Blood Brothers Reviews


An exceptional book, full of rich historical and cultural detail, great characters and thrilling action scenes.

In 1804, a small force led by a contingent of U.S. Marines sets out to defeat a much larger army and capture Tripoli.

After years of wandering, Henry Doyle, the bastard son of an Irishman and raised by Mohawk Indians, is now a soldier of fortune in North Africa. He finds himself working with the Americans—the very people who massacred the Mohawk and drove him from his native land—as they attempt to invade Tripoli and place an American puppet on the throne, putting an end to years of piracy and, in the process, setting free several hundred American sailors captured by the brutal Pasha of Tripoli.

Meanwhile, in the Mediterranean, Capt. Peter Kirkpatrick, who, unbeknownst to both men is Doyle’s half-brother, is a rising star in the U.S. Navy in command of the USS Eagle. Doyle and Kirkpatrick support William Eaton, a former officer in the Army who is leading the assault on Tripoli. But the mission is opposed by powerful forces—and elements within the U.S. military—who work to undermine Eaton at every step, making the odds of success for the ragtag Army very slim indeed.

Written in crisp, compelling prose, the plot is deeply rooted in history. The action sequences, especially the naval encounters, are exceedingly well-done, full of enough detail to bring them to life without bogging down the action. The breadth of the author’s knowledge of history, local culture, military and naval technology and strategy of the time, religion, language and more is simply staggering, and the dialogue is clear, but peppered with enough period detail to make it ring true.


*     *     *     *     *

Pirates and Privateers: The History of Maritime Piracy

Several years ago, I read Richard Zacks’ The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805. It is a factual account of Eaton’s undertaking and the first time that U.S Marines fought on foreign soil, an event immortalized in the “Marines’ Hymn.”

Behr’s fictional account captivates the reader and brings to life this remarkable undertaking, providing a gripping tale as intricately woven as a spider’s web. The depth and breadth of his research shines through, yet is never presented as a history lesson. The characters are diverse and well drawn, while ably demonstrating the machinations of various governments that work with and against each other.

To further enhance your reading experience, Behr sets the stage with an introduction and who’s who of characters. The book ends with a historical epilogue, an interesting set of acknowledgements, an appendix detailing his source material, short biographies of the historical people who appear in the novel, and a brief explanation of the Sufism which Doyle practices. Behr also includes an excerpt from the next book in the series, which promises to be just as exciting an adventure as Blood Brothers.

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer

Amazon Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars Vivid images and compelling battles, September 11, 2011

By Ms. DearbornThis review is from: Blood Brothers: A Novel of Courage and Treachery On the Shores of Tripoli (Paperback)

Blood Brothers is a compelling work that takes the reader from the customs of the Mohawk Indians in 18th century America to the Middle East in 1805 where the main characters converge to fight epic battles both at sea and in the searing desert. These settings are vividly described transporting the reader back in time and into fascinating places that feel very tangible. With a large cast of characters, the author opens the book with a description of each, which is very helpful. This novel, based on historical facts weaves real people with fictitious characters. This is a great read for lovers of history, the sea and the nuances and strategies of war.

5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Brothers, September 12, 2011

By KathyThis review is from: Blood Brothers: A Novel of Courage and Treachery On the Shores of Tripoli (Paperback

Action packed and historically correct— a real page turner. Mr Behr has developed characters ,who come alive and hold your attention.This historical novel mirrors what is actually happening in the Middle East in our life time.

By F HuffSee all my reviews

This review is from: Blood Brothers: A Novel of Courage and Treachery on the Shores of Tripoli (Kindle Edition)

Are you ready for adventure, suspense, intrigue drama and unforgettable characters? Then “Blood Brothers” is for you. This historical novel will acquaint you with the United States in 1805 as it tries to establish itself among nations. You will visit Native Americans and the exotic Middle East and learn of their ways. You will be fascinated with the detail. I enjoyed this well-researched, ornamented, page turner.
F Huff, Author
Liberator Bomber


5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, March 19, 2014

By Joan Macholl (Sun City Center, Florida United States) –


5.0 out of 5 stars From the Halls of Monetzuma, September 20, 2011

By  CJ “cejesq”This review is from: Blood Brothers: A Novel of Courage and Treachery on the Shores of Tripoli (Kindle Edition)

This is an epic work which will likely go unnoticed, yet I feel compelled to thank the author and to recommend it to anyone who thrills in the historical context of difficult situations. To be candid, The Last of the Mohicans is my favorite historical novel, but Mr. Behr’s work now stands strong behind it.

