The Shadows We Hide

The Shadows We Hide

Journalist Joe Talbert investigates the murder of the father he never knew, and must reckon with his own family's past, in this "brilliant sequel" to the national bestseller The Life We Bury (Publishers Weekly).MINNESOTA BOOK AWARD FINALISTBARRY AWARD FINALISTJoe Talbert, Jr. has never once met his namesake. Now out of college, a cub reporter for the Associated Press in Mi...

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Title:The Shadows We Hide
Author:Allen Eskens
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Shadows We Hide Reviews

  • Susanne  Strong

    Nowadays, Joe Talbert is a Reporter for the Associated Press. Talk about making it big time! He still lives in Minnesota with his girlfriend Lila Nash and both of them take care of Joe’s autistic brother Jeremy. All would be swell if he hadn’t just been served with a Summons and Comp

    Nowadays, Joe Talbert is a Reporter for the Associated Press. Talk about making it big time! He still lives in Minnesota with his girlfriend Lila Nash and both of them take care of Joe’s autistic brother Jeremy. All would be swell if he hadn’t just been served with a Summons and Complaint for Defamation of Character by a State Senator who he wrote an article about ages ago. To make matters worse, he just received news that “Joe Talbert” - from Buckley, MN, was found dead in his barn, likely a homicide. Joe never met dear old dad - as his mother Kathy never had anything nice to say about him. Then again, she’s never had a kind word for anyone, if you remember correctly. She’s an abusive alcoholic who Joe fought against in Court so as to obtain guardianship of his brother Jeremy. Kathy has done some pretty unforgivable things, thus as far as he knows she’s still incarcerated.

    Joe’s curiosity has always gotten the better of him so when he finds out about his pops, he decides to go investigate. Turns out there is more to the story than Joe ever dreamed possible. Of course, as well all know, when Joe sticks his nose in, he seems to find all kinds of trouble.

    If you haven’t picked up one of Eskens’ books please do yourself a favor, his character driven novels are simply the best out there!

    This was a Thanksgiving Buddy Read with Kaceey! It was the perfect book to read over the holiday. Thanks for making it special Kaceey!

    Thank you to Ira Boudah at Mulholland Books and to Allen Eskens for a galley of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon on 12.2.18.

    To be published on Instagram.

  • Debra

    4.5 stars

    Joe Talbert is back - to investigate the father he never knew, to become a good man, and to learn more about his past.

    Eskens has crafted another hit! This one has Joe Talbert struggling to protect a source while at the same time trying to learn more about a dead man who has the same name as his father (could this man be his father?) and trying to come to terms with his mother who wants back in his life.

    Joe must leave his girlfriend, Lila and his Autistic brother, Jeremy behind as he tra

    4.5 stars

    Joe Talbert is back - to investigate the father he never knew, to become a good man, and to learn more about his past.

    Eskens has crafted another hit! This one has Joe Talbert struggling to protect a source while at the same time trying to learn more about a dead man who has the same name as his father (could this man be his father?) and trying to come to terms with his mother who wants back in his life.

    Joe must leave his girlfriend, Lila and his Autistic brother, Jeremy behind as he travels to a small town in Minnesota to determine if a dead man with his name is the father he never know. He leaves Lila with tension between them as she gives him a letter from his estranged Mother. With tensions high, he arrives in town to learn that tensions are high there as well. The Dead man left behind a daughter, a farm, and lots of bad blood between him and most of the people who live in that small town.

    Using his journalists’ skills, he attempts to get to the truth. But what will happen when the truth is uncovered? I found this to be a wonderfully crafted tale with several layers. Eskens expertly wove his plot and subplots together seamlessly. Joe continues to be a like-able character who shows growth, determination, and grit. What will happen when he learns the truth? How will he juggle his relationship, his brother, his mother, his job and his quest to learn the truth about his own family history.

    Such a satisfying sequel. Reading Eskens is like a breath of fresh air. Please do yourself a favor and read

    first. Then pick this one up. Although this book will work as a stand-alone novel, The Life We Bury is also absolutely wonderful and introduces the reader to the characters of Joe, Lila, and Jeremy in this book.

