ARC Review: Blood of the Lamb

Book: Skin of the Wolf by Sam Cabot
Book: Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets by Sam Cabot
Publisher: Blue Rider Press, 2013
Genre: Historical thriller, mystery
Source + Date Read: NetGalley + June 2013
Recommend: Fro those that enjoyed The Historian, Blood of the Lamb is a new twist on an age-old topic.
Book Pro’s: Everything? The world building, the inclusion of historical details, the nuanced and flawed and amazing characters. Everything.
Book Con’s: None. Seriously- OK it might drag a bit near the end but I enjoyed this soooo much nothing came up as a Con to me.
Favourite Line: “Thomas- Really?”

Summary: The Historian meets The Da Vinci Code in this exhilarating supernatural thriller set in Rome. Rival groups 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.
More Information: GoodReads

The cover drew me to this book. It’s intriguing enough to be interesting and yet doesn’t give a lot away. We have a clue about what is going on in there, but yet we have no idea at the same time. It’s the right balance of mystery and drama. Plus, the eye looks like it is peering from some sort of tear or scar. Totally spooky. Set in Rome, our heroes traverse the history of the city in search of an ancient document that could explode religion apart. Amazing right? We get very close and personal with some old churches and relics.

After reading a book, I tend to take a bit of time after when writing a review for it. But not here, no, no, no, for this book, I am writing the review less than 12 hours after I finished reading it. I’m that in love, I’m that sucked in.

I first heard of Blood of the Lamb at NPR Books and was intrigued by the cover. After reading the GoodReads synopsis I was ready to read it. But boo-hoo, it comes out in August! Thank goodness my NetGalley peeps had a copy and the publisher let me read it. If not, I would have spent a very boring Thursday night watching TV. Instead, I spent it propped up on my pillow, barely breathing as my eyes devoured every word, sentence and page.

Where do I begin? Blood of the Lamb is an amazing book. It’s a tour de force of creativity. It’s a thrilling undertaking. OK now I’m just being ridiculous, but the book has two things going for it. One, it has excellent world building. The writers weave historical fact and fiction in a thrilling way, so much so that you’re left believing everything and want so much more than they can give you. Two, the nuanced, flawed, imperfect and amazing characters. The story is told through multiple perspectives so you really get a feel for their strengths and weaknesses. We meet Jorge who hero-worships is Lord, Anna, to the point of sheer idiocy. Yet, I feel that he gets the last laugh. Anna, in her imperious and ridiculous snobbery is ultimately defeated by her own flaws. If you read the book you’ll find out why, but the hapless Jorge would have delivered everything she wanted, if she had just had the patience and the foresight to check her damn ego.

Then we have the protagonists, Thomas and Livia. They’re flawed and cause a whole heap of mess but their conflict and its final resolution felt so human, so insanely human that I felt that I knew these people. For real. Like I met them here in The Bahamas somehow. I hope there is a second book. I feel like there might be. The writers leave just enough clues, just enough open ends to allow for a second installment.

The point is, this is a beautiful contribution to the mystery, paranormal and thriller genre. It’s an imaginative and historical take on an age old topic and I thoroughly enjoyed the way the authors constructed and deconstructed everything. It’s not True Blood meets Anne Rice, instead, it is its own take, its own cult classic on the topic of vampires. Bravo, bravo. I will always love this book.

Total Score
: HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart
Recommend? Please pick up this book!!



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Thriller. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ARC Review: Blood of the Lamb

  1. Pingback: Review: Skin of the Wolf | Bitches With Books

  2. Pingback: My Bitchin’ Rundown (September 15 to 21) | Bitches With Books

  3. DoingDewey says:

    How exciting to have a book you’re excited about turn out to be so good! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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