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THE LIFE WE BURY by Allen Eskens

Ai Smith
Major Characters Only (MCO)
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  • Joe Talbert: The protagonist of the novel, a 21-year-old college student at the University of Minnesota. He is a responsible young man who works hard to achieve an education, despite the inattention of his self-absorbed, alcoholic mother. He often puts the needs of his autistic brother, Jeremy, ahead of his own.
  • Carl Iverson: A Vietnam veteran who was convicted of raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl named Crystal Hagen in 1980. He is serving a life sentence at Hillview Manor, a nursing home for the elderly and infirm. He is dying of pancreatic cancer and has only a few months to live.
  • Lila Nash: A college student at the University of Minnesota who is Joe's neighbor. She is a bright and curious young woman who is determined to help Joe clear Carl's name. She is also struggling with her own demons, including an abusive childhood and a history of self-harm.
  • Max Rupert: A private investigator who is hired by Joe to investigate Carl's case. He is a former police officer who is tough and experienced. He is also a bit of a loner who is not afraid to bend the rules to get the job done.
  • Boady Sanden: A former police officer who is now a defense attorney. He is a friend of Joe's father, and he agrees to represent Carl in his appeal. He is a brilliant lawyer who is determined to win Carl's case, even if it means challenging the state's evidence.
  • Danielle Hagen: The mother of Crystal Hagen, the victim in Carl's case. She is a single mother who is struggling to raise her two young children. She is determined to see Carl brought to justice, even if it means reopening old wounds.





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