  • Kaceey

    I love a book that I can fully lose myself in. Once I started this one I knew I was in for a big treat!

    This is the sequel to

    , a book I adored, and is currently holding a proud position on my favorites shelf. This follow up is equally brilliant.

    Joe Talbert is a writer for the Associated Press and thinks he is having the worst day of his life. He might be right…he just got served court papers. That’s right! Joe is being sued. Apparently one of h

    I love a book that I can fully lose myself in. Once I started this one I knew I was in for a big treat!

    This is the sequel to

    , a book I adored, and is currently holding a proud position on my favorites shelf. This follow up is equally brilliant.

    Joe Talbert is a writer for the Associated Press and thinks he is having the worst day of his life. He might be right…he just got served court papers. That’s right! Joe is being sued. Apparently one of his stories is about to come back to haunt him. And Joe, who lives by his principles and morals, refuses to give up his source...even if it costs him his job, maybe his entire career.

    Worse yet... over the AP lines his editor comes across a press release of a murder in a small town. The victim? That would be Joe Talbert. Wait! What? Could they be related? Is this Joe’s long forgotten father? There’s one simple way to find out. Well, after all, Joe is an investigative reporter!

    Joe Talbert is just a regular guy, trying to make his way through life doing the right thing. For himself, his girlfriend Lila and his brother Jeremy. He also wants to find some peace regarding his fractured relationship with his estranged mother.

    Allen Eskens has a way to paint you into the lives of his characters. More than actors…They become real. You are wholly vested in their journey. This read held me from beginning to end. The pages practically turned themselves. Highly recommend! My toes are tapping as I anxiously await your next release, Mr. Eskens!

    Thank you to Mulholland Books and Susanne for a copy of this book.

    This was an incredible buddy read over our Thanksgiving weekend.

  • Jaline - (on partial hiatus)

    Meet Joe Talbert – Junior. Joe discovers there really is a Joe Talbert Senior; that his father is more than just a myth that his addict mother had invented. Joe will never have the chance to meet him, for two reasons: (1) He swore he would never try to find his father, and (2) It’s too late anyway, because he is dead.

    Six years ago, Joe was in college and so was his girlfriend Lila Nash. They now have legal guardianship of Joe’s autistic brother Jeremy, Lila is in law school and about to write he

    Meet Joe Talbert – Junior. Joe discovers there really is a Joe Talbert Senior; that his father is more than just a myth that his addict mother had invented. Joe will never have the chance to meet him, for two reasons: (1) He swore he would never try to find his father, and (2) It’s too late anyway, because he is dead.

    Six years ago, Joe was in college and so was his girlfriend Lila Nash. They now have legal guardianship of Joe’s autistic brother Jeremy, Lila is in law school and about to write her bar exam, and Jeremy is writing for a well-known news media outlet. And it’s all about to come crashing down around Joe’s ears. Everything – his whole life – is on a course heading straight to destruction.

    This fast-paced and breathtakingly complex story involves a lawsuit, arson, relatives who may or may not be relatives, millions of dollars, murders, some very bad people (including a highly placed elected official), and some truly good people who do some truly stupid things in the heat of a moment.

    That is just one of the many things I love about this author’s work. He is able to swiftly and accurately paint his characters so well, and in such depth that their authenticity shines through. Some of the bad people have few, if any redeeming qualities and most of the good people have flaws and traumas that they work hard on as life does its work on them.

    As in the first novel,

    , the pace of this novel is fast, and there are times when it gallops along at racing speed before slowing back down to a lope. The plot is intricate and there were times when my imagination was triggered into possibilities for certain scenarios. A quick zig-zag with more momentum going around the corners, and suddenly we are headed in another direction. Oh, it made perfect sense and my reveries caught on to a new track . . . except we didn’t end there, either. And I loved every moment.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, the complex plots and sub-plots, and the characters. There was one part where I was crying so hard that I had to put my eReader aside and fetch tissues – I couldn’t even see to read any more. And as soon as I could, I was back in the story again.

    I envy those who have yet to read this fabulous sequel to

    . Even more, though, I envy those who may not have read The Life We Bury either and will be fortunate enough to read these 2 books one after the other. Either way, I highly recommend this book and look forward to many more great reviews of this impressive novel.

