Written By: Allen Eskens

Narrated By: Zach Villa

Date: June 2015

Duration: 8 hours 24 minutes


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. Aided by his skeptical neighbor, Lila, Joe throws himself into uncovering the truth. Thread by thread, he begins to unravel 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?


  • Karyn B.

    I felt the book started slow. I really wasn’t sure where the story line was going. Then I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down. So many twists that continuously kept you guessing.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    Really enjoyed this book the story was excellent

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • January A.

    I absolutely loved listening to this book! Took me barely 48 hours to listen to it from beginning to end! I hated turning it off!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • Cathy B.

    Ok 'read' this book far too quickly because I got so caught up in the story! It was a good story and well narrated. Highly recommended

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Kristi G

    The novel was not a difficult read , will keep you engaged until the very last page

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Steve L

    Very slow and predictable. skipped chapters and didn't lose the story. narrator was irritating as well. Avoid.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    loved this book!! The narrator did a great job at portraying each character and the emotions felt!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    This was a fabulous book I lived in Minneapolis and so I knew all the spaces but I love the logic of it it was terrific book I could hardly put it down so eight hours or so of my day was totally involved in this book

  • Katie V.

    Excellent book and excellent narration. Kept me very interested from beginning to end.

  • Julie G.

    Excellent read.

  • Rhonda G.

    Great story, beautifully told - the narrator was believable as the main character, happy ending too!

  • Anonymous

    wow, story is amazing all the way to end. I loved it

  • Hannah

    Loved this listened to it with my son on school runs! Kept us both hooked.

  • Anonymous

    Giod book and easy lisren!

  • Louise R.

    I really enjoyed this book. I kept finding an excuse to go for a walk so I could listen.

  • Don H.

    Very gripping story. Narrator was really good, I thought, as well.

  • John S.

    Excellent narration to a good book. It takes a minute to get into because there is a fair amount to establish before the plot gets going but it pays off in character investment. Narrating a book with multiple generations of characters from vastly different socio-economic backgrounds is not easy, and this narrator does a great job of that. The last quarter of the book is well worth hanging in there.

  • Lori C.

    Loved the story!

  • Susan O.

    Loved the book and the narrator was perfect.

  • Anonymous

    Really good book. It has a bit of everything: suspense, action, wit, life lessons, family bonds, budding romance, and a little Vietnam War history thrown in. Each character has their own mystery that they bring to the story, so it keeps you guessing while trying to figure out the main mystery. The narrator does a great job.

  • Sheila L

    This book surprised me in that I didn't lose interest at any point. The storyline was exceptionally good. It had enough twists to keep me guessing, yet not so many that I got tired of the author making another turn, trying too hard to make it more than it needed to be. Instead, this author stuck with the storyline, an engrossing and suspenseful one at that, and kept me listening. I especially liked that there wasn't the typical romantic side storyline(s) going on. Money well spent on this audiobook... one worth the investment!

  • Lisa N.

    This book was gripping! It sucks you in in every way! It has romance, suspense, history and it keeps you guessing. Very well written and I hope to read more books by this author. Loved this book!

  • Anonymous

    I couldn’t stop listening!

  • Julie G.

    Great audiobook for dog walking and chores around the house. A little bit of your run if the mill mystery with some interesting twists. Narration was great.

  • Alan R.

    what a great story, I wish it lasted longer, you wont regret listening to this.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this storyline. It had turns in the story that just sucked you in. I couldn’t wait to start listening again. Reminds me of John Grisham. I highly recommend it.

  • Donnab5859

    Could be short Renee a bit by cutting out superfluous chase scenes, but solid entertainment.

  • Anonymous

    Simple and entertaining. I like it.

  • Leah N.

    Such a compelling story & excellent reader. It took me just under 10 minutes to really get into it, but then I couldn’t stop thinking about it and wait to get back to it. There are some twists and turns and I found my hand over my mouth a couple of times, which tells you there is suspense. Great read!

