The main characters journey starts out in Israel where they uncover a starting find, to Germany where the Nazi’s tried to hide away their loot, to Russia where the always interesting Rasputin shows up, and finally to the home of the Catholic Church in Vatican City where even more secrets are uncovered and faiths are tested.
After a bizarre earthquake levels the town of Masada, Israel where it is said that 900 Jews faced off against a battalion of Roman Soldiers before committing suicide en mass, Archaeologist Dr. Erin Granger, Ranger Sergeant Jordan Stone and the mysterious Father Rhun Korza are sent to uncover a secret that has been buried for nearly 2,000 years. Right from the start, the trio is forced to fight for their lives from a group of strigoi, and werewolves led by Bathory Darabont while at the same time, trying to uncover the secrets of the Blood Gospel which is said to have been written in Jesus Christ’s own blood. Bathory belongs to a rival group known as the Belial who would love nothing better than to open the book and bring about the end of the world.
The trio of main characters is truly an eclectic bunch. With Erin Granger, you have an archaeologist who is highly skeptical of religion because of her families’ ineptitude and disgraceful behavior when she was a child. She is more likely to ask the important questions and cause waves along the way than believe everything religious scholars have to tell her. However, when all is said and done and the chase for the Blood Gospel is at hand, Erin is at the center of all the action and learns to open her eyes when it comes to the bible and its teachings and her own forgotten faith.
As for Jordan Stone, he is a leader of a rag tag Ranger team that gets caught up and swept away by the events of Masada. He hesitates only briefly when asked to form a trio that includes Granger and Father Korza in finding the Blood Gospel before Bathory can get her hands on it. Extremely protective of Erin to the point where you want to tell him to back away and let her decide what she wants to do. Brave and stubborn to a fault and determined to see the mission through to the end no matter what happens.
Father Korza is a member of The Order of the Sanguines a secret sect and part of the Vatican See. As a Sanguine, he has taken an oath not to consume any human blood. Instead, he drinks wine transubstantiated by priests into the Blood of Christ to help him heal and survive. His faith is constantly being tested just by being around Erin and Jordan. Korza has a long history that is revealed throughout the book including his own transgression of drinking human blood and mistakenly turning someone into a strigoi.
This is a mixed bag for me in that some may find the underlying Christian tones offensive and unnecessary to the story while wondering what made Rollins and Cantrell team up to write a novel that is surround with supernatural beings. Again, the Catholic Church is once again called out for turning its back on different atrocities over the millennia.
There are several lingering questions remaining like who the hell is Tommy and what does his presence in this series signify? What part will Rasputin play when all is said and done? Is Erin, Korza and Jordan truly the right trio to unearth the conspiracies, or is there someone else that has yet to be identified?
Rollins and Cantrell have created a fantastic new world & series which I am absolutely planning on continuing to the next book. I look forward to further discoveries and revelations. Rollins has always been, and always will be on the top of my must read when new books come out and that hasn’t changed with the release of The Blood Gospel.
Author(s) James Rollins/Rebecca Cantrell
Title - The Blood Gospel
Publisher - William Morrow
Released January 8, 2013
Genre - Mystery, Thriller, Suspence