A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STAR OF 2014!
13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession
by M Dolon Hickmon
Publisher: Rehoboam Press
Publish Date: March 25, 2014
Goodreads 77 Ratings | 49 Reviews
WHAT WILL A CHILD DO WHEN THERE IS NO WAY OUT?
Alone in the darkness of an improvised cell, a kidnapped first-grader battles terror while his flashlight flickers, its batteries nearly lifeless.
Across town, a teenager named Chris knocks on the door of his mother’s ex-boyfriend—then shoots the man dead. Before dawn, a second victim is discovered, surrounded by a gruesome scene. With few clues to make sense of his brutal crimes, attention turns to Chris’s odd obsession with the dark and violent heavy-metal band, Rehoboam.
Meanwhile, Rehoboam’s lead singer, Josh, thinks he may finally be ready to take the next step in his relationship with the band’s fiery female drummer. But when news of Chris’s crime spree triggers flashbacks of a harsh, fundamentalist upbringing, Josh finds his career and his romance unexpectedly interrupted. Linked to the widening criminal investigation, Josh must eventually choose between clearing his name and keeping the secrets of his past.
“Hickmon’s taut, gripping fiction debut journeys into a world of subversive rock-and-roll, dark perversions and deep emotional scars. . . . Hickmon weaves these separate plots together with an unforced ease, as when he effectively portrays Rehoboam’s struggling early years in well-deployed flashbacks. The narrative’s lean, unadorned prose becomes intensely involving as the plot hastens to its climax”
“Hickmon unleashes a shocking blitzkrieg of murder, conspiracy, and child abuse in this disturbing, breathlessly plotted murder mystery….Merging biblical tales, psychology, and social criticism, Hickmon stares into the distressing abyss of child exploitation with daring honesty….Eschewing easy answers for moral complexity, this thriller is unsettling entertainment that offers catharsis.”
M Dolon Hickmon is a child abuse survivor, a writer and an anti-abuse activist. His advocacy has run the gamut, from opposing state laws that allow the devout to deny their children basic literacy and lifesaving medical attention, to authoring a widely cited study linking schools’ use of corporal punishment to persistent academic underachievement. A contributor to The Freethinker, OnFaith, Alternet and TheHumanist.com, Mr. Hickmon has also explored the intersections of faith and child abuse in local and nationally syndicated talk-show appearances.
“Mr. Hickmon writes with the clarity, power and passion of someone who really knows what he is writing about, and who understands the wide range of responses human beings experience when trying to deal with lives affected by ongoing trauma. There are textbooks that explain the scientific mechanisms that underpin post-traumatic stress disorder, but this book tells a story that reaches out to help us all understand.”
—Dr. Kim Etherington, PHD, Bristol University emeritus professor
“Although certain to be controversial, this is a unique and very interesting book. The story is engagingly written for a general audience, with descriptive scenes, well-drawn characters, and a lot of emotional and moving dialogue. The author obviously has a personal understanding of the harm that can result from corporal punishment, of the effects of biblical interpretations in perpetuating it, and of the pain and shame of children who are abused. . . . Overall, the book is successful, making a poignant statement in a format that is certain to appeal to a wide audience.”
“Hickmon writes with amazing subtlety, condemning the wicked, the foolish, and the willfully ignorant while not categorically condemning Christianity. And his handling of technical details is masterful, avoiding the pitfall of boring the reader. . . Like Paradise Lost, he illustrates a terrible fall but in the end there is the promise of redemption. You won’t be sorry you read it.”
Publishers Weekly Talks with M. Dolon Hickmon
In M. Dolon Hickmon’s debut murder mystery, 13:24: A Story of Faith and Obsession, detective William Hursel investigates the case of an emotionally scarred teenager who killed his mother and her boyfriend. Our reviewer complimented Hickmon’s ability to “[stare] into the distressing abyss of child exploitation with daring honesty” while “eschewing easy answers for moral complexity.” We caught up with Hickmon to discuss self-publishing and raising awareness about the prevalence of child abuse.. Read the full article at publishersweekly.com
M Dolon Hickmon interviewed on KGNW Live From Seattle
March 18, 2014 – M Dolon Hickmon went on the air with Doug Bursch of AM 820, to discuss a research study entitled “Perceptions of Serious Mental Illness in the Local Church”.
During the second segment of the radio program (you can listen below) M Dolon Hickmon and host Doug Bursch examined the biological mechanisms of trauma to understand why counseling based on the sin and forgiveness model fails to give relief to many child abuse survivors.
M Dolon Hickmon: A Survivor’s Conversation with Christianity
August 2, 2014 – “Here are the messages I gleaned from the church of my childhood: that beating children is acceptable—good for them, in fact; that bruises and welts are of little consequence; that fear is desirable, as is pained screaming and broken sobbing. I’d heard that kids were to be whipped for the least act of disobedience, with belts and sticks and plastic racecar tracks; on bare skin, and as often as an adult thought was necessary. . . .” Read the full article on The Freethinker