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THE UNFORGETABLE, RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES THRILLER HONORED WITH A STARRED REVIEW IN PUBLISHERS WEEKLY'S BEST BOOKS OF 2014 SPECIAL ISSUE
"Hickmon unleashes a shocking blitzkrieg of murder, conspiracy, and child abuse in this disturbing, breathlessly plotted murder mystery [...] Eschewing easy answers for moral complexity, this thriller is unsettling entertainment that offers catharsis." — Publishers Weekly
An Amazon Kindle Best-Seller in Vigilante Justice Thrillers
Detective William Hursel has worked countless murder cases, staring down the cruelest deeds humanity has to offer. But nothing prepares him for what he’ll uncover while pursuing 14-year-old Christopher Pesner, a suspect in the brutal rage-killing of his own mother. While news reports focus on Chris’s odd obsession with the violent, blasphemous heavy metal band, Rehoboam, Hursel suspects a deeper motive — a hunch that is confirmed when Chris’s second victim is discovered. Racing to piece together the identity of Chris’s next target, Hursel descends into a shadowy underworld where human traffickers ply the wealthy and powerful with unseemly indulgences.
"intensely involving as the plot hastens to its climax” — Kirkus Reviews
"succeeded in unnerving me" — Darkness Beckons
"a hard-hitting, emotionally charged crime story" — Midwest Book Review
"Riveting and appropriately disturbing from cover to cover" — San Francisco Book Review
"doesn't let go till the end" – Fresh Fiction
Best Seller in Vigilante Justice Thrillers Recorded July 2016 - http://archive.is/q67iM
Reviewed on Page 66 of Publishers Weekly December 2014 "Best Books" annual http://www.digitalpw.com/digitalpw/bestbooks2014?folio=66&pg=1#pg1
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)|
About the Author
He married his wife in 2007, and they have one daughter together. Mr. Hickmon's writing has been seen on news websites including AlterNet, Salon, and via The Spiritual Abuse Survivor's Blog Network, and his opinions have appeared in regional newspapers. Mr. Hickmon's original research was cited in a 2010 civil rights presentation to a committee of the US Congress. (see footnote 16.) His hobbies include pleasure reading, songwriting, and playing guitar.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Recommended, it should spark an internal debate, especially for a parent. This copy of 13:24 was received from the publisher for an honest review. 13:24 - a story of faith and obsession, at its' heart is a novel about revenge, a revenge exacted by a victim of physical and mental abuse. This is not a novel written to praise or attack any particular religion, although many anti-religion advocates could so easily find plenty of ammunition. The cover is a little misleading as whilst two of the major characters are a rock fan and the cult rock star who is the focus of his adulation, and whose lyrics and motivations are examined in some detail, this is not the story of that band. Our third major character is cop, Detective William Hursel as well as finding his main suspect 14 year old Chris Pesner, he needs to determine exactly what is the motivation behind the murders. This is not so much a whodunnit, the book opens with the killer on his way to commit his second murder, and in fact we find ourselves watching in horrid fascination as he does the deed, instead we are concerned with the why? The rock fan, Chris and the lead singer of the rock band Rehoboam Josh Sebala have made contact with one another long before 13:24's opening paragraph, and it is obvious to Detective Hursel from the offset that this is not a typical fanboy relationship. Why would the leader of a cult rock band with thousands of fans reply personally to just one fan? It is this connection that Hursel needs to understand and unravel in order to catch his killer before it is too late. The abuse here is the use of belts and other instruments to beat children, it is not blatant child sexual abuse, although there are hints that the ultimate villain may indeed be so inclined. Certainly he is not opposed to kidnapping, child trafficking and murder to reach his ultimate goal. Sadly, so many aspects of this novel mirror reality. Why has it been so easy to convince followers of certain religions that the brutal disciplining of very young children is the right thing to do? How does regularly beating a child down until you break them make you a better parent? There is a fairly big jump from spanking a naughty child, to beating a child and leaving them covered in bruises, or worse. I am fairly conversant with the majority of strange fetishes and possible forms of abuse that human beings can inflict on one another and even knowing that this was a work of fiction, M Dolon Hickmon succeeded in unnerving me with this dark, disturbing tale of serial child abuse and the resultant trauma. Can I say that I was rooting for our killer all the way through this book? This is M Dolon Hickmon's first novel, and that is somewhat surprising, an incredibly well written and researched book. There is absolutely no reference in this book to the book penned by Michael and Debi Pearl,'To Train Up a Child', but it does not take a genius to see the correlations. The Pearl book advocates beating children into submission, beating children until you break their will, and then perhaps beating them some more to be certain. It states that you can pull your baby's hair as a disciplinary measure and even advocates that you start beating your child from the age of 4 months old. There are people who have used the Pearl book as their child-rearing bible, a few of these people have beaten their children to death. To Train Up a Child is widely available, although you may have noticed that I have not provided a link to it.
DARKNESS ABOUNDS "13:24" is a horrific and fascinating fictional expose of child abuse (mental and physical), child kidnapping and trafficking, child rape and murder -- all rationalized by the fundamentalist religious principle, "Spare the rod; spoil the child!" -- played out against a backdrop of police procedurals and heavy-metal rock music. For those of us who don't harbor the truly sadistic inclinations of the villains of this book who take sadism far and beyond the milktoast floggings of "51 Shades of Grey", it's possibly hard to understand the "why", including sexual, that has some characters derive such satisfaction from beating others (in this case, mainly children) senseless and scarring minds forever after. Having researched S&M, and written over a dozen novels on the subject, only one, "SS&M", having approached the brutality of the sadism detailed in "13:24", I was able to believe the story the author unfolds, from beginning to ending, knowing how easily human beings are capable of exerting untold suffering on their fellows and not accept any personal responsibility for doing so. Certainly, "13:24" isn't a book to be enjoyed by everyone, but it does shed much-needed light on an aspect of human cruelty that warrants every bit of the spotlight, and more, that Mr. Hickmon has provided to coax this tip of its clandestine existence from the shadows.
I thought this book was very well written and the author did a fair amount of research on topics. The characters were well developed and the storyline was impeccable. Only warning for this book is some people won't be able to handle some of the issues that it brings up. Also the book tends to jump from past to present, but it does so in a way that you as a reader are not constantly wondering "When did this happen?" I look forward to more from this author in the future.
I received this book from LibraryThing. I was hooked from the beginning and could not put it down, though it made my heart heavy. It's fiction, but based on real events of parents who followed a so-called Christian minister's guidebook to disciplining children by spanking or whipping them. He recommends starting with a switch on their bare legs when they're only a few months old. And you are to continue until you break the child's will. As the child gets older, the "rod" gets heavier. He recommends flexible plumbers pipe. I'm warning you it will tear up your guts, but is so well written, you can't stop. You just keep hoping someone will get revenge. A strong five stars.