Do you love a good story, are intrigued by the occasional mystery, or are just simply looking for a great evening of free entertainment? Then the Fourth Annual Vernon County Reads author visit is the event for you. Once again the Westby Area Performing Arts Center at 206 West Ave. S. will be the venue, Thursday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. Featured presenter and award-winning author Allen Eskens will highlight the evening of book discussion and the writing craft.

The bestselling author of “The Life We Bury,” “The Guise of Another,” “The Heavens May Fall,” “The Deep Dark Descending” and “The Shadows We Hide,” Eskens is the recipient of the Barry Award, Minnesota Book Award, Rosebud Award (Left Coast Crime), and Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, Anthony Award, and Audie Award. His books have been translated into 21 languages and his novel, “The Life We Bury” is in development for a feature film.

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Eskens has a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from Hamline University. After law school, he studied creative writing in the M.F.A. program at Minnesota State University-Mankato, as well as the Loft Literary Center and the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival. Eskens grew up on the hills of central Missouri. He now lives with his wife, Joely, in greater Minnesota where he recently retired after practicing criminal law for 25 years.

Vernon County Reads is a yearly initiative of the Driftless Writing Center and the Vernon County Library Association in which a Midwest author is highlighted. Taking place during June and July, each library hosts a book club style event where patrons can discuss featured titles and visit our various county libraries. Numerous copies of the author’s books are available for patrons in regular, large-print, audio book and eBook format. The culminating event is the author visit, including a question and answer time, refreshments, a book purchase and author signing. Free tickets are available online at or at your local library.

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