street Books on October 4th 2016
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Let Justice be done, though the Havens may fall
Detective Max Rupert is investigating a murder where he strongly believes that the woman’s husband killed her. His good friend, Broady Sanden, is convinced that the woman’s husband is innocent. Will this case destroy their friendship? What will this case cost both men?
While investigate the case Max is still coping with the Murder of his wife. He cannot investigate her cold case as it is against police procedures. Will his grief and desire to know the truth about his wife’s case get in his way of investigating the current murder case he is investigating.
Both men make strong cases as to why Ben Pruitt either killed or did not kill his wife, Jennavieve. Both have have a past with Ben. Ben is an attorney who had a legal practice with Broady Sanden at one point. Max was cross examined by Ben and Ben was subsequently reprimanded for using a false document to discredit Max’s testimony. I really enjoyed the way both of their perspectives were told in this book. This book is part crime story, part mystery, part drama, part suspense story. The nice part is there is nothing really graphic or disturbing in this book so almost everyone can read this book and not feel squeamish or be put off by the subject matter.
I find it extremely easy to get sucked into Allen Eskens’s books. There is something so delicious about the way he writes. I find myself getting sucked into his characters world and feel I am not longer reading the book but an observer in these characters intricately written lives. His characters are believable. They are multi dimensional and likable. Even the unlikable characters are likable in an unlikable kind of way. Perhaps my last sentence did not make sense but I think if you read this book, you will see my point.
This was another captivating book by an Author who does not disappoint.
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Published by Seventh Street Books on October 14th 2014
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“I have to say the words out loud. I have to tell someone the truth about what happened all those years ago. I have to tell someone the truth about what I did.”
College student Joe Talbert has a lot on his plate: an alcoholic Mother, a brother with Autism, a job and college courses. He is attempting to handle it all when he is given a writing assignment for an English Class. His assignment is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of that individual. He decides to go to a local nursing home where the staff suggest he interview Carl Iverson. Carl is a decorated Viet Nam Veteran and also a convicted murderer. He is in the Nursing home because he is dying of Cancer (no spoiler we are told this right away). Carl agrees to tell his “dying declaration” to Joe in return for absolute honesty between them.
What begins as a simple writing assignment turns into something much, much bigger. Carl has been convicted of raping and murdering a 14 year old girl 30 years earlier. Joe finds that he must know all the facts in order to write his school assignment. That means looking at court records, crime scene photos, learning about Carl’s time in Viet Nam and speaking to those involved in the criminal case. While attempting to write Carl’s biography, Joe also has to take care of his brother, study at school, pursue a relationship and work. He finds that his time with Carl is life changing.
As the truth begins to come out the suspense begins to build in this book. This book becomes somewhat of a thriller – a literary thriller. The character development in this book was extremely good. I found the story to be absorbing, and told at the right pace. It is not your classic page turner but I found I could not put it down. This debut novel won awards and it is easy to see why. It is fantastic.
I will definitely be reading more books by this author! Highly recommend.