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The Blood Cloth Syndicate by Joseph Racconti

The Blood Cloth Syndicate (A Relics Novel #1) - Joseph Racconti

A group of brothers and friends get swept up into a mysterious conspiracy. As one by one they are threatened or injured, they band together to sort things out. Brothers John & Jimmy think their aged grandfather, their last living relative, may have some answers. What they learn about an ancient religious relic is almost too much to believe. However, their French foe is definitely convinced of it’s existence and will stop at nothing to locate it. This thriller will take the reader to various parts of the world as you follow along on this entertaining ride.

This book combined mystery, action, and archaeology – some of my favorite things. As this band of men dig into the mystery, they must visit various archaeological sites to find the answers. These characters are constantly in motion. Which is a good thing because the bad guys aren’t holding still either. There is a French organization convinced of their moral right to attain and hold on to the bloody shroud Jesus was wrapped in when he was taken down from the cross. They have funds, trained personnel, and a deep drive to accomplish their task. Indeed, our good guys face true danger and not all of them live to the end of the book.

There is even some collateral damage. Sad, but realistic. I really appreciated that the author kept this real. Many action flicks don’t really include a good guy body count. By showing us that the bad guys are competent and willing to kill to achieve their goal, the story was that much more gripping. Some scenes were very potent because of this, especially when there was collateral damage to those not involved in the pursuit of the shroud.

There is one weakness to this book: the ladies. Yep. There are just a handful, none of them make plot decisions, they are not working with the good guys, and we never see two of them together chatting about the plot (which is something the guys do all the time). With that said, I did like Jenny who was competent with handguns and hand-to-hand combat. She’s a bit of a psycho, but late in the story we see a more human side to her.

The author had characters of various ethnic backgrounds which was awesome! It also tied into the plot as the characters dig into their roots and try to figure out what their ancestors and dead relatives did or did not know concerning the relic. While the ancient relic is of a religious nature, the story never gets preachy. This was awesome as well.

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks!

The Narration: Shaun Toole did a decent job. His French accent was better than it was in The Statement of Andrew Doran. He had distinct voices for all the characters, including the ladies. His voice for Andy threw me off at first as Andy sounded mildly retarded to me; however, it’s clear from the story that he is not.