The Brotherhood of the Wheel (Brotherhood of the Wheel #1) by R.S. Belcher

rotherhoodI loved this book.  Great urban fantasy that just so happened to give me a serious case of the hebejebes!  Why didn’t anyone tell me to pick this up before now?  Okay, so maybe you did tell me to pick it up but I’m plain stubborn – sometimes I need more of a shove than a nudge.  Urban fantasy with a good dose of horror mashed in for good measure, this is a world that involves all sorts of nightmares, ghosts and ancient creatures.  Fortunately the roads are patrolled by an ancient order of knights – well, here is an excellent description taken from Goodreads that describes this order to a tee:

‘In 1119 A.D., a group of nine crusaders became known as the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon–a militant monastic order charged with protecting pilgrims and caravans traveling on the roads to and from the Holy Land. In time, the Knights Templar would grow in power and, ultimately, be laid low. But a small offshoot of the Templars endure and have returned to the order’s original mission: to defend the roads of the world and guard those who travel on them.’

This is a dark read populated with some real heroes and some hideous villains.  The roads and interstates are stalked by much more than depraved serial killers who use this vast network to stay hidden.  Older and more ancient evil lurks on these highways just waiting for the right opportunity to cause havoc.

The story fairly bursts out from the starting blocks as we meet Jimmy Aussapile, a trucker and defender of the roads and knight of the Brotherhood of the Wheel.  He’s hot on the trail of a serial killer and is closing in.  I won’t go further into the detail other than to say that a little later Jimmy picks up an unusual hiker, a ghostly entity with a strange tale that sets him onto the tail of something much bigger and incredibly sinister in nature.  The ramifications of what Jimmy is about to uncover are huge and could be even more far reaching than first expected.  This is a story that involves over a century’s worth of missing people and it takes urban myths to a whole new level.

What did I really like about this?  It’s scary first and foremost.  It tackles a whole lot of nasty, things that really could and do happen and that is frightening enough in itself, but then rope in a whole bunch of creepy myths, a town that can’t be found on any map and some seriously creepy, black eyed kids and you can consider me hooked to the pages.  Now just to be clear, because obviously I don’t want to put potential readers off.  This is UF meets horror but I wouldn’t call this gory.  It’s not particularly visceral.  I’m not really making myself very clear to be honest because I don’t want to put people off who think this might be too much.  It is dark and scary but at the same time I’m something of a wimp – so there is that.

On top of the scary this is seriously a good story.  I have to applaud an author who gives me the goosebumps but this isn’t just about the fear factor.  This is a very well told story and it’s positively gripping.

The characters.  Jimmy is very easy to like.  He’s a great character and relatable.  He wants to do the right thing and in fact puts himself, his job and his livelihood at risk in order to do so.  He looks at the bigger picture and his actions go down the route of whatsoever will be better for the greater good.  I know that I’m really liking a character when I actually want to hold them back out of danger.  Yes, I wanted him to rush in all guns blazing but at the same time I didn’t want him to get hurt.  Ohh the dilemma.

Along the way Jimmy finds himself with a squire – I loved that for an old fashioned concept.  Heck is a character with a complicated past that I don’t believe we’ve fully got to the bottom of just yet and discovering his secrets is something that I’m looking forward to.  The story also crosses paths with a police investigator, working a suspiciously similar case, named Lovina Hewitt.   I simply have to applaud Belcher for coming up with such good characters – these aren’t the only ones that we meet and they all feel well rounded and easy to picture.

The setting – well, as if the highways themselves wasn’t such a great idea we also have the town of Four Houses.  Oh my.  What can I even tell you, where to begin.  This is just deliciously spooky and dark.  A town that can’t be found and once it is found can’t easily be undiscovered.  Houses of power.  And, much more.  Just read the book.  Don’t do a ‘me’ and leave this languishing on a dusty wishlist.  Pick yourself up a copy and read it.  If you needed any more motivation I can tell you I have the second book already lined up and I’m excited to begin.  I think this could be the start of an excellent series and one that I could easily fall for.  I hope for lots more instalments.

Where I picked up a copy: I bought the audio version of the Brotherhood of the Wheel from Audible.





15 Responses to “The Brotherhood of the Wheel (Brotherhood of the Wheel #1) by R.S. Belcher”

  1. K. M. Alexander

    I enjoyed this a lot! A new book in the series released in December:

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks for that – I’ve picked up a copy in audio and already about a third in and really loving it. I hope for more.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    This is an excellent series and now you need to read King of the Road!!! I love Belcher, everything he writes is just as good as this.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’ve started the second already – and I also want to go back to someo his others.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    This must have been awesome in audio. It’s such an atmospheric story, with a good narrator I can imagine it was very good.

    • @lynnsbooks

      OMG the audio was great – I loved Jimmy’s voice in this,it had me hooked. And the creepy bits, – the BEKs – wow, very scary hearing ‘let me in’ over your headphones – scaring me all over again thinking about it.
      Lynn 😀

  4. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Like you I did notice this title and also the raving reviews of many of our fellow bloggers, but for now the book is only one of the many items on my “wanted” list, so your total love for this story is indeed the nudge I need to do something about it. Your description of the background and characters sounds like a perfect blend, and after enjoying Six Gun Tarot, I can trust this writer to deliver some outstanding story.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I just loved this and have already started the second – although perhaps I should slow down – I don’t know when or if there’ll be a third
      Lynn 😀

  5. waytoofantasy

    Glad you loved this one, this is the first time I’m hearing of it! I’ll have to keep it in mind next time I’m in the mood for something a little more horror-ish. 🙂

  6. bkfrgr

    I don’t think I’ve heard of this author, but you’ve made this sound like great (and scary) fun! When I’m ready for some more scary I’ll give it a go. Greta review. 🙂

  7. bkfrgr

    Great. Not Greta. I don’t know who Greta is … 🙂

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