So very excited to have received a copy of this book by Allen Eskens! I so enjoyed two of his books. The Shadows We Hide and The Life We Bury made me an avid reader of this author’s books. They are all filled with realism, with in depth characters, and with writing that was so relevant and important. Happy to say that Nothing More Dangerous also was a winner for me.
“But memories aren’t like photographs; they can’t halt the passing of time. Instead, they lay like footsteps along a path each determined by the step that came before and colored by the ones to follow.”
Boady Sanden, a fifteen year old boy is sick of living in his town. His life is lonely, his mother is distant, still suffering from the loss of her husband years ago, and he hates the culture of the South. He’s ready to run away and be free of the grief and cruelty he himself experiences. He’s a lonely boy, often bullied, never accepted.
A family moves into a big home across from the Sandens, and Boady’s life is about to change. At the same time, the town is abuzz with thoughts about a young woman, Lida Poe, who is missing. It is believed that Lida, a worker in a plastics factory, had disappeared along with a hundred thousand dollars. A mystery indeed, but this story becomes so much more. It is a tale of friendship, prejudice, and crime.
However, as Boady and the new neighbor Tom grow into friendship, they find themselves caught up with a unscrupulous gang of men and boys reminiscent of the KKK. As the boys learn more, a body is found, and the people responsible for harrowing happenings become a life threatening presence for both Boady and Tom.
I love stories that are simply told. They are straight forward tales that don’t need embellishments, ridiculous situations, or the need to suspend belief. Mr Eskens writes a poignant tale that relates so well what life in the South was like in the mid 1970’s and the inborn nature many had, consumed by hate and a belief that one’s race was subservient to another’s. However, Broady learns the lesson that MLK was espousing, that of being judged by character not the color of one’s skin.
This exciting tale is mystery writing at its best. It engaged me from the very beginning and as I delved further into the story, I fell in love with the characters of Boady, Tom, his family, and Boady’s mother. It’s a story of people who seemed vibrantly real, of ones you would want to count as your friends, and others that you would disdain. This tale is woven together seamlessly and the resulting story is one that possesses a poignant and moving telling. I recommend this book most highly for it’s riveting and flawless.
Thank you to Allen Eskens, Mulholland Books and NetGalley for a copy of this story. It has recently been published.