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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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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

9 of 10 people found this review 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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story

Another great book by Allen, the book keeps you on the edge of your seat. Excellent ending. Look forward to the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Allen is amazing!

I have fallen in love with Allen's writing. I can't wait until he had a new book! I get excited like a kid. Keep them coming!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t stop listening!

I love the character, Joe Talbert. The narrator is spot on! Great story !!! Bring Joe and Lila back!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    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.

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Larry
  • Montara, CA, United States
  • 01-10-19

A naive, yet perceptive main character

This is a very good book which often surprises. However, the main character, Joe Talbert, seems to be incongruous. At times he does not see things that would and should be obvious, while at other times he solves mysteries that the reader did not even know were mysteries. I would definitely read the next book in this series, but at the same time, I would hope that Joe grows up a bit.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

This book is very well written and the narrator gives a great performance! I highly recommend it after you listen to The Life We Bury (this book is the sequel to The Life We Bury)!