Allen Eskens delivered an amazing debut novel. The prose is direct and more than adequate, the storyline genuine and there is enough fast paced action to keep you glued to the book. To call it a thriller might not do it justice, but it is a well written and entertaining novel.
Eskens tells us the story of Joe Talbert, a mediocre college student, who has, as an assignment for his English class, to interview a stranger and write his biography. Since he is procrastinating as usual, he visits an old folks home to look for candidates. By luck or coincidence he gets stuck with Carl Iverson, a former Vietnam Vet and rapist and murderer of a young girl. Carl Iverson has terminal cancer, but he agrees to tell his life’s story.
Of course Joe’s life is difficult enough already, he has a younger autistic brother, his mother is an alcoholic, there is never enough money to get him through college, the attractive girl next door, turns down his advances and on top of that, he feels forced to start a quest to unveil the truth about Carl Iverson.
What looks like a simple English assignment, soon turns into a dangerous and life threatening adventure. Luckily the girl next door, Lila, is thrilled by all that and becomes a true and resourceful companion.
Good entertainment, it is not Pulitzer Price stuff, but fun to read.