“For some readers, this account of obsession, abuse, and redemption could strike too close to home; but those who want a hard-hitting, emotionally charged crime story should place this near the top of their reading list.” —D. DONOVAN, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
A CRIME THRILLER WITH A SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS TWIST
A teenager named Chris knocks on the door of his mother’s ex-boyfriend—then shoots the man dead in premeditated fashion. Hours later, an officer responds to a loud music complaint and discovers a second body surrounded by a gruesome scene. With few clues to explain ‘why’, blame for the crimes settles on Chris’s obsession with the dark and violent rock band, Rehoboam. Reporters broadcast this speculation under sensational headlines, but detective William Hursel is convinced there is a deeper motive. Trailing Chris while doggedly unraveling prior events, William uncovers an underworld where human traffickers ply the wealthy with unseemly indulgences.
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 William’s investigation by his cryptic responses to Chris’s fan-club letters, 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”
Five years ago, child abuse survivor, writer, musician and activist M Dolon Hickmon envisioned 13:24, a pop culture thriller that would serve as a unique child abuse education campaign. Drawn from his personal experience of childhood maltreatment, combined with cutting-edge research and true crime headlines, the finished book opens a window into the gritty realities of childhood trauma and lifelong recovery, in a format that readers will find nearly impossible to put down.
“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.”
13:24 author featured in Salon’s front page religious expose
Psychologist, speaker and award-winning writer Valerie Tarico examined M Dolon Hickmon’s upbringing and how it influenced his upcoming novel in an October 2013 salon.com front page feature. Also included: Breaking Their Will author Jan Heimlich, and The Child Catchers author Kathryn Joyce. Read the full article at Salon
M Dolon Hickmon interviewed on KGNW Live From Seattle
Doug Bursch interviewed M Dolon Hickmon, the author of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession. Their brisk and enlightening conversation, in two ten minute segments, touched on PTSD, the role of the church in preventing physical abuse, and many other unique and facinating elements of this important problem. Listen now:
M Dolon Hickmon: A Survivor’s Conversation with Christianity
“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 Patheos