Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

The Historian meets The Da Vinci Code in this exhilarating supernatural thriller set in Rome. Rival 16158492groups are searching for a document that holds a secret that could shatter the Catholic Church.

While in Rome, American Jesuit priest Thomas Kelly is called upon to reclaim a centuries-old document stolen from the Vatican. An enigmatic letter leads him to the work of a 19th century poet, where Thomas discovers cryptic messages that might lead to the missing manuscript. His search is unexpectedly entwined with that of Italian art historian Livia Pietro, who tells him that destructive forces are threatening to expose the document’s contents. As they’re relentlessly chased through the heart of Rome by mysterious men who quickly demonstrate they would cross any line to obtain the document for themselves, it becomes clear to Livia and Thomas that the pages hold a deep, devastating, long-buried truth. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: she and her People are vampires. But all this pales in light of the Secret that Thomas and Livia discover together—a revelation more stunning than either could have imagined.

Sam Cabot is a pseudonym for:

S.J. Rozan is the author of many critically acclaimed novels and short stories which have won crime fiction’s greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero awards. Born and raised in the Bronx, Rozan now lives in lower Manhattan.

Carlos Dews is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at John Cabot University where he directs the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. He lives in Rome, Italy. – Goodreads.com

I absolutely loved the The Da Vinci Code, not so much The Historian, but after reading the description of this book and a great review on another blog, and I had to have it.  Oh, and a priest and vampire working together?  That’s not something you see every day, right?

In adding vampires to this story, I thought the authors were taking a big risk – it could have gone either way.  But the scientific explanation of the origin of vampires and how they weren’t so different from humans was believable and handled well, adding a whole new dimension to the plot.  I particularly enjoyed seeing how Father Thomas Kelly processed and learned to deal with that information.  His reactions were completely authentic and he was a highly charismatic character, as was Livia.

The book wasn’t overloaded with religious information to detract from the plot line, which allowed the novel to progress at a good pace.  The differing points of view also added to the character development and allowed me to peek into supporting character’s minds and see their motivations.

The last chapter of this book revealed some shocking information – what a great ending! – although some people may be offended by it.  Overall, I enjoyed this book because of the secrets, fresh take on vampires, and how some characters dealt with questions of faith and prejudices.  A fast-paced thriller that deserves a read.

This review is based on a digital copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

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