  • Sue L.

    This was an excellent read. The narrator was perfect for the story and the story is one that will run through my mind for a very long time.

  • Richard S.

    I thought this was a decent story, not great though. Some aspects of the writing were irritating and did not ring true.

  • Carman S.

    Excellence narration. Sweet story and very well written. Good read.

  • Anonymous

    Really enjoyed the book. A little slow to start , but then picked up c

  • Sharon H.

    I thought this book was excellent!

  • Michael P.

    An exciting, take your breath away murder mystery. Exceptional narration.

  • Anonymous


  • Jamie

    Great read. It kept me guessing the whole time.

  • Debra C.

    Excellent read! Great plot! Narrator did an exceptional job!

  • Nicola O.

    Super good read. Refreshingly new ideas put together in an easy to listen to and compelling story. Narration was spot on.

  • Elizabeth D.

    This book was amazing. The narrator had a lovely voice, very measured with warm tones. The story drew me in and I had to keep listening to find out what happened. Terrific writing.

  • Jessica G.

    This is not the type of book I usually listen to, but I am so glad I listened to it. Great story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story.

  • Anonymous

    One of the best reads I have listen to in a long time from beginning to end might listen again!!

  • Jaccquie R.

    I really liked the beginning of this book but then the story line just got too unbelievable. Joe's character, along with his brother, were well written. Lila's character is another story altogether. And not in a good way. I despised Where The Crawdads Sing and this book seemed similar in story line. Around chapter 30 as Joe was doing something so ridiculous I just couldn't care anymore. DNF.

  • Anonymous

    Great listen. Narration was clear and the story shows how the justice system works, or not.

  • Michael L.

    A great book

  • Anonymous

    narration was a bit flat, but it was a good novel. very accurately depicting the mental health issues and autism. well done

  • Patty C.

    I was hooked from the beginning and I listened to this book all in one day. Great book with a very interesting story line.

  • Anonymous

    I liked the first half of the book most - finding out about the narrator's life and his relationship with the convict. Not so keen on the psycho killer and complicated story (though it was very exciting) in the second half. I wonder if it was written with a view to it becoming a film script or used for a tv series with so much going on.

  • Jeanette F.

    It was a good story.

  • Terry A. W.

    Gripping story, happy endings for the main characters. Zachary Villa had a good range of voices. Would happily listen to more of his work. I will look for more of the author’s work.

  • Anonymous

    Great audio, on the edge of my seat thru the whole story. The best thriller I have heard in a greAt while! Love the narrator too

  • Anonymous

    This novel and the reading of it kept me alert on a long drive. Just when I thought the story had come to an end, it picked up again and revealed yet another twist! The narrator was perfect!

  • Jennie L.

    interesting storyline which lost its way at times, good narrator

  • Linda M.

    I think that this writer shows promise but needs some interjection by his editor/s. He writes, most of the time, in a well-paced, thoughtful tone but when he gets to "action" scenes (he) becomes a teenager, there is no maturity there - the scene in the trunk of the car? When he leaves the cabin? The finale scene? The plot is interesting but too fast-paced at the end. Overall entertaining. The narrator was excellent. He took on the various characters' voices in a convincing way. Great job.

  • Rich

    Overall a very entertaining read. Predictable in action and often even in what the next sentence would be but still a nice diversion. Narrator was well spoken and believable.

  • Julie S.

    Excellent book

  • Anonymous

    Entertaining and engaging story. I enjoyed it.

  • Theresa Hamilton

    It was a great book and the person reading it was amazing.

  • Anonymous

    I LOVED THIS STORY!!! I can't say it enough. Narrated wonderfully!! This is a MUST!!!

  • Yvonne D.

    Kept me interested. Had lots going on & a nice little twist —well written. Fun, easy listen

  • Afaf B.

    very nice story, the narrator sounded depressed. just keep listening.

  • Pam A.

    Good book. Started slow. Then got real interesting! Good book!

