April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and a new book out from M. Dolon Hickmon 13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession is not only a chilling account of child abuse, but  a riveting crime thriller as well.

This acclaimed novel guides readers through the lifelong process of overcoming child abuse, and explores the spiritual, physical and emotional consequences of surviving an abusive childhood.

“I have written and published research on child abuse and excessive corporal punishment since 2006,” Hickmon says. “I eventually realized that although studies were being done and papers being written, the latest advances in our understanding of early trauma were not reaching the public. My solution was to create a fast-paced crime thriller that would combine my own experiences as a victim and survivor with true crime headlines and cutting-edge research into the neurobiological basis of PTSD.” .

“Mr. Hickmon writes with the clarity, power and passion of someone who really knows what he is writing about, and who understands the wide range of responses human beings experience when trying to deal with lives affected by ongoing trauma,” declared Bristol University trauma researcher and emeritus professor Dr. Kim Etherington, in her pre-publication review; “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.”

The novel opens with a troubled teenager named Chris. Struggling with a flood of emotions toward his mother’s ex-boyfriend, he chooses to resolve things with lethal violence. When Chris’s mother is also found brutally murdered, Detective William Hursel is left with only a handful of clues. While the media obsesses over Chris’s infatuation with the violent lyrics of a popular heavy-metal band, Detective Hursel searches for a deeper motive.

Links between Chris and the band’s lead singer, Josh, soon emerge, drawing the detective into a web of crime and past family violence. Framed by scenes of rock-star glamour, political intrigue, and police adventure, Chris and Josh’s stories converge at the intersections of religion and psychology, love and revenge, destruction and redemption.

M. Dolon Hickmon is a writer, activist, and a survivor of religious child maltreatment. His writings can be found on news websites like AlterNet, Salon, and the Spiritual Abuse Survivor’s Blog Network, and his opinion pieces have appeared in newspapers such as the Scotsman, the South Lake Press, and the Bainbridge (GA) Post-Searchlight.