Friday, January 16, 2015

Book Review: The Brothers' Keepers by NLB Horton


A friend's deception. A family's dilemma.

While cataloging looted antiquities in Brussels, archaeologist Grace Madison discovers that her daughter has vanished in France, and her son's bride has been attacked in Switzerland. After the Madison family unearths a relic whose taproot pierces the Ancient Near East, they realize that before they can save themselves, they must rescue an old friend. If he'll let them. 

Because choosing what's right is all that's left. 

GoodReads * Amazon



I started my review for NLB Horton's first book in this series, When Camels Fly, with the words, "Oh my  *****!"  I only wish I could give more for The Brothers' Keepers (not that it's easy to improve on perfect)!

The redhead that reappears at the end of Camels gives readers a heads up that the story is not over, and I'm thinking she is the one that re-reappears in Keepers, this time with a larger (and more sinister) role.  Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) is after a source of water that fueled the success of King Solomon's copper mines.  The good guys want it because of either: a) preserving a scarce natural resource, or b) historical value;  the bad guys want it because of:  a) greed, or b) greed power.

One of the scientists who helped Grace and her family in the first book has teemed up with his brother, a scholar with some connection in Vatican circles, to find this resource.  Of course, the bad guys are all over them and Grace, her husband Mark, their daughter Maggie, their son Jeff and his wife Becca set out to help Grace's old colleague (unaware at the time that there is a partner).  Oh, and there are Maggie's two 'love interests', one of whom just happens to be Mossad.

Personally I like the harmony, the balance and symmetry that exists between the two books.  In Camels, the MOSES (semi-official firmer Israeli intelligence group) members come to the aid of the family; in Keeper, the family returns the favor.

The scenery gives readers a mini-world tour, from the Middle East to the Mediterranean, specifically Venice and the fabled canals, to snowy scenes in Germany and Switzerland.  The scene with the snowmobile chase was edge-of-my-seat heart-pounding!

The language is, once again, a-m-a-z-i-n-g!  Ms. Horton writes formally enough that the story is lifted above everyday colloquialisms, but accessible enough that it will appeal to a wide audience.   Thank goodness the author followed up the wonderful When Camels Fly in her lifetime with The Brothers' Keepers.  (All of a sudden, I'm thinking how the sequel to GWTW would have gone if Margaret Mitchell had written it.)

I don't give out many '5-star- reviews.  A book has to have something extra special that raises it above good.  An acting coach once told me, "To be great, you have to give up being good."  NLB Horton is one such writer.  The Brothers' Keepers is one such book.  

And here's at least one vote of 'highly anticipated' for the Fall 2015 release of the 3rd book in this wonderful "Parched" series!



Winner of  ‘A People’s Chioce Award’ in fiction, NLB Horton returned to writing fiction after an award-winning career in journalism and marketing as well as earning her Masters of Biblical Studies degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has surveyed Israeli and Jordanian archaeological digs, tossed a tarantula from her skiff into the Amazon after training with an Incan shaman, driven uneventfully through Rome, and consumed gallons of afternoon tea while traveling across five continents.

 Horton is a member of the venerable Explorers Club, based in New York City and founded in 1904 as an international multidisciplinary professional society of explorers and scientists. From her home in the Rocky Mountains, she writes, cross-country skis, gardens and researches ideas for her next novel. Horton’s first novel in the Parched series, When Camels Fly, was released in May 2014.  The Brothers’ Keepers is the second, with the third installment available in fall 2015.


(Disclosure:  I received a print copy of The Brothers' Keepers from the author and publisher via Virtual Author Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)


This book also helps me complete the following 2015 reading challenges:

52 Books in 52 Weeks
105 Challenge (cat 14-5 stars)
Around the World Challenge (various-Brussels, France, Switzerland, Venice, Colorado, London, Israel)
Curvy Heroine Challenge
Prequel/Sequel Challenge (book 2)
TBR Challenge


  1. My goodness. I feel so . . . official!

    LuAnn, it's a pleasure for another of my works to be reviewed by you. It's nerve-wracking to write a sequel for all sorts of reasons: the anticipations of readers; how much backstory is enough, as opposed to too much; how do I craft the characters so that longtime readers learn more, but first-time readers are introduced. It is with a hearty "WHEW" that I read your review.

    Thank you so much for sharing your lovely thoughts with your followers. I do hope (pray) that you post this review on Amazon and Goodreads.

    And, on a more personal note, I would like to let you know that no woman is invisible, per your short bio. Especially a woman who is committed to family and to doing her best with her children. You count, my dear, and are visible here from my desk atop a Rocky Mountain.

    Watch for book 3, which I'm writing now, when it releases a year from now. I've pushed it to January 2016 because of momentum, but you're on my list to contact at the appropriate time.

    Please accept my best for a fulfilling 2015,

    1. Aw, you are sweet! Thank you for the kind words. Sorry to hear that the release has been delayed, but just glad it's coming!

  2. Its great to meet NLB Horton. Best wishes for the Parched series and all the promotional stuff that goes along with a series.

    1. Great to see you on the Porch, Stephen! Are you gearing up for A to Z again? :O) I highly recommend Ms. Horton's books!

  3. Stephen, thanks for your good wishes! Releasing a new book is quite an exciting time, and full of surprises. Thank you for your comment.


  4. Thanks so much for joining us at the Book Nook at Create With Joy, LuAnn, and helping to spread the word.

    I loved this book too and I look forward to connecting with you more in the upcoming year! :-)

  5. This sounds like an exciting series. Both books are on my list to check out.

  6. Thanks for taking part in the tour LuAnn! I am so glad that you are enjoying the 'Parched' series. I know NLB Horton puts a lot of loving care into her books and does everything she can to get them just right. I love authors who take the extra time to do that!

  7. This one sounds like a great mystery and a chance to visit Europe again through the story! Question though, who's the Curvy Heroine? ;)