Review of “Nothing More Dangerous” by Allen Eskens
Reviewer, Lydia Nolan
© January 9, 2023
It occurs to me that I have been reading this author quite a bit. For a couple of reasons. First, his writing–while grammatically and syntactically correct, as well as well-developed plot and characters, Eskens’ writing is not that difficult. I would gauge his content as easy to read for eighth to twelfth grade and beyond. But the plots, being that they are linear and not difficult to follow are rich with adventure, thought provoking, and climactic to a pleasurable end—most of them. Once in a while, we might find tragedy is the end, but not this one. This one is quite a happy ending indeed.
The young protagonist, Broady is a mid-teenager boy, living in the Ozark Hills with his widowed mother, comfortably and acceptably in the right frame of mind and cultural tradition to that of the people in this small town. Until, Boady meets a young black boy of the same age, Thomas becomes his new best friend not to the joy of the townsmen, unacceptably to the townspeople, except the one neighbor that teaches him about racial bias, biracial love and true neighbor mentality.
It is told from the perspective of the young Broady in first person. We grow with the young mind, and we see how Broady and his friend Thomas become phenomenal sleuths, as well as close friends to the maximum level, and to the point of near death. And even Broady’s love-life begins to bloom during these years.
“The sadness–my term for it–had come to our house when my father died. As a child I had no better way to describe why my mother never smiled, why she sometimes shut herself in her room after supper or stared at the blue hum of a television until she fell asleep on the couch, why she never asked me where I was going when I charged out of the house in the mornings or where I had been when I came home late. For my mother, speaking seemed a thing that took effort, as if a heavy weight pressed her into efficiency and each word came with a price.”
This is not the end of Broady either. He will be brought into another one of the following books. Read this, if you would really like to enjoy a fine book in the leisurely hours of your life.