The Twelfth Boy

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
270 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Multi-Award-Winning Author Milan Sergent studied creative writing in college and began writing the novel series "Candlewicke 13" in 2007, a year after featuring some of the series’ characters in his solo art exhibition, titled "Outsiders and Apparitions," near Rockefeller Center in New York City.

An artist and poet since adolescence, a few of Sergent's early poetic works were published in Scarlet Literary Magazine and more recently in his illustrated poetry book, "Outsiders and Apparitions: Possessed Poems and Art for Family Picnics."

To learn more about the author or view the illustrated companion guide to the "Candlewicke 13" series visit While there, join the mailing list for important news updates and notifications about future novel releases.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent is a psychological thriller. Savannah Grayson gave up hope of ever being loved until she meets Scotty. Giving birth to Noel on Christmas Eve, Savannah believes her life is complete – until Noel turns six. He loves elves and desperately wants to be a part of the Christmas musical but that’s when everything changes. Stalked by a Christian group, Savannah begins fearing for her and Noel after her husband turns his back on them. Noel disappears one night and his body is found, a scripture carved into his chest, in a manger. That’s when Savannah learns the real depths that some people will go to in protecting the wrong people. Her quest for justice sends Savannah on a journey filled with deceit and horror and the only people who will help her are a gay ex-policewoman and a trans child who is scared for his life. Can Savannah find the justice she seeks? And what horrors will she uncover in the process?

The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent is compelling reading. Every time I pick up one of his books I expect to be thrilled and this one did not disappoint. It is not a book for the faint-hearted as it contains scenes of child rape and murder, along with strong biblical stories of murder, rape, and sex. Right from the first page, this story hooks you, draws you into Savannah’s life, allowing you to live her life alongside her. It is all go, all the way through, as we follow Savannah, a very well-developed character, on her journey of terror. There are lots of twists and turns, and lots of suspense, leading to a horrifying ending. The story deals with the subjects of religious fanaticism and non-conforming characters beautifully in a thrilling horror story you will be, in turn, too terrified to read yet not be able to put it down. Another great story from a master storyteller who knows how to grab your attention and keep it from start to finish.

Viga Boland

If you love reading a novel where you can feel creepiness slowly sneaking up on you and the main characters, you’ll love The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent. Sergent is a master at keeping readers wondering just who or what is behind the mysterious disappearance of sweet 6-year-old Noel, a boy who loves dancing, singing, and Christmas. Is it Noel’s father who inexplicably and suddenly is treating Noel and his mom, Savannah, so badly? But why would he smear blood on their front door? Something so sinister is afoot. Savannah is determined to find out what happened to her beloved son and as she searches for answers, Sergent keeps us turning pages until the big reveal. The reveal is more than just an ugly discovery: it’s a scathing commentary, even a warning about religious and social prejudices. As a result, The Twelfth Boy is a rather delicious read for fans of macabre characters who are all too real.

Milan Sergent has a very creative imagination but successfully manages to keep his novel from sliding into fantasy or the supernatural. The plot events are indeed possible. Characters are well-drawn and believable. Dialogue is plentiful, realistic, and keeps the pace moving quickly. Sergent’s style is straightforward and uncomplicated by backstories or digressions, making this a novel you can read in a couple of days. Yet it will leave you thinking about the ramifications of living in a Bible-oriented society that is so anti today’s trends that it is destructive. Curious to find out why I say that? Read The Twelfth Boy!

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Trapped in an abusive marriage with Scotty Graysen, Savannah’s only solace in life is her sweet and good-natured boy, Noel. He shares his mother’s enthusiasm for Christmas but abhors fishing and hunting, his father’s hobbies. Scotty cannot tolerate his son, believing he is not manly enough. Their conflict reaches a maximum during Christmas when a fight between his parents prompts Noel to run away from home. A few days later, his naked, tortured body is discovered in a manger. Although everyone seems to suspect Scotty of Noel’s murder, Savannah refuses to believe it. Her research uncovers horrifying secrets that threaten her life. Why did Noel have to die? Why wouldn’t the police take Savannah’s accusations seriously? To learn more, you have to read The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent.

I finished the book in a single sitting, waiting with bated breath for the dark mysteries to unfold. With a riveting storyline and a swift pace, Sergent’s book will bewitch readers. Unsettling issues like religious fanatism, homophobia, and child abuse played a central part in the novel. Sergent alluded to obscure biblical verses that, perceived by the twisted views of a few zealots, could endorse extreme acts of violence. The Twelfth Boy highlighted the plight of children whose orientations defy society's established norms. Fortunately, there is Savannah, who transforms from a victim into a grief-hardened mother and single-handedly demolishes the corrupted practices that cost her son’s life. If you appreciate mysteries and are not bothered by a few unpleasant truths, this novel will provide you with a thought-provoking read.

Lucinda E Clarke

In The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent, we meet Savannah. As a child her home background was idyllic, but at school, she was bullied resulting in low self-esteem. She never believed she would find happiness with a permanent partner until she met Scott, but after they married and had a son, despite her suffering Lupus, she realized he was a bully. Six-year-old Noel particularly upset his father with his preference for what were ‘girly’ pursuits and so Scott spent most of his time away with his nephew who liked hunting, fishing, and shooting. It takes a tragic event to rip apart the underbelly of the community of their town, an underlying thread of evil that extends to the highest levels. As a woman on her own, how can Savannah stand up to them to get justice for what befell her son Noel? She has no idea who to trust and those she may rely on are too scared to help her.

The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent is a fast-moving, page-turning novel that took my breath away. It explores the attitudes and social issues in the southern United States in a kind and sensitive way without being overly judgemental. Sergent's delicate and open approach to people, especially Stacy who lived next door to Noel, was heartwarming. Savannah, the main character, is a woman to admire. From a close family unit, she is thrust totally unprepared into an alien world where people are not quite what they seem, at least as far as their motives would imply. She is determined to bring to justice the perpetrators behind the death of her young son and then realizes that she can look to no one to help her. As the story progresses, Savannah grows in strength and amazed me with her resourcefulness. All the characters in the book leap off the pages, the dialogue is realistic, and the whole tale flows from page to page. I read this book in one sitting, glued to the pages, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It poses many questions about our perceptions of society and the ideas we are subjected to from our early years. A beautifully crafted book that deserves to do very well.

Pikasho Deka

The Twelfth Boy by Milan Sergent is a harrowing tale of a mother seeking justice for her murdered son. Savannah Graysen has been groomed her entire life to play the submissive wife. Trapped in a loveless marriage with her abusive husband, Savannah's only ray of joy comes through her son Noel, a six-year-old boy who loves Santa and performing in musicals. But her world shatters the day the police come to her home, bringing photos of her son's mutilated corpse that they found four states away. After failing to get the authorities to act upon catching the killers, Savannah takes matters into her own hands to bring the killers to justice. But by doing so, she inadvertently places herself and her friends in grave danger as people placed in positions of power try to keep the truth from coming out.

The Twelfth Boy feels like a much-needed novel for our times as homophobia, bigotry, and systematic corruption still run rampant and hamper humanity from reaching its full potential. Author Milan Sergent gives an apt and scathing commentary on organized religious institutions that wield their power and influence to silence victims of abuse to protect their own. The narrative is raw, uncompromising, and relentless. It masterfully showcases how ultra-conservative religious cults brainwash people, and psychopaths absorb that religious doctrine to feed their delusions and use it as a self-righteous shield to act upon their sadistic urges. Savannah's story will break your heart and force you to reflect upon the ills facing our society. The Twelfth Boy is a must-read, and I highly recommend it.