This is a segment of American history rarely approached and both the narrative and the characterization bring to life an episode many would rather forget.

Kudos, Tom Behr. It’s a read well undertaken and a lesson well learned.


5.0 out of 5 stars Oooh Rah, September 25,2011

By Kevin O’Brien

This review is from: Blood Brothers: A Novel of Courage and Treachery On the Shores of Tripoli (Paperback)

Every Marine should read Tom’s Behr’s novel, Blood Brothers, about the 1805 attack on Tripoli (even if one of the major characters is a squid. But, the Marines had to get there somehow). We’ll probably never really know very much about Sergeant Arthur Campbell and the seven Marines who marched across the hell of the Sahara Desert to lead the assault against a deeply entrenched enemy with far superior manpower and weaponry. But these gallant Marine heroes come to life in Blood Brothers as Marines we would have been proud to serve with. And Behr makes Marine Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon a major character that we come to know and appreciate as a person. Behr created his fictional O’Bannon from biographical research into the actual hero of Derna. Read the book and you’ll know why Marine officers today carry a replica of the sword O’Bannon won in Tripoli. The Kirkus Review of Blood Brothers says: “An exceptional book, full of rich historical and cultural detail, great characters and thrilling action scenes.” They got it right.

Just think of it – a handful of Marines against a countless number of Hadjis – every Marine knows the outcome of that battle!! Read the book – it gives a great insight to the opening line of the Marine Hymn – “to the shores of Tripoli.”

Semper Fi

“Not as mean, not as lean, but still a Marine”


4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Start to a Henry Doyle Series, October 1, 2011

By Brad McNeilly-Anta (WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ, US) –

This review is from: Blood Brothers: A Novel of Courage and Treachery On the Shores of Tripoli (Paperback)

If you like historical fiction, you won’t be disappointed with “Blood Brothers”. As the majority of our knowledge of this chapter in American History is limited to the opening stanza of the Marine Hymn, Mr. Behr’s depiction of the events leading up to the attack on Tripoli is extremely believable and entertaining. I now run the risk of believing that this is actually what happened in 1805 in Northern Africa.

For his first foray into this genre, there are some very engaging scenes, particularly the 1780 altercation between the Colonial Army Rider and Henry Doyle, as well as the subsequent rescue of the villagers from the hands of the Colonial Army.

For me, I’d love to see a follow-on works that follows the storyline of Henry Doyle from the time he left the Mohawks as “Okteondon” to when he becomes known as “El Habibka”. He is a dynamic character with a lot of promise for future works if Mr. Behr decides to pursue a Henry Doyle Series.


*     *     *     *     *

Letters From Readers

“Hi Tom…I’m sitting on the tarmac at OHare having just finished Blood Brothers…I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it…and personally loved the historical basis section afterwards as well… Thanks for entertaining me on my many flights and congratulations again.” John Cebello

“It’s fascinating to see how the book clarifies aspects of the evolution of American policy in the Middle East. Reading Blood Brothers points out, clearly, that the US had an early hand in trying to shape the future of the Arab world. A great read.”  Priit Vesilind, USN Ret.  Former editor, writer, and head of the Expeditions and Adventure department at National Geographic magazine

“I give you joy, and look forward to the sequel. I had no knowledge of the underlying historical facts. Truly appalling. Greatly impressed by your description of Eagle’s battle while embayed.  Also, I didn’t know you were such a deep old philosophical file. ”  Byron Fox, USAF Ret.

“A captivating story – and a  real page turner.  I really liked the early part of Henry Doyle growing up as a Mohawk Indian and want to see more about this part of his life!  This historical novel about the first time America dealt with Libya in 1805 is a very timely release by Tom. Will we ever understand the nature of the people in this region?”  Joe Masterson


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This