Publishers Weekly: Provocative thriller is “a shocking blitzkrieg of murder, conspiracy, and child abuse”


13:24 - A Story of Faith and Obsession by M. Dolon Hickmon

NEW YORK, NY, USA, June 30, 2014 / – M. Dolon Hickmon’s debut novel, 13:24—A Story of Faith and Obsession, has captured the attention of the US publishing industry again—this time with a coveted starred review in Publishers Weekly’s monthly supplement, PW Select. Other authors who received the red star this year include famed film director John Waters (Hairspray, Cry Babies) for his travelogue Carsick, and Edgar-winning crime novelist David Housewright (Penance, Tin City) for his eleventh release, The Devil May Care.

Hickmon stares into the distressing abyss of child exploitation with daring honesty.

— Publishers Weekly

Hickmon is “extremely honored” to have earned the accolade, he said, which came with a praise-laden assessment in Publishers Weekly’s respected national review: “Merging biblical tales, psychology, and social criticism, Hickmon stares into the distressing abyss of child exploitation with daring honesty,” the review states in part; adding: “[T]his thriller is unsettling entertainment that offers catharsis.”

Publishers Weekly’s nod is the latest in a lengthening series of glowing reviews of 13:24, including a wholly positive assessment in the March 2014 print edition of publishing trade journal Kirkus Reviews and favorable critiques from online reviewers, including Amazon Top 100 Hall-of-Famer Grady Harp.

“My goal was to take readers on an exciting adventure, while delivering real-life insights into the causes and consequences of child maltreatment,” said Hickmon, who experienced religiously motivated child abuse himself. “You could be asked to serve on the jury for a physical abuse case, or be given the opportunity to vote on a child abuse law. My hope is that before making those decisions, people will examine the hardships that are faced by both child victims and adult survivors.”

Experts have also said that Hickmon’s novel hits the mark: “In places, it felt like Josh was explaining my childhood, with better words than I would have come up with,” wrote one young man, who recently broke with what he described as an abusive family. Elsewhere, trauma researcher and Bristol University emeritus professor Dr. Kim Etherington offered: “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.”

13:24’s gritty blend of reality and Hollywood-style entertainment seems to have struck a popular chord: on May 15, 2014, the pioneering thriller became a genre bestseller, having broken into Amazon’s Top 100 paid e-book titles in the ‘Child Abuse’ category.

Hickmon is pleased with his project’s success, but not satisfied, he says: “There are plenty of people left to reach. I am still searching for allies.”

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

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