  • Martin S.

    I really enjoyed the book and I thought the narrator was outstanding. I felt like I was inside the main character's head and was hearing his actual thoughts. It had a lot of unexpected twists and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

  • Sherine R.

    Thoroughly enjoyable

  • Terri D.

    This book was so heartfelt and engaging. I thought that I would be bored with it but so far from the truth. I could barely stop listening for a few moments at a time every hour or so. I Thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to most people who have a heart.


    I loved this one. And the narrator's voice is pretty sexy too!

  • Kristi T.

    Great listen! The beginning took a bit to get organized, but once it did, it took off! Really kept me listening and engaged. Very good story line and a satisfying ending.

  • Nicky T.

    Great story.

  • Lgower2003

    This book is fantastic. I could hardly take a break!

  • Anonymous

    We enjoyed the twists and turns in this book. Great road trip book

  • Anonymous

    great read. I would give it a 4.5 but the narrator was amazing (5.0!). He really distinguished between the different character voices that you almost thought other people were reading the lines. I look forward to reading more of this author's books and hearing more from this narrator Zach Villa.

  • Leanne S.

    Loved it! Didnt want to stop listening till finished!

  • Alyssa P.

    Listen to this on audiobook!!! I am so captivated by this book and the narration - I have been speeding through it because I hate to turn it off! And trust me, it has been quite a while since I have felt that way about a book in general, let alone an audiobook. I can’t say enough good things about the story and the narrator. It’s a beautiful match.

  • Gina M.

    Great story and compelling writing. Narrator was excellent. Highly recommend!

  • Ivelisse T.

    excellent book

  • Louise McCartney

    A good read, started well but think the ending was a bit rushed. An enjoyable story & could turn it off at some points

  • Wonda H.

    This remarkable book guided by research-based studies, oral accounts, and the author’s personal experiences. Currently, I am participating in a book read and have found the findings riveting accounts of the black and brown experiences and my personal growth. I decided to use the text from paperback (note taking) and audiobook as another meaningful conversation piece when talking about race and identity.

  • Cyn K.

    I found the first half of the book poetic and intriguing and the second half overly dramatic. The narrator's voice sometimes trailed off in such a way that I could barely hear him.

  • KateinSD

    This was such a great book! Loved the narrator and the story (although a bit slow at first) had me hooked to the last minute!

  • Susan Rollenhagen

    Started out good, but I lost interest as it went on. Became predictable and the writing wasn't stellar.

  • Sally Y.

    Started liking the narrator’s voice, then the content itself. First audiobook I actually finished til the end.

  • Rachelle B.

    Was pleasantly surprised by how good this story was, loved the narrator.

  • Sarai M.

    Held me from beginning to end. Engaging and believable but not predictable. Beautiful characterisation, delivered masterfully by the narrator. The author and narrator both did a brilliant job of portraying autism in a real and sensitive way, which, while not the heart of the story, was an added bonus to me.

  • Kelley F.

    great book, the narrator made it very exciting. Didn't want to put the book down.

  • Anonymous

    Great narrator and great story. Not sorry that I chose this book and really recommend it.

  • Linda N.

    A story that draws you in and keeps you engaged. Yes, predictable - but a interesting with twists, turns and fantastic character building. I enjoyed the narrator too.

  • Karen P.

    the writing contains the strength, twists and turns that had me in a mix of quiet and cathartic laughing and crying at the end that really good writing and narration can do. This being the 1st week of June, 2020, covid isolation, deaths, and police protests dominate the headlines. And the casting of Zack Villa? Very well read. Compassionate, upbeat, and forwardmoving reading with gifted, identifiable characterizations that for me added to and didn't interfere with the story. Big bravo all around. Thank you.

  • Lisa S.

    The Narrator was phenomenal! The story was very predictable. And not a bad listen.

  • Amanda S.

    Great story! Narrator was excellent is voicing characters and painting pictures!

  • Fatmeh J.

