Brotherhood of the Wheel by RS Belcher
As a fan of the Knights Templar history, I picked up Brotherhood of the Wheel by RS Belcher on a whim when someone on one of my lists recommended it. I was leery at first because I’d attempted his Six-Gun Tarot and hadn’t gotten past the first chapter.
But Brotherhood surprised me. It’s gritty, horror filled, and keeps the reader on the edge of your seat until the last page. Now I’m not typically a horror reader (my love of Dean Koontz and SyFy’s Haven aside), but Brotherhood really reached out and grabbed me. The characters struggle not just with the supernatural, but the harsh realities of life.
The novel mainly focuses on Jimmie Aussapile, the “knight” of the story. In actuality, he’s a trucker trying to keep house and home together as he travels the Road. He’s joined by Heck, a biker, with a past that I’d love to find out more about (it’s hinted towards the end, but the author definitely leaves you wanting more) and Lovina Hewitt, a Louisiana State Police officer.
Of course you can’t have a White Knight without the dark or black knight and Belcher gives the reader one that will keep you up at night (no pun intended) with the Pagan. Beautifully drawn and imagined, the Pagan is one of the best villains imagined in a while.
If you go into this expecting sweeping battles and Knights Templar, you will be half disappointed. Belcher only briefly touches on the history of the Templars, but the battles are generously written and described.
Overall, definitely one I will be on the lookout for a second book of. The author left it open to write a sequel or two.