Written By: Allen Eskens

Narrated By: Kevin Stillwell

Date: November 2019

Duration: 10 hours 28 minutes


Missouri native Allen Eskens' "stunning small-town mystery" (New York Times Book Review) is a necessary exploration of family, loyalty, and racial tension in America and "a coming-of-age book to rival some of the best, such as Ordinary Grace" (Library Journal, starred review).

In a small Southern 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 other than Jessup, Missouri. The new kid at St. Ignatius High School, if he isn't being pushed around, he is being completely ignored. Even his beloved woods, his playground as a child and his sanctuary as he grew older, seem to be closing in on him, suffocating him.

Then Thomas Elgin moves in across the road, and Boady's life begins to twist and turn. Coming to know the Elgins -- a black family settling into a community where notions of "us" and "them" carry the weight of history -- forces Boady to rethink his understanding of the world he's taken for granted. Secrets hidden in plain sight begin to unfold: the mother who wraps herself in the loss of her husband, the neighbor who carries the wounds of a mysterious past that he holds close, the quiet boss who is fighting his own hidden battle.

But the biggest secret of all is the disappearance of Lida Poe, the African-American woman who keeps the books at the local plastics factory. Word has it that Ms. Poe left town, along with a hundred thousand dollars of company money. Although Boady has never met the missing woman, he discovers that the threads of her life are woven into the deepest fabric of his world.

As the mystery of her fate plays out, Boady begins to see the stark lines of race and class that both bind and divide this small town -- and he will be forced to choose sides.

Best Book of the Year: Florida Sun-Sentinel and Library Journal
Finalist for the Minnesota Book Award


  • Nancy K.

    This book is hands down my favorite by this author. I enjoyed it from cover to cover!

  • Alyssa P.

    Big fan of Allen Eskens. Superb, fluid stories with complex plots that keep me hooked. This was another incredible story centered around adolescent Boady Sanden - a character interwoven into other Eskens’s works as an adult. Narration was wonderful, as with other Esken’s books I’ve listened to.

  • Lisa S.

    It was a nice and easy listen. Happy ending overall, which I knew it would be.

  • Haris T.

    I super like the author and have read all his books. I can’t explain it but his narration in all his books feels very much human with biases and error we all carry and a shamed of to admit. Can’t wait for next one and tell me more of who I am.

Nothing More Dangerous

by Allen Eskens

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Nothing More Dangerous, Allen Eskens
Nothing More Dangerous, Allen Eskens
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