“a master class in delicious contradictions”

George Waye – Camels with Hammers

13:24 shows that you can create an entertaining and engaging work of fiction that carries a social message without reducing yourself to synthetic and shallow stereotypes.”

13:24 is the freshman novel of author M. Dolon Hickmon. The novel itself is a master class in delicious contradictions. It has the Pop Lit readability and pacing of Dan Brown- yet the welcome attention to mood and detail of Ray Bradbury. It follows the familiar formula of a Who-done-it murder mystery- but instead of guessing who the murderer is it asks you to guess in intricate ethical brushstrokes who bears the responsibility for the grisly crime. It remains gripping and readable in spite of a weight and subject matter that makes it difficult to keep turning pages. It allows both a hero and an anti-hero exist on the same page and you find yourself cheering for the both of them.

The title itself is a nod to a passage in the Book of Proverbs. The overarching plot and theme are religious in nature, though the author seems to have taken great care to make the book accessible to readers who have nothing more than a cursory knowledge of Christian doctrine. At the same time, Hickmon’s obvious comfort with and attention to doctrine and scripture allow readers with a more academic knowledge of Christianity to relish in the subtext as well as ponder more deeply the questions and challenges asked of mainstream Protestantism. It is a delicate balance to keep a novel accessible to the casual reader yet provocative to the academic- and Hickmon has managed to accomplish this admirably.

A reader who has been weaned on scripture will immediately be struck with the foreshadowing offered by the name of the heavy metal band fronted by a central character, yet those with no foreknowledge will miss nothing by waiting till it is explained to them. None of this is to say that you need to even be particularly interested in the Christian overtones of the book….”

- Read the entire review of 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M. Dolon Hickmon

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