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Nothing More Dangerous

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  405 ratings  ·  121 reviews
In a small town where loyalty to family and to “your people” carries the weight of a sacred oath, defying those unspoken rules can be a deadly proposition.

After fifteen years of growing up in the Ozark hills with his widowed mother, high-school freshman Boady Sanden is beyond ready to move on. He dreams of glass towers and cityscapes, driven by his desire to be anywhere
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published November 12th 2019 by Mulholland Books
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Susanne  Strong
5 Gut-Wrenching, Profound, Impactful and Incredibly Moving Stars.

Some novels immediately grab your attention by their thought provoking storylines. Some have incredible character development. Some have impact. Some make you smile and some are so moving that they bring you to tears. Allen Eskens’ new novel “Nothing More Dangerous” does all of the above.

Over the years, Allen Eskens has become one of my favorite authors. I have read all of his books - I love his characters and the way he writes.
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
5+ stars! 2019 Favourites List!

Boady (love that name!) is a fifteen-year-old boy who lives with his widowed mother on a remote dirt road in their small town. Hoke, an older man, lives next door and spends many hours with Boady having front porch chats and teaching life lessons. Boady finds himself caught up in a local missing woman’s case where he stumbles upon evidence that no child should be witness to.

Boady stole my heart! I loved everything about him and was fully invested in his journey
Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
Traveling Friends January Pick!!

The title here draws from the quote, "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Allen Eskens draws on that ignorance and explores prejudice and racism as a way to explore his "own failing regarding notions of prejudice and racism" Taken from his author notes.

Nothing More Dangerous is a prequel to Allen Eskens other books. Boady Sanden is a law professor in The Life We Bury, and
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I don’t often cry at movies or while reading books, but I did with this one!! Also stayed up until 2:00 a.m., I had to finish it!

This is the third book that I’ve read by Mr. Eskens and every one has been a 5*, I wish I could give it more. This book gets everything right, the plot, the mystery, the character development, the quick and smooth flow of the prose, just WOW !! I felt so many emotions while reading this book. At times I laughed, cried, felt afraid, felt ashamed at how evil and
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have to tell you a little secret...Allen Eskens is one of my favorite authors for mystery thrillers. He is top notch, friends. I read and then listened to The Life We Bury, and I have kept going from there.

Nothing More Dangerous is his most recent book, and it’s a standalone. It’s set in a small town in the Ozarks and has characters who completely draw you in to the story from the start. Boady, a high school freshman, gets new neighbors across the road, including Thomas, another teen.

And then
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, this author has a true gift for crafting words. Like a literary painting. Allen Eskens has the ability of drawing in a reader so deeply you feel side-by-side with the characters, fully enmeshed in their every thought and movement.

Boady Sanden is somewhat of a loner in school. When he steps in to protect another student from bullies, he instantly puts a target on his back. That’s alright. In his heart he knows what he did was right and wouldn’t hesitate to repeat the action.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A haunting yet deeply moving coming-of-age story swirled in prejudice, guilt and grief.

Boady Sanden is a freshman at St. Ignatius High School in Jessup, Missouri. For the most part Boady is invisible, that is until he became a target of bullies, because he stuck up for an African-American girl in his class. When he is not at school or at work Boady loves to escape in the woods near his home on Frog Hollow Road fishing and exploring. Boady has no real friends, until Thomas Elgin and his
Judy Collins
Check out my fascinating Q&A with Allen Eskens and get exclusive behind the scenes from NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS, plus fun facts about the author.

Brilliantly told, a stunning literary, mystery, suspense, historical fiction, and coming-of-age combo that will blow you away. His best yet! My Top Books of 2019. If you read only one book this year, choose NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS!

I wish I could give this 10 STARS. Movie-Worthy. (or better a TV series). The author hits a home run and checks
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impactful, atmospheric, and hauntingly realistic!