  • Mischenko

    I read

    a few years ago and loved it. Naturally, I was ecstatic to see that Allen Eskins came out with this sequel

    . This second book definitely met my expectations.

    In this sequel, Joe is now a reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis. He's living with his girlfriend Lila who is studying to be a lawyer. Jeremy, Joe's autistic brother, is living with them too after a blow up with Joe's mom previously. At this point, Joe can care less if he ever sees his

    I read

    a few years ago and loved it. Naturally, I was ecstatic to see that Allen Eskins came out with this sequel

    . This second book definitely met my expectations.

    In this sequel, Joe is now a reporter for the Associated Press in Minneapolis. He's living with his girlfriend Lila who is studying to be a lawyer. Jeremy, Joe's autistic brother, is living with them too after a blow up with Joe's mom previously. At this point, Joe can care less if he ever sees his mother again. Lila helps out with Jeremy and she's super supportive.

    Joe is dealing with trouble at work--he's in the process of being sued for an article he wrote about a senator. Out of the blue, a report surfaces about a man named Joseph Talbert who's been murdered in a rural Minnesota county. Even though Joe has never met his father, he can't help but wonder if this could be him, and his curiosity won't let it go. He heads to Caspen County to investigate and learns that Joseph Talbert has done nothing but anger everyone in this rural town. He was a jerk--there isn't a soul who liked him--but what makes him interesting is that due to a marriage, there's a huge inheritance involved and a possible half-sister to Joe from a marriage. The question is: can this Joseph Talbert really be Joe's father?

    I loved the plot. Joe is so involved in this investigation and practically takes it over from the cops. He can definitely hold his own. This comes as no surprise because Joe was such an amazing investigator in the last book. There's so much going on in the background with all the secondary characters here that I couldn't figure out the mystery of the book until the very end. Never once was this book predictable for me! I loved the writing too.

    As far as characters, I thought they were all complex and interesting. Everyone had a story, but what I loved most was getting a glimse into Joe's past regarding his mom and brother. Readers also get an idea of some of the problems his mother is dealing with and she becomes better understood. I'll admit, I was hoping Lila and Jeremy would have larger roles, but most of the story follows Joe and the investigation.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it kept me guessing all the way to the end. It was thrilling and I appreciated reading something with a mystery to it. I liked the small town setting and the themes of forgiveness, perserverence, and family. I love the cover too--it fits the story perfectly! My only complaint was that maybe a few parts in the book were a little too good to be true and not as believable. It certainly doesn't take much away from the story though.

    I'd like to thank Mulholland Books for sharing a copy of this book with me.

    4.5*****

    You can also see this review @

  • Julie

    The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens is a 2018 Mulholland Books publication.

    Un-put-downable!

    This sequel to

    , finds Joe Talbert working with The Associated Press. He is enjoying a little heady success, when suddenly his esteemed career is circling the drain. While on a recommended leave of absence, Joe follows up on the stunning report that a man named Joe Talbert was found dead in Buckley, a small town in Minnesota. Joe feels compelled to find out if this man is his long lost

    The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens is a 2018 Mulholland Books publication.

    Un-put-downable!

    This sequel to

    , finds Joe Talbert working with The Associated Press. He is enjoying a little heady success, when suddenly his esteemed career is circling the drain. While on a recommended leave of absence, Joe follows up on the stunning report that a man named Joe Talbert was found dead in Buckley, a small town in Minnesota. Joe feels compelled to find out if this man is his long lost father, whom he never met. His rationalization for making this trip is that Joe ‘Toke’ Talbert has a daughter, meaning Joe may have a sister, a sister who is in the hospital, all alone.

    He leaves his long- time girlfriend, Lilah, behind with his autistic brother, Jeremy, while she studies for the bar exam. As Joe begins looking into Toke’s suspicious death, asking questions around town, he immediately discovers he and his inquiries are not all that welcome.

