The Brothers' Keeper

The Brothers' Keeper - Matthew Peters

It's easy to love a good conspiracy. There are countless books (fictional and nonfictional), movies, television shows, documentaries, and plenty of people staring up at the stars with tin foil hats on. The revelation of a real life conspiracy could potentially change the entire world -- or our entire belief system in this book's particular case. 

What struck me about The Brothers' Keeper was not so much the idea behind the conspiracy itself, but the choice that Branson faces. Should he reveal the truth behind the conspiracy and risk destroying countless lives and the moral code that millions of people abide by or keep it a secret and be forced to deal with the truth on his own? 

And one aspect that I keep going back to, even after putting the book down, is the character of Jessica. She seems to be quite the wild card and I'm unsure that Branson can count on her to share his belief that the secret should remain undiscovered. 

Peters has created an intricately weaved plot that kept me hooked from beginning to end. I was amazed at the detail included and the vast amount of research that he submitted himself to in order to write this thriller. All the layers are smoothly whipped together to give the reader the perfect amount of urgency and anxiety as they follow Branson in his quest. 

Some Bio Information

Dual diagnosed* from an early age, Matthew Peters dropped out of high school at sixteen. He went on to obtain an A.A., a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught various courses in a variety of disciplines throughout North Carolina. He is committed to increasing the awareness and understanding of the dual diagnosed. Conversations Among Ruins (All Things That Matter Press, 2014) is his first novel. His second novel, The Brothers’ Keepers (MuseItUp Publishing, 2014), is a political-religious thriller that capitalizes on his love for history and research. Currently, he is working on a sequel to The Brothers’ Keepers.

*The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency (e.g., alcoholism).


1. What would you like your readers to take away from your work? 

At the end of the day, I would like readers to feel that they’ve experienced a good story well told. 

2. If you stumbled across the biggest discovery in history, would you be able to keep it a secret? 

That’s an excellent question, Ann. This lies at the very heart of the protagonist’s (Nicholas Branson) dilemma. I would say that I probably would not be able to sit on the biggest discovery in history if I stumbled across it.

3. Which is more fun, the writing or the research? 

Research, research, research! Did I mention it’s the research? I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I am very results oriented and often find it difficult to sit inside the messiness of process, which all of writing is. However, the sense of accomplishment that comes upon completion of a work is like no other.

4. Do you prefer silence while writing or do you use music (or something else) to help inspire you? 

I have to have music on while I write. And it has to be classical. Bach and Beethoven are my biggest sources of inspiration.

5. What does your writing say about you? 

Wow, Ann, you ask some easy questions! Um, let me think for a moment. In terms of The Brothers’ Keepers, I think it says that I care deeply about history and about issues of faith. I think it also says that I believe every writer should do his research, and strive for a very high quality product, so as to give the reader her money’s worth.   

6. Who do you identify with more: Branson or Jessica? 

I identify more with Branson in some ways, particularly his struggle with faith and his being a veteran of the whiskey wars. Also, Branson tends to over think things. At the same time, I love Jessica’s wit and her sense of humor, with which I can identify (or at least I hope people would say I could).  

7. Who is your favorite author? Is this because of entertainment value or inspiration? 

I can’t say I have one; I go through phases. But the following authors are among my favorites: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Hermann Hesse, Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Albert Camus, Milan Kundera, and William Styron.