James Rollins has collaborated with Rebecca Cantrell in their newly released book, The Blood Gospel. This book is the first in a trilogy about the Sanguines, an order of good vampires. Readers who enjoy thrillers, mysteries, or the Rollins’ Sigma series might be apprehensive about reading this thriller-fantasy. However, give it a chance because it has a captivating story that is fast-paced and interesting.
The plot of the book begins when an earthquake in Masada reveals a tomb buried deep into the mountain. The three main characters: Sergeant Jordan Stone, a military forensic expert; Father Rhun Korza, a Vatican priest; and Dr. Erin Granger, a brilliant but disillusioned archaeologist are asked to investigate a newfound discovery, a subterranean temple holding the crucified body of a mummified girl. The three protagonists escape a brutal attack at Masada and find themselves racing to find a book, The Blood Gospel, rumored to have been written in Christ’s own hand, before it falls into the hands of a horrific enemy.
Rollins told blackfive.net he came up with the plot at the Los Angeles Museum of Art while viewing Rembrandt’s painting of “The Raising of Lazarus.” It struck him “how scared everyone looked, and this started me down a road of reflection about early Catholicism, vampirism, and a story began to unfold. I knew this could be a huge, groundbreaking new mythology, a story so epic in scope that I knew I didn’t want to tackle this alone. Surprisingly writing with Rebecca was fun and refreshing. It was nice to have someone else to lean on. Oddly enough we did not get into arguments because we let the story dictate.”
Rebecca Cantrell who has written a historical series set in 1930s Berlin featuring the main character Hannah Vogel was elicited by Rollins. They told blackfive.net that they met in Hawaii at a Writer’s Retreat. Cantrell was intrigued about the premise and jumped on board. Rollins believes that since each had certain strengths and unique skills they were able to create an enriched story. He wrote the action scenes and brought a thematic approach to try to find the common ground between science/religion, faith/logic, and the believers versus those disillusioned with their faith. Cantrell wrote great characterizations and historical descriptions in the book.