The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R.S. Belcher

The Brotherhood of the WheelA classic good vs evil story. We all know good wins, but people die along the way – who?
There are several point-of-view characters – a trucker vigilante, a biker bounty-hunter, male and female cops, and a few bad guys.

Both serial killers and the Brethren – good guys who hunt bad guys – roam up and down the American interstates. The police don’t like the Brethren much better than the killers, since they consider themselves outside the law. The word ‘vigilante’ never comes up, either in the narrative or in conversation between Brethren Jimmy and police. However, the Brethren have a PR branch that runs interference with the police.

No spoilers: I find this to be an interesting use of the ‘grunts vs Ivy League’ trope. The Brethren need their Builders, but the Builders stick with their research and have zero respect for the people like Jimmy who get their hands bloody, saving people from serial killers and from more supernatural murderers. Builders work on their graduate degrees, Jimmy struggles to pay the mortgage after coming late for several trucker jobs because of, you know, saving the world.

The book also explores the idea of women fighting several times. First, two Brethren talk about their diminished numbers. You just can’t expect your sons to fight evil these degenerate days. One man says his daughter would totally qualify as a fighter, but *shudder* how can he think of his baby girl fighting, and her a mother of a child at that? This is a powerful slap in the face to a grown up baby girl… especially since Jimmy is someone’s baby boy, he is also the father of a child, and he’s got one on the way. What will his wife and kid and unborn do if he dies? But that doen’t stop him.
*Next case: the only Builder we meet is a woman. The most dedicated cop we meet is a woman. They both do exceedingly well at finding the lost children, and fighting bad guys.
*Last case: male vs female powers in mythology, but Jimmy doesn’t figure that out until 2/3 down the book.

The book ends with some nice trailers for the next book. It sounds interesting, but I’m not sure I want to plow through another one of these books.

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