The Most Dangerous Thing
By Laura Lippman
Harper Collins Publishers
Have you ever felt guilty about something that happened in your teen years? Could the guilt that you
feel actually affect the choices that you make and your success in your adult life? Do you ever get over
A generation ago, life was different. Kids could actually explore in nearbywoods without parents being
worried. It was a part of life, growing up, exploring, and coming home when your mom called you for
The Most Dangerous Thing is about a group of children who grew up together exploring their
neighborhood as close friends. There were three brothers, Tim, Sean, and Gordon (Go-Go) Halloran.
Gwen who lived at the edge of the woods who seemed to have the perfect parents and Mickey who
lived in a single family home with a much younger little brother and her mom’s boyfriend.
The five spent much of their summer time in the woods visiting a black man who lived in a shack in the
woods that only seamed to value his guitar. Gwen especially would take food from her house to give to
Chicken George. They frequently spent time at his shack with a few chickens and an unusual friendship
including this vagabond.
The story revolves about Gwen who is now spending her nights at her father’s house helping him since
his recent fall. While she is there, Go-Go is in a car accident that kills him. It appears that he didn’t
apply the brake and that he purposely ran the car into a head-on collision. As the surviving four reunite,
they each question themselves as well as the accident. Did Go-Go feel responsible for Chicken George
and what happened? What did happen?
Gwen searches into their past to discover for herself the answers about Chicken George. Did the guilt
really cause Go-Go’s death? Is the guilt the reason that Gwen fails to have successful personal
relationships or the reason that Mickey (Mckey) refuses to be involved in any relationship?
The Most Dangerous Thing is a haunting novel. Life is not as neatly concluded at the end leaving
the reader feeling a little uneasy. The story is enthralling and definitely a page turner. The characters
are realistic as are their actions.
Laura Lippman relies on her past of being raised in Baltimore for the basis of this story. She is a former
Newspaper reporter and has won numerous awards including the Agatha, Anthony, Edgar, Nero, Barry,
Macavity, Strand, Gumshoe, and Shamus as well as having her books on the New York Times bestseller
list. She also teaches at Goucher College in Maryland.
The Most Dangerous Thing is haunting in that are your memories can be dangerous. Do you have a
memory that you would prefer be forgotten? Read The Most Dangerous Thing.