October 2015
FAQ and Your Chance to Win
Photo by Daniel Dinsmore

"Readers looking for a new voice should pay attention to Eskens."
Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

"With just two books to his name, 
I have put him on my 'must read' list."
Deadly Pleasures

"A well-paced thriller that deftly dives into the idea of identity. It shows how the mask of who 
we want to be can, in turn, affect who 
we are."

"A taut, intelligent,  heart-ripping story that explores the darkest places in the human psyche.After each unexpected twist, you'll tell yourself things can't get any worse. And then they do."
William Kent Krueger

The Guise of Another is the highly anticipated second novel from Allen Eskens, author of the critically acclaimed debut novel, The Life We Bury, which won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original and the Rosebud Award for Best Debut Mystery, and was a finalist for the Edgar® Award, Minnesota Book Award, Anthony Award, and International Thriller Writers' Thriller Award.

Eskens has already earned a devoted following since his debut, and this special edition of 'Zine of the Crime gives a glimpse into the inspiration for his books, his writing process, and how he uses internal conflict to develop a story and bring characters to life.

After the FAQ, it's your chance to win BOTH books: The Life We Bury AND The Guise of Another!
Given the success of your first novel, The Life We Bury, why did you choose to move to a different protagonist in your new book?
The Life We Bury has, as its protagonist, a college student named Joe Talbert. I didn't want to have Joe as the protagonist again, at least not right away. I want to wait until the time is right and his involvement in another murder makes sense. The life of a college student doesn't lend itself to stumbling over dead bodies. Joe does have another story to be told, but that will come down the road, after he's out of college.
I also feel that it's vital that a protagonist confront personal demons as part of the overall story. For that reason, I've chosen to branch out and tell stories of secondary characters that were introduced in The Life We Bury. The Guise of Another, for example, is the first book in a three-book arc for Max Rupert, the homicide detective from The Life We Bury. I also plan, some day, to do a storyline for Boady Sanden (the law professor from The Life We Bury) and maybe others. I like the idea of moving among a handful of characters within a community, telling their stories and having old friends who the reader will recognize from other novels make appearances.

What was the inspiration for The Guise of Another?
In my law practice I have had cases that required me to investigate the lives of people who had died. In doing that type of research on one case, I found a person who had a rather mysterious past. I'm always open to plot ideas, and it occurred to me that such an investigation would be a great premise for a novel. So I wrote The Guise of Another, which begins with a car accident and the discovery that a man killed in that crash was living under a false identity. The case is investigated by Frauds Unit Detective Alexander Rupert (Max Rupert's brother). Almost immediately, the stirrings of that investigation awaken an evil from which the dead man was hiding.
I'm drawn to stories where secrets from the past are brought to light in the present. I explored that theme in The Life We Bury, and I return to it in The Guise of Another. It intrigues me to think that, as I pass through a crowded airport, I am surrounded by people with secrets, and some of those secrets are dark enough that I would be frightened to be there if I knew the truth.

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of things do they say?
I've received a great deal of email from readers who enjoyed The Life We Bury. It has been both informative and uplifting. I've learned how very important it is to write characters that readers can relate to. People connected with different characters from The Life We Bury, and for different reasons. The more they related to a particular character, the more they experienced the emotions of that character. Whether it was the relationship between Joe and his autistic brother, or Carl Iverson's ghosts from Vietnam, or the stress of dealing with a dysfunctional mother, the characters were the heart of the story, and the plot was merely the vehicle through which the characters were brought to life. The emails I've received from readers have reinforced how important those connections can be.
I look forward to reading emails and letters from readers about The Guise of Another. It will be interesting to compare the reactions I receive between the two books.

Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I am a firm believer in outlining. One of the comments I've heard repeatedly regarding T he Life We Bury is that the layers and the complexity of the characters and storyline kept the reader engaged. I'm one of those authors who likes to heap as many problems on to my characters as I can. And when I think they can't take any more, I add another hurdle. To do that well, I need to spend a few months developing the plots and characters with an outline.

What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on my third novel. It will be the second book in the three-book arc for Max Rupert. Max and Boady Sanden are friends in The Life We Bury, but I pit them against each other in this novel. Max is investigating the death of a woman, and he is convinced that her husband killed her. Boady is equally certain that the husband (Boady's friend and former law partner) is innocent. Both men will struggle with personal demons as they throw themselves into the fight. In the end, the questions raised in this book will go far beyond whether or not the man killed his wife.


About the Author

Allen Eskens is the author of The Life We Bury and The Guise of Another. He has been a criminal defense attorney for twenty years. He honed his creative writing skills through the MFA program at Minnesota State University as well as classes at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. He is a member of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.


"An intelligent and compelling story with characters that will capture you from the start.... 
This debut novel never lets the reader off the edge of the seat-the mark of a great story."
The Big Thrill

"The characters are as real as my next-door neighbors, the story compelling,
and the writing superb." 
Suspense Magazine

Enter to win BOTH  The Guise of Another and  The Life We Bury SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR !
Email publicity@prometheusbooks.com with the subject line "Allen Eskens giveaway" for a chance to win a signed copy of each of Eskens' books. Giveaway closes on Sunday, October 25th at 5 PM ET. 


"Do you think you know what your own mother might do?  The Survivors is an up -- close and personal mystery -- the best I've read this year .
It will haunt you." 
DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of the Outlander novels

"This complex thriller is a nail-biter from beginning to end. The intricate plot offers many suspects, 
even ones with little motive, until details 
of the past begin to unravel.
Four stars: COMPELLING -- Page Turner"
RT Book Reviews

Robert Palmer's debut novel, The Survivors, kicks-off a mystery series featuring successful Washington, DC psychologist Cal Henderson. Cal must confront the brutal memories of his past-the murder of his father and two brothers at the hands of his own mother-after his childhood friend Scottie Glass, who was also injured in the attack, shows up at his office. Cal uncovers one shocking secret after another about his family.But Cal is paying a price. The memories he has avoided for so long have come flooding back, sending him into a tailspin from which he may never recover.

For the latest on Seventh Street Books® crime fiction, join us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


Lisa Michalski
Seventh Street Books®, an imprint of Prometheus Books

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest 

Browse Our Online Catalog