An entertaining if sometimes far-fetched religious-tinged thriller by mysterians Rollins (Bloodline, 2012, etc.) and Cantrell (A City of Broken Glass, 2012, etc.).
What if the Vatican were built atop a pet cemetery or the moral equivalent of an Indian burial ground? What if Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents had actually happened? What if Saint Peter, the rock on which the church was built, was an action hero? All these possibilities pop up in Rollins and Cantrell’s confection, which operates on the always tetchy premise that Christ’s blood sacrifice finds responses in the blood sacrifices of others, including unwilling virgins—or so the evidence suggests when an earthquake in Masada, site of yet another blood sacrifice all those years ago, exposes a cave inside of which is found the mummy of a girl throwing most curious mudras. Soon, an unlikely cast from the worlds of archaeology, religion, warfare and crime fighting descends on the place, and what they piece together over the course of the narrative threatens—natch—to shake the world of organized Christianity to the ground, not least because Christ himself has a few revisions to make in the record. There are lots of Indiana Jones–like moments throughout (“It is no mere weapon,” says a warrior priest. “It’s a symbol of Christ. That is beyond weaponry.”), a little romance, lots of car chases and explosions, and lots of oddball twists, including encounters with a strange Russian priest named Rasputin, a mysterious Eastern European heavy with the most suggestive name of Bathory and a gaggle of goal-oriented fanatics. And does the firmament crack open as the “great War of the Heavens looms”? That depends on whether you see room for a sequel at the end of this romp.
Good escapist reading in the Dan Brown vein. And these writers can write.