In this latest novel by Eskens, Nothing More Dangerous, he transports us to Jessup, Missouri, a small, midwestern town that suddenly finds itself turned upside down when an unsolved case of embezzlement, a missing, young, African-American employee, depressing economics, and a strong underlying racist mentality tests and unearths all the hidden, longstanding alliances, relationships, and friendships within it.

The prose is gritty and descriptive.
This was my first book by Allen Eskens and I was blown away! Wow, what an emotional book with so much depth and a many serious topics (racism, bullying, hate crimes, assault, death, grief). This is a coming of age story set at a time when racism was at it's peak! I loved the main character Boady and felt SO sad for the things he went through. But through it all, he was a strong character. He was such an endearing boy!
I loved the relationship he had with his neighbor Hoke! That guy was such a
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, HBG Canada for my copy of Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens, in exchange for my honest review. This title releases November 12, 2019.

This was my first book by Allen Eskens and when I finished the first thing I asked myself was: why hadn’t I read anything by this author until now?!

A powerful book that addressed some pretty sensitive topics (race, privilege and class, bullying) during the late 70s – a time when many of these topics were not only taboo but the associated behaviours
Aimee Dars
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esken, Allen - Nothing More Dangerous (4)

𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 𝗽𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝙉𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙈𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝘿𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝗯𝘆 𝗔𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻 𝗘𝘀𝗸𝗲𝗻!

In 1976, freshman Boady Sanden’s widowed, depressed, and overwhelmed mother sends him to St. Ignacius high school, a private Catholic school, after getting into trouble with the wrong crowd. He is friendless and awkward, drawing band logos in a notebook to avoid the attention of the popular boys who enjoy tormenting him. With only his dog and his next-door neighbor, Hoke, as company, Boady dreams of leaving Jessup, Missouri behind
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A mystery tale that pulls the heart strings with a great bond of friendship with two young men amidst a fierce pull of injustice and murder.

There will be problem solving and things that make the heart move with this fine small town poignant mystery with at its core people in a web of good and evil.

There is a life buried within the story with the likable and memorable character Hoke, Boady, our young main protagonist of fifteen years of age, is set upon on a task in finding answers.

With all the
This was my first book by Allen Eskens and I was blown away! Wow, what an emotional book with so much depth and a many serious topics (racism, bullying, hate crimes, assault, death, grief). This is a coming of age story set at a time when racism was at it's peak! I loved the main character Boady and felt SO sad for the things he went through. But through it all, he was a strong character. He was such an endearing boy, and I loved the relationship he had with his neighbor Hoke, and I loved ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Allen Eskens has fast become one of my favorite authors and he enthralls once again in his latest standalone.

Set in the Missouri Ozarks where racism and old ways of doing things abound, Boady Sanden comes of age and questions what is right and wrong and fights, to the point of putting is life in jeopardy, for the former.

Every word of Eskens’ writing is an absolute pleasure to read and his characters are phenomenal. Many heartfelt and difficult topics are delved into with ease and righteousness.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
Allen Eskens is one of my favourite crime fiction authors so I was incredibly excited to check out his latest published work. I’ve often said that I appreciate his range as an author because each of his books is so different than all his previous work. This was certainly the case here. This book was actually the first novel he wrote (before The Life We Bury), but it certainly did not read like a debut novel.

Eskens continues to show his talent for the writing craft with well developed
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started this cold, thinking it was a thriller, I listened to the audio while gardening in my own frog holler. I had read the blurb where this was reminiscent of ordinary people, which I thought was an interesting take on a thriller, until I started listening and i new instantly this was my favorite kind of book. I like and dislike this kind of topic that gives me great angst and thankfully it didn’t take all the a 100% known routes but deviated enough that I got into the rhythm of the book ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Allen Eskens' Nothing More Dangerous currently tops my list of favorites for 2019. For me, it's this year's November Road. That means I'm recommending it to everyone who reads crime fiction or coming-of-age novels. Loved William Kent Krueger's Ordinary Grace? Remember Larry Watson's Montana 1948? You must read Nothing More Dangerous. Eskens has been writing it since 1991. Surely you have a couple days to read it.