    Joe employs his investigative skills to figure out if Toke was murdered, while waiting on pins and needles to find out if he is indeed Toke’s biological son. Apparently, Toke was not too popular, but a few people stood to profit from his death, making it hard to decipher the exact motive behind his untimely demise. Joe’s investigation reveals the tangled family secrets and dynamics of Toke’s life, which also involved a land dispute over his deceased wife’s inheritance.

    If Joe really is Toke’s son, he could inherit a sizable sum of money, a prospect that dazzles Joe to the point of distraction. If that weren’t enough, Joe’s mother has suddenly popped back up, seeking his forgiveness, while swearing she has turned over a new leaf. All this upheaval has created a new type of tension between Joe and Lilah, setting the stage for a tense, suspenseful mystery and family drama that threatens to upend all the achievements Joe has worked so hard to obtain, both personally and professionally.

    Joe Talbert is such a wonderfully drawn character. He is wary and hardened, but also vulnerable and sensitive. In this sequel, our noble hero proves his human susceptibility and faces his own battles with temptation.

    While the mystery is very puzzling and suspenseful, full of rich detail, with surprising twists and turns, this story is so much more than a mystery novel. Despite the giant strides Joe has taken in his life, pulling himself up by the bootstraps and clawing his way out of a situation that might have swallowed most people whole, he is still on a journey of self- discovery. Joe must face his own weaknesses and foibles, waking him up from an over confident slumber. The hard lessons he takes away from this chapter in his life will hopefully open the door for second chances, forgiveness, acceptance, and understanding. Joe, at his core, despite teetering, and nearly falling off the edge, is a good, decent man. Now, he has the chance to become a better one.

    This is a well- balanced story, so completely absorbing I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I was mesmerized by it from start to finish, but I must say the ending was the relish on top of an already spectacular story.

    Overall, this follow up novel was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I do hope we will catch up to Joe Talbert again sometime in the not too distant future.

  • Annet

    Allen Eskens did it again. Wrote a great, psychological, solid crime story, featuring Joe Talbert Jr., his autistic brother Jeremy, his addicted mother with whom he now broke all ties, and his studying to be a lawyer girlfriend. Reads breathlessly and easy, keeps you in the story with twists and turns, Eskens is a great storyteller. 'Compulsively suspenseful' says a review. I did think that the previous book, 'The Life we bury' was a bit better than

    Allen Eskens did it again. Wrote a great, psychological, solid crime story, featuring Joe Talbert Jr., his autistic brother Jeremy, his addicted mother with whom he now broke all ties, and his studying to be a lawyer girlfriend. Reads breathlessly and easy, keeps you in the story with twists and turns, Eskens is a great storyteller. 'Compulsively suspenseful' says a review. I did think that the previous book, 'The Life we bury' was a bit better than this one. New and unexpected the first book was, this being a sequel, is a continuance of that story. But still, very good and a great read. I do recommend to read the previous book first, The Life we bury!

    Joe Talbert Jr. has never once met his namesake, but is confronted with a story of the murder of a man named Joseph Talbert in a small town in Southern Minnesota. Could this man 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. He was a loathsome lowlife, threatening his daughter and squandering his wife's inheritance after she passed away. This inheritance might be Joe's. Plagued by his own devastated relationship with his mother, an addict who is seeking to get back into his life, Joe must put together the missing pieces of his family's history and solve some serious crimes at the same time...

  • Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    3 and 1/2 rounded up to a 4 for the ending.

    I had heard great things about this author, this is the first book that I’ve read of his. I understand that this is a follow up to “The Life We Bury” in which many of the main characters were introduced. Perhaps it would have been better to read that book first but at any rate here is what I thought.

    Joe Talbert has his first “real” job after college working for the Associated Press and has been doing a great job. Recently he has wri

    ***NOW AVAILABLE***

    3 and 1/2 rounded up to a 4 for the ending.

    I had heard great things about this author, this is the first book that I’ve read of his. I understand that this is a follow up to “The Life We Bury” in which many of the main characters were introduced. Perhaps it would have been better to read that book first but at any rate here is what I thought.

    Joe Talbert has his first “real” job after college working for the Associated Press and has been doing a great job. Recently he has written a story about a man who is running for the Senate which was quite volatile. This was discussed at the beginning of the book and then not again until the end.

