Book Review – Brinwood by R.K. Gold

It’s usually a good idea to have a healthy respect for cults of all stripes. They’re like dangerous spiders or guys who feel the need to carry an AK-47 around a Target. You hope they follow the old adage of “you don’t mess with me, I won’t mess with you”, but you know, deep down, that spider will bite you without a second thought and the guy with the gun is just looking for a reason to open fire.

Cults are like all other religions: they want power. The thin line between cult and religion is based on the amount of power they have in relation to the other religions out there. Get enough power and you can be called a bona fide religion, otherwise you’re just a crazy-ass cultist.

The idea behind Brinwood is what happens when one of those little cults that exists in pretty much any town in America actually succeeds in digging its roots in deep enough that it takes over. Usually the other cults or established religions are enough to rip upstarts out by the roots, but this cult was in the right place at the right time and wound up running the town. And by run the town, I mean into the ground.

The story of Brinwood follows what happens after the cult is established to the point that they can kick people out of the town – excommunicate them, if you will – and have no repercussions from those actions. Someone who was excommunicated decides, after seven years, to come back and save his sister and mother from the black widows and guys with guns. There’s just one little problem: his sister and mother don’t want to leave.

What follows is a deep look into the dark heart of faith, an exploration of family, and exactly how far someone will go to save the ones he loves.

Small town cults linger around our communities. They’re hidden among us, picking up believers and working to grow strong, though most remain invisible to us. What would happen if a heavily religious cult took over one of our towns? How much damage would it cause us? Casper is an exile from his home, but when he finds out his brother has died, he returns to save his family from the ravenous followers who have taken over. Returning for his sister and mother, the young man must fight against the brainwashed folks he used to call neighbors. Can he save them? Or will his return cause the demise of the rest of his family? Welcome to the cold walls of Brinwood.


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