Book Review: Parabellum by Greg Hickey

Expected publication: October 20, 2020

A shooting at a Chicago beach leaves several dead and dozens injured. 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 the shooter. Discover who and why.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I read Friar’s Lantern by Greg Hickey a while back and liked it, so I was happy to read Parabellum. Friar’s Lantern was different (like a Choose Your Adventure for adults), so I expected Parabellum to be different as well. It is that!

The story starts with clean up of a mass shooting on a beach in Chicago. It then goes back a year to tell the stories of four unrelated people, all who have some type of mental problem and could potentially be the shooter. These people don’t have names but are presented as the programmer, the student, the ex-athlete, and the veteran. It took a little getting used to, but eventually, I didn’t really notice that I didn’t know their names.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to connect with the characters even though there was quite a bit of detail about them for the year prior to the shooting and what they were all going through: depression, hopelessness, PTSD, despair, rage, etc. I’m not one for detailed descriptions, so it took me a while to get through Parabellum. For me, the best part of the book was the end when many of the people on the beach were introduced before all hell broke loose.

If you are curious about the thoughts of someone who is dealing with depression and the different ways people react to it, I definitely recommend this book. Obviously, one of these characters goes to the worst possible extreme. But there are three others. Do any of them end up better off at the end of the year?

About the Author

Greg Hickey was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1985. After graduating from Pomona College in 2008, he played and coached baseball in Sweden and South Africa. He is now a forensic scientist, endurance athlete and award-winning writer. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay.

Twitter greghickey5