    Joe had a difficult childhood being raised by an alcoholic mother and caring for his autistic brother, Jeremy. He is living with his long time girlfriend Lila who is about to take the bar exam, she shares in the care of Jeremy while attending law school. I would have liked to know more about Lila but perhaps she was described more in the first book.

    Joe has never known his father, his mother refusing to tell him who he is. An article appears in a Minnesota newspaper that lists Joe Talbert as being deceased with some suspicious circumstances. Joe is quite the detective and takes it upon himself to go to the small town where his father apparently had lived and try to find out about him. What he finds is surprising and this is where our mystery comes in. He also learns that he has more family than he thought he had! Then there is the mention of an inheritance, Joe has no idea about any of this but it’s a small town and people talk. “A word he used -- inheritance, a word that seemed out of place in any discussion of my family. Nothing I’d come across so far suggested that Toke Talbert would die with more than a month’s rent in his pocket”.

    This is not a fast paced, page turning type of book. It is a great character study with a mystery to unravel. I did find myself “waiting for the action” to occur during at least half of the book, but I persevered. I won’t go through the plot as you can read the blurb for that. The story takes place both where Joe lives, the Minneapolis area and the small town of Buckley, Minnesota where his father was found dead. We are introduced to some interesting, if somewhat predictable, characters. The sheriff, J. Kimball, his deputies, Calder and Lewis, the owner of the only motel in town, The Caspen Inn and the waitress Vicky who seems more than interested in Joe. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and how they would react to the solving of the mystery of who killed Joe’s father.

    For me this was a 3 1/2 star book until the ending which I loved!! It was the unraveling of a very intricately plotted mystery which took me by surprise, that bumped it up to a 4*

    I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    4.5 stars! A thrilling and suspenseful follow in the The Life We Bury series.

    Joe Talbert Jr. has graduated from college and is a journalist at the Associated Press. He comes across an article about the murder of a man named Joe Talbert in a small town a few hours away. Desperately curious to find out if this could be a link to the father he never knew, Joe finds himself digging up details and chasing answers to try to sort through the small town’s secrets.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel from st

    4.5 stars! A thrilling and suspenseful follow in the The Life We Bury series.

    Joe Talbert Jr. has graduated from college and is a journalist at the Associated Press. He comes across an article about the murder of a man named Joe Talbert in a small town a few hours away. Desperately curious to find out if this could be a link to the father he never knew, Joe finds himself digging up details and chasing answers to try to sort through the small town’s secrets.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel from start to finish. The writing is solid and suspenseful. I was glued to the pages, trying to piece together how things would play out. The heart pounding intensity and shock-factor really kicked up a few notches near the end – wow! There were a few things left open in the end, but I was still very satisfied and felt that it was a great way to leave the story.

    I highly recommend this novel! If you haven’t read The Life We Bury, I strongly suggest starting with that one so you can get the full back story on Joe. He is a fantastic character that I love rooting for.

    This was a Traveling Sister read that we all enjoyed. To find this review, along with the other Traveling Sister reviews, please visit our blog at:

    Thank you to HBG Canada and Allen Eskens for providing me with a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review!

  • Justin Tate

    A tight, fast-paced mystery that's never short on conflict. I think every chapter has a barfight, family squabble, attempted murder or actual murder. That's not counting the lawsuits, blackmail, posturing, infidelity, and about 6 or 7 twists.

    All in all, a solid follow-up to

    . I prefer the premise of Joe Talbert's previous adventure, but felt the ending came out of nowhere and was a little too Hollywood. This book is Hollywood from beginning to end, but feels more satisfying in it

    A tight, fast-paced mystery that's never short on conflict. I think every chapter has a barfight, family squabble, attempted murder or actual murder. That's not counting the lawsuits, blackmail, posturing, infidelity, and about 6 or 7 twists.

    All in all, a solid follow-up to

    . I prefer the premise of Joe Talbert's previous adventure, but felt the ending came out of nowhere and was a little too Hollywood. This book is Hollywood from beginning to end, but feels more satisfying in its conclusion. Fans of the first book will not be disappointed.

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