Parabellum by Greg Hickey

Published: October 20, 2020

Greg Hickey

Pages: 356

Genre: Thriller

KKEC Reads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this novel for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Greg Hickey wrote his first novel, Our Dried Voices, while spending a year in Sundsvall, Sweden, and Cape Town, South Africa, playing and coaching for local baseball teams. That novel was published in 2014 and was a finalist for Foreword Reviews’ INDIES Science Fiction Book of the Year Award. Today, he still loves sharing stories while staying busy with the other facets of his life. He is a forensic scientist by day and endurance athlete and author by nights, lunches, weekends, and other spare moments. After his post-college travels, he once again lives in his hometown of Chicago with his wife, Lindsay.

One devastating crime. Four troubled suspects. And a vibrant, powerful journey inside the mind of nameless, faceless evil.

An anonymous shooter opens fire on a Chicago beach, killing several innocent people and wounding dozens more. In the year before the attack, four individuals emerge as possible suspects.

An apathetic computer programmer.
An ex-college athlete with a history of head injuries.
An Army veteran turned Chicago cop.
A despondent high school student.

One of them is a killer. Discover who and why.

“Why. So. Serious?”

We follow four strangers, each dealing with their struggles—an ex-athlete who has spent her entire life becoming a soccer superstar. When one too many concussions forces her to quit- she isn’t sure how to proceed. Soccer was her life, her passion. And now she has nothing. The computer programmer who has always felt above everyone else. He knows he’s good at coding, and he hasn’t always used that talent for good. He also has anger inside of him that he is struggling to control. The Veteran served his country, and came home damaged. He spends his days as a police officer, and is struggling with newly diagnosed ptsd. He loses his temper sometimes, and hungers for a fight. The student is struggling to find his place. He doesn’t feel like he fits anywhere. He’s awkwardly tall, above intelligent, and trying to navigate his depression. When worlds collide, and tempers flare, tragedy strikes.

I am going to start this review with a trigger warning. This novel has heavy mentions of depression, suicidal tendencies, and mass shootings. This read may not be for everyone, be advised.

This was a very slow burn. In a very “We Need to Talk About Kevin” manner, the build up leads to a central plot point that will take your breath away.

We spend majority of the book simply getting to know our four characters. We learn about their pasts, their present, and the inner demons they struggle with.

This is a very dense novel. Very heavy. But the emotion is truly well executed. The way mental

Illness is woven throughout was daunting, but also realistic.

This was a difficult book to read. Between the very slow burn, and the build up to the end, this novel is so painfully relevant with the tragedies of today.

Painfully poignant, carefully crafted, and eloquently described, this novel will leave you utterly speechless.

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