Here is an excellent new review of Knights of the Saltier – Book 1 of the Order of the Saltier Trilogy.
KNIGHTS OF THE SALTIER – BOOK 1 OF A TRILOGY
By Uta Christensen, Author of “Bed of Roses, Bed of Thorns”
May 8, 2011
Knights Of The Saltier, a novel by William Speir, is one of the most engaging and thrilling stories I have read in a long time. It kept my attention riveted to the unfolding story. Only a few books of this genre have affected me in a similar manner. The story is fast paced in its narrative, dialogues and action packed chapters. It follows a young man, Thomas Anderson, known to most people as Tom, who emerges as the novel’s hero. He is a talented, conscientious young man—self-reliant, dedicated, intelligent, and inventive. He is appreciated by everyone he works for and for everything he is engaged in—be it the military, a company that later employs him or the secret Order of the Saltier he will become a member of. People will know through their own instincts and observations—be it his supervisors, his coworkers, his friends —that Tom is a man who can be trusted and who can get jobs done. Needless to say, because of his character traits, he rises quickly through the ranks and is promoted because of the confidence and trust he inspires. The only relationship that truly troubles Tom is that with his father.
Ingeniously, the novel starts off not with its ultimate hero but with mysterious acts of justice that are carried out clandestinely in parts of the U.S. Police departments are frequently alerted that criminals have been caught and secured in different locations, criminals that the police was unable to apprehend. When the police arrive at a specified scene after an alert, the criminals are usually handcuffed, chained together, and chained to a lamppost or a road sign and are in an unconscious state. The police just have to pick them up and take them into custody. Taped to one of the criminals is always a large envelope, the content of which reveals the nature of the crimes committed through written testimony, photographs and surveillance videos. As the stunned and curious policemen carry the criminals off into custody, they wonder who is behind these acts of catching them and providing such detailed evidence. When the police leave the scene, there is always “a lone, shady figure” in the vicinity that “snaps pictures and phones someone to say, “Intervention concluded. Scene cleared.” Police management is also puzzled and is reluctant to investigate these strange occurrences further. They forbid their officers to talk about these incidences.
Through a very good friend and admired coworker, Tom learns of the secret society of the Order of the Saltier that has commanderies in different parts of the U.S. He tells Tom of the Order’s non-violent actions and careful investigations to bring criminals to justice, who have tyrannized, robbed, injured, killed and harassed ordinary citizens but weren’t apprehended by law enforcement agencies. This Good Samaritan work appeals to Tom. He is allowed to join the ultra-secret Order that does not exist to the rest of the world. He gets inducted and involved in the Order’s missions and becomes the leader of complex investigations almost right from the start. His successes earn him a promotion to a higher standing in the Order.
In his youth Tom had encountered problems with his father who appeared to him aloof, disinterested in and without love for his son. He and his father sometimes had heated arguments that almost ended in physical fights, and Tom’s anger, resentment and hot headedness caused a break with his father and the family for a number of years while he was forbidden to come home. But he is very successful and self-reliant in the outside world. Over the years, as he overcomes his anger, resentments and almost hatred for his father, he will serendipitously meet him again under most unusual and unexpected circumstances. It is an encounter that readers of this novel will love and appreciate at a point in the story when the existence of the Order of the Saltier is threatened and as the lives of Tom’s family, friends and coworkers are also seriously threatened. When the Order, under the leadership of Tom, is trying to bring a large, criminal, many-tentacled drug smuggling organization to justice, he does it with the Order’s consent, under the cover of such federal agencies as the FBI, the AFT and the CID.
Knights Of The Saltier, an intricate, well paced and well written novel is a MUST READ.