    I enjoyed this book. couldn't put it down.

  • Anonymous

    I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well written and the story flowed. I thought the author did a great job with the characters and the little twist. My only complaint is I wish it was longer, but I love very long books.

  • Anonymous

    not what I expected

  • Nancy D.

    Well written. I’ll look for this author again.

  • Chris L.

    An average book, not bad, but nothing exceptional. Decently read.

  • Jeanne R.

    I liked this, book. Lots of twist and turns, Hope there’s another story for these characters.

  • Michael F.

    What is it about so many bestselling first novels starring people with abusive parents? The Life We Bury features an extremely abusive bipolar mom of the main character. It is really several stories in one novel featuring the life of a college student dealing with his mother’s poor behavior as well as his relationship with a convicted murderer who spent nearly 30 years in jail. Unraveling his conviction is the book’s main theme but it unravels unevenly as we are torn from the felon to the mother to the autistic brother to the lovely girl next door. In the end there is a climax that is well written but more like the end of superhero movie. Mr. Eskens is a fine writer and is able to express the feelings and thoughts of the hero well. It just does not seem to be well blended. A major theme involves a diary that was used to convict the man when its admissibility in any court in the Untied States (including Wisconsin) is doubtful given the hearsay rules. That is never addressed. But that is a minor quibble. As for the bad parent best sellers, see Where the Crawdads Sing or Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling or for nonfiction the great Educated that has been on the bestseller list for over two years.

  • Anonymous

    Loved the book and narrative was great! I can see the characters as it being described. The story had me going and did not want to stop listening to it. Finished it in 3 days. Highly recommended.

  • Desmond K.

    The story started a bit slow for me. Couple that with the thought that I had figured out just about where everything would go early on, and I didn't think that I would bother to finish the book. Things did pick up, and even though everything seemed obvious and predictable, I ended up enjoying the story. I believe that the narration helped that.

  • Mark B.

    it was a great story, but the narrator is what made it feel like I was in there figuring out the mystery myself. I could read any book that he narrates, no matter the story.

  • Florentina G.

    I actually loved the book. At fist, I did not like the narrator, but then I got used to it and actually liked it. Carl's voice is the best. A suggestion is to wait a little more time between the chapters - maybe a second or two more for effect.

  • Deborah J.

    If you're into complex crime mysteries then this isn't for you, the book might be better for young adults or people who haven't seen and heard it all before. Not one single thing surprised me in this book, it's all very obvious and I spent the whole book waiting for the main characters to catch up and figure out what I thought was very plain to see.

  • Corinne I.

    I loved this book. Could not put it down. wonderful narrator.

  • Great listen.

  • Deborah B.

    Really enjoyed this story, easy to follow, good narration, good twists though I did guess who dun it !

  • Christopher K.

    This book was so immersive. The descriptive narration...perfect to spark your imagination and transport you into the story and through it up to the last word.

  • Glynette S.

    I loved this book. Could not stop listening! Enjoyed a not-so-typical mystery.

  • LesleyG

    What a great book and a twist at the end. I hoped to see something happen with the mum though. I wished Joe would have stood up to her more. Good book and well narrated.

  • Holly C.

    I started this story this morning! 1 hour left!!!! I loved this story!!!!

  • Debbie C.

    Got caught up in the story from the start and listened without stops just had to hear the end!

  • Julie B.

    Great read. I really enjoyed this story.

  • Sonja E.

    Excellent book, I flew through it & did not want it to end!

  • Sherry L.

    This book was excellent really gripping. Very well written and very well read.

  • Laurel Freeman

    Voice a bit fast. I enjoyed the beginning and was hooked. The plot becomes very convoluted and the love story predictable.

Life We Bury

by Allen Eskens

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Life We Bury, Allen Eskens
Life We Bury, Allen Eskens
This title is due for release on June 9, 2015.

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Life We Bury, Allen Eskens
This title is due for release on June 9, 2015
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