“Sometimes reviews are hard to write”

KDH Reviews

“…even after reading the blurb and watching the book trailer, I wasn’t exactly prepared for some of the things I read”

“Sometimes, reviews are hard to write. It doesn’t matter how much you like a book, it can be difficult to effectively express how a book made you feel. This is one of those books.

First, this book is well written. The story is told in both the past and present. It required a little more attention to remember what was happening when, but it certainly wasn’t a big deal. At first it was a little jarring to jump, rather suddenly, from present to past back to present again. However, the jumps weave together perfectly to tell an intense story. Throughout the story, we meet different characters that really come to life. The characters make this disturbing book even more realistic….”

13:24 is a generally well paced novel which begins with 14 year old Chris Pesner killing his mother and her ex-boyfriend. The motivation, as we soon find out, is revenge for the physical abuse Chris suffered at his step-father’s hands. Detective William Hursel is assigned the case of finding Chris but functions in the story primarily as recipient for expositions explaining the theological underpinnings of the abuse….”

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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