Boady Sanden is just a fifteen-year-old boy longing to escape his home in the Ozarks
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fifteen year-old Boady Sanden is the first person narrator of this novel, set in Jessup, Missouri in 1976. The artistry in details in this novel is what makes it so memorable. The entire time I was reading it, I was comparing Boady, the first person narrator of the novel, to both Scout and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird. Hoke, Boady’s neighbor and father figure, was a cross between Atticus Finch and Boo Radley.

I appreciated how the author created a dissonance between Boady’s older narrative voice
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"But memories aren’t like photographs; they can’t halt the passing of time. Instead, they lay like steps along a path, each one determined by the step that came before and colored by the steps to follow." Mystery & Thriller
It’s the summer of 1976, and while the rest of the country is getting ready to celebrate the bicentennial, young Boady Sanden is finishing up a forgettable year at St. Ignatius High School. When he’s not being chased by bullies like Jarvis Halcomb and his toadies, he’s being actively ignored by the rest of his classmates. This place is a lot more intimidating than his sweet country day school in Dry Creek. But bullies and boredom be damned. Boady is working on an escape plan to ditch small town ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the best book I’ve read this year. It’s been a while since a book has made me weep; this one did. I am looking forward to reading more of Esken’s novels especially now that I know that the adult Brady Sanden makes an appearance in at least one of them. I will be interesting to see how his childhood experiences shaped his adulthood.
Timothy M. Gorman
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, one of the best thinks Eskens has ever written.
While some language may be considered shockingly politically incorrect, its inclusion closely reflects the widely accepted norms of the mid 1970's and helps promote an understanding of that period.

The story follows the journey of a 15 year old white child who's initial view on race relations might be summed up as "give those people a break, they're doing the best they can considering their limitations."
During the course of the story
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taking place in a rural Missouri town in 1976, Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens is a captivating coming of age novel with a slight mystery element.

Fifteen year old Boady Sanden is desperate to leave the small rural town where he lives with his mother, Emma. Thrust into the local Catholic high school after running with the wrong crowd, Boady is invisible to his classmates until he catches the attention of school bully Jarvis Halcomb and his pals. Luckily the school year is almost over so he
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another four star review for this author - let’s put this one at a 4.2. His first three books were five stars for me but I put him in the fiction genre which isn’t my top preference so four is the norm as of late.

This story has a fairly small cast of characters and the plot wasn’t a real WOW for me. Overall solid prose. One really good Gotcha.

Maybe both the author and publisher wanted this book to stay under 300 pages but some characters were never wrapped up in this story. Also it might just
Jeff Benham
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Growing up in Jessop MS was no easy task for a kid like Boady in the 70s. It was a racially tense time. There is a wannabe white supremacist group in town and Boady does not agree with their ideas. Most of the book centers around Lida Poe, who went missing years ago and is presumed to have taken $100,000 of the company's money with her. Did I mention that she was African-American? Then an African-American family moves in next door and he learns that the color of a person's skin is not a reason ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Allen Eskens has become one of my favorite writers. He began writing Nothing More Dangerous, a crime novel, in 1991 and worked on it for 20 years, put it away and brought it back out after writing The Life We Bury and The Shadows We Hide, two excellent books. The story is set in a small town and is filled with prejudice and racism. You will despise some of the characters and fall in love with others. Boady and Tom, fifteen year old boys and neighbors form an inseparable bond in a community ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was so much better than I expected going in or heck…even as it started out. It really ends up being a coming of age novel, one where by the end of the book everything in Boady’s life has changed. He’s learned some hard lessons along the way, but in the end his life is all the better for it all.
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Allen Eskens is the USA Today-bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, the Deep Dark Descending and The Shadows We Hide. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, Rosebud Award, Minnesota Book Award, and the Silver Falchion Award and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, Thriller Award, and Anthony Award. His work had been published in 21 languages and ...more
“You put enough like-minded idiots in a room, and pretty soon their backward way of thinking starts to take on an air of legitimacy.” 1 likes
“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.” 0 likes
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