> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: 13:24 A Story of Faith and Obsession M Dolon Hickmon
Friday, May 2, 2014

Book Review: 13:24 A Story of Faith and Obsession M Dolon Hickmon

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book,  free of charge, from netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Proverbs 13:24
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
King James version

1324 cover



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.

About the Book:
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.

Corporal punishment. 

Two words that can strike one of the biggest debates in the land. Most of us were spanked as kids, and we turned out relatively ok, because our parents didn't 'beat us' in the modern terminology. To us corporal punishment is not an 'evil thing, as it is presented in modern media. But there are always two sides of the coin. My parents, and my friends' parents, tempered the punishment to a basic hand spanking. There was no whipping with belts or rods. And we knew we had done wrong and for the most part, did NOT repeat what got us spanked in the first place. What we don't hear about are the kids that were spanked, such as we were, that are civic leaders, considered wonderful citizens, and leading lives devoted to the good of others. It's almost taboo to admit that corporal punishment does NOT always lead to emotional lifelong trauma. It's an argument that will probably go on and on, as parents always seek what works, and is best for their kids.
Being in law enforcement for over 20 years, I can tell you who was spanked and who wasn't, pretty easily with how they react to those in authority. I have seen a generational change from kids who respected authority (some would argue feared), to kids who curse and demean those in authority, at VERY young ages. Their concept of what is right and wrong is pretty well skewed into 'what is in it for me?' These are the kids who got time out, and would call child welfare if they were spanked even once. For the most part they have short focuses and no thought of other people's feelings. Would spanking have solved that? There is no short term answer to that question, but when a 6 year is telling their mother off and cursing them out, and there are NO repercussions for it, then yes, there IS something needed, especially when said child refuses to comply with time out and any other 'modern parenting techniques.
But back to that flip side, there are always people who will go too far and seek a justification for the wrong that they are doing, and try to couch it in acceptable rhetoric and thoughts. Wrong? Definitely. And that is where this book delves- in corporal punishment for the WRONG reasons, and in the WRONG way. Does it go on across this country? Yes, and do we hear about it? Yes. Many churches have changed and stopped supporting such false teachings, as presented in this book. Which is why there IS a place for this book, and why it is needed to reach out to THOSE kids who need to know, that what they are experiencing is NOT what was intended, and that they are not alone. They are the kids the system was set up to help and protect. 
Setting aside the controversy, this book is the epitome of the 'I couldn't put it down and had to read it in one sitting book'! From the beginning, you know who is committing the crimes, and you see what Josh is experiencing. The twist, and mystery, is the why and how are these two subjects connected- strictly as 'rock god' to fan, or is there more? This is not a book for those with queasy stomachs, as the crime scenes are very graphic. But they fit the story, as it shows the repercussions of severe punishment and child abuse. It is a worthwhile read, and I urge anyone whose church still adheres to severe corporal punishment to read the book.

About the Author:
M Dolon Hickmon is a child abuse survivor, a writer and an anti-abuse activist. He married his wife in 2007, and they have one daughter together.  Mr. Hickmon dedicates his time and skills to advocating on behalf of mistreated children, often in cooperation with children’s rights groups and other advocates. His writing has been amplified on news websites including AlterNet, Salon, and via The Spiritual Abuse Survivor’s Blog Network, and his opinions have appeared in newspapers such as The Scotsman, The South Lake Press, The Post-Searchlight and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Mr. Hickmon’s original research continues to be cited by many and  was included in a 2010 civil rights presentation to a committee of the US Congress. His hobbies include pleasure reading, songwriting, and playing acoustic and electric guitar.Check out his website for more info

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