The Shadows We Hide

Narrated by: Zach Villa
Series: Joe Talbert, Book 2
Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,192 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the highly-anticipated sequel to the national best seller The Life We Bury, Joe Talbert returns to investigate the murder of the father he never knew, and to reckon with his own family's past.

Joe Talbert, Jr. has never once met his namesake. Now out of college, a cub reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis, he stumbles across a story describing the murder of a man named Joseph Talbert in a small town in southern Minnesota. 

Full of curiosity about whether this man might be his father, Joe is shocked to find that none of the town's residents have much to say about the dead man - other than that his death was long overdue. Joe discovers that the dead man was a loathsome lowlife who cheated his neighbors, threatened his daughter, and squandered his wife's inheritance after she, too, passed away - an inheritance that may now be Joe's. 

Mired in uncertainty and plagued by his own devastated relationship with his mother, who is seeking to get back into her son's life, Joe must put together the missing pieces of his family history - before his quest for discovery threatens to put him in a grave of his own.

©2018 Allen Eskens (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Shadows We Hide is a riveting novel about one man's search for his father becomes a perilous journey into a labyrinth of deceit and lies. Eskens vividly renders how small towns try to keep their secrets, and how sometimes they cannot." (Ron Rash, author of Serena)

"Murder, arson, betrayal, and reconciliation will keep pages turning and leave readers eager for more of Joe Talbert." (Booklist)

"The search for the father is a favorite theme of authors and one that is perfectly suited to the detective story form. Allen Eskens has drawn an intricate and intriguing search map full of sharps turns and returns. Suspenseful, revealing, clear-eyed, and brightly told, The Shadows We Hide is a real experience, page to page to end page." (Fred Chappell)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Like Minnesota winters: long, dark, depressing.

I enjoyed the first couple of books by Allen Eskens as much as the other readers did. He is a fine writer. However, with this book I notice that the reviews have gotten darker and darker, and the comments are replete with descriptions of miserable things. I have begun to feel like this book is a slog through a long, dark, dreary and depressing Minnesota winter. It is just packed with one bad event after another. Reviewer Jane says it best. The book loses its way and becomes a list of seriously harsh events: bad people, suicides, homicides, people cheating on each other in police cars, tornados (or something)...on and on. After a while the mind just wants a vacation to a sunny place. I don't like Florida much, but New Zealand! Australia! Thousands of beautiful Pacific islands! There is a big beautiful world out there that is not replete with dark days and darker events. Not even the thought of a large inheritance can lighten the relentless gloom: gotta spend every waking breath studying for the bar! And when she's not doing that, Lila is consumed by caring for Jeremy, the autistic brother who needs constant care! Is there no brief oasis of sunlight and warmth and blue sky? I couldn't finish the book. Too much gloom and doom is too much. Even the quality of the writing gets subsumed by the weight of the nasty events and people that Joe has to cope with. So his Dad was a schmuck. Everybody hated him. Is that worth a whole entire book? I don't think so.

89 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A Disappointment...

I have enjoyed several other novels by this author but this was a real disappointment. Joe just kept doing increasingly stupid things. There’s all this emphasis on how great he is with his brother who has autism. But, he drags him to this town where he has already found a bunch of dangerous people including Charlie who is very threatening and leaves him ALONE in a hotel room!!! His brother seems smarter than he is. I’m finishing the book just out of curiosity, but will think twice about future ones in this series.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Started out a good story .... then went downhill.

Was looking for an engaging mystery for commute listening. The story began well, interesting characters and intertwined situations. For the first 60% of the book it moved forward, deepening the tale and personalities. Unfortunately, by 3/4 of the way through the author seemed to get bored with telling a detailed story and it turned into a drag of one beating / accident / gunplay / fire / tornado ( not really a tornado ) to the next. It felt like a jumbled attempt to fill chapters. If the story had ended three quarters of the way through it would have been very entertaining.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • LR
  • 05-06-19

Enjoyable



I'd only recently discovered Allen Eskens when I read his wonderful debut novel, The Life We Bury. The Shadows We Hide is the followup to his first novel. Sometimes are expectations are so high for the next book we read by an author that it's easy to be disappointed. The Shadows We Hide is good it's just not compelling like the first one, but it kept my interest and I'm glad I read it. It's always fun to spend time with characters you enjoy, so for me, this was a pleasant read and I look forward to reading another book by this author.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not as spectacular as "The Life we Bury"

Was so looking forward to this sequel. Story was good, Joe T. feels like an old friend. Just wasn't AS good as the first. Worth the read.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MK
  • 11-25-18

Great Follow-Up

I enjoyed this follow-up to The Life We Bury. The narrator’s performance was good, the storyline was interesting, characters likable, plot had a few twists (although, some were predictable), and the ending was satisfying. If you liked The Life We Bury, you’ll definitely enjoy this book. If you haven’t read that book, I’d recommend doing so before getting this one.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not as enjoyable as the first book, though the plot is clever

I treasured the first book in the series because of the wonderful character development, intelligent writing, and engaging plot. This second book has a marvelously complicated twisty story, but there is not enough of Lila in this book! The mother son relationship takes up all the character oxygen. There is nothing wrong with the authors choice, but I just didn’t enjoy the book as much. Also, the balance of plot and characters leans way too heavily toward plot for my personal taste. Most of the book takes place far from home, and it was the home stories I was longing for more of following the first book of the series. I will be very happy if the author writes a third book but lets us see more of the lives of Lila and Joe. He’s a very observant writer who engages me through thoughtful and articulate commentary, through the eyes of Joe.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Second novel in a marvelous suspense series!

It has been almost five years since I wrote a review for The Life We Bury the first novel in the Joe Talbert series. It is one of my all time favorite novels. I finally got around to listening to THE SHADOWS WE HIDE which is the second novel in the series. Like The Life We bury it is a tearjerker. Joe is s reporter for the AP in Minneapolis and he is still with Lila who has graduated from law school and is preparing for the bar exam. Joe's two years younger autistic brother Jeremy lives with them. I suggest you read the publisher's summary for more information which I will not repeat. Be aware that this is a dark, dark novel.. Zach Villa narrates flawlessly. I strongly recommend The Shadows We Hide, but suggest listening to The Life We Bury first.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another good read from Eskens

This follow up to The Life We Bury is well written with a compelling plot covering everything from autism, responsibility, addiction, redemption, real love, respect earned, trust earned..... I could go on. I'm so very glad I chose to read/listen to this novel. The narrator does a good job.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • E
  • 11-16-18

Good Sequel

Great characters and good story. Hope Joe Talbot becomes a series. Really enjoyed the first 2 books

27 people found this helpful