Blood Relics (A James Acton Thriller, #12)

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Blood Relics
A James Acton Thriller
by
J. Robert Kennedy

 

 

 

From the Back Cover

FROM USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR J. ROBERT KENNEDY

 

A DYING MAN.

A DESPERATE SON.

ONLY A MIRACLE CAN SAVE THEM BOTH.

As Jesus Christ suffers an agonizing death, a blind Roman soldier named Longinus is miraculously healed after lancing the crucified body, yet though the miracle restores his eyesight, it marks a new beginning to his troubles as he and his friends flee the authorities determined to suppress any word of what truly happened during those fateful events.

Two thousand years later Professor Laura Palmer is shot and kidnapped in front of her husband, archeology Professor James Acton, as they try to prevent the theft of the world’s Blood Relics, ancient artifacts thought to contain the blood of Christ, a madman determined to possess them all at any cost.

Acton’s desperate pleas for help spur his friends to action, Interpol Agent Hugh Reading, the CIA’s Dylan Kane and Chris Leroux, and the Delta Force’s Bravo Team, all answering the call to help save the woman he loves and the most precious relics the world has ever known.

From USA Today bestselling author J. Robert Kennedy comes his twenty-first novel, Blood Relics, a heart pounding thrill ride filled with non-stop action, humor, heartache and intrigue where he once again takes a well-known event in history and expertly weaves it into today’s headlines.

 

 

About the James Acton Thrillers

"James Acton: A little bit of Jack Bauer and Indiana Jones!"

 

Though this book is part of the James Acton Thrillers series, it is written as a standalone novel and can be enjoyed without having read any
of the previous installments.

 

 

About J. Robert Kennedy

USA Today bestselling author J. Robert Kennedy has been ranked by Amazon as the #1 Bestselling Action Adventure
novelist based upon combined sales. He is the author of over twenty international bestsellers including the smash hit James Acton Thrillers series of which the first
installment,
The Protocol
, has been on the bestseller lists since its release, including occupying the number one spot for three months.
He lives with his wife and daughter and writes full-time.

 

"If you want fast and furious, if you can cope with a high body count,
most of all if you like to be hugely entertained, then you can't do much better than J Robert Kennedy."

 

Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer

 

 

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Find out more at
www.jrobertkennedy.com
.

 

 

Books by J. Robert Kennedy
The James Acton Thrillers

The Protocol
Brass Monkey
Broken Dove
The Templar's Relic
Flags of Sin
The Arab Fall
The Circle of Eight
The Venice Code
Pompeii's Ghosts
Amazon Burning
The Riddle
Blood Relics
Sins of the Titanic
Saint Peter's Soldiers

The Special Agent Dylan Kane Thrillers

Rogue Operator
Containment Failure
Cold Warriors
Death to America

The Delta Force Unleashed Thrillers

Payback
Infidels
The Lazarus Moment

The Detective Shakespeare Mysteries

Depraved Difference
Tick Tock
The Redeemer

Zander Varga, Vampire Detective Series

The Turned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In memory of Frédéric Boisseau, Franck Brinsolaro, Jean Cabut, Elsa Cayat,
Stéphane Charbonnier, Philippe Honoré, Bernard Maris, Ahmed Merabet, Mustapha
Ourrad, Michel Renaud, Bernard Verlhac and Georges Wolinski.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and
forthwith came there out blood and water.”

 

John 19:34, King James Bible

 

 

“When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are
filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for
a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your
death song, and die like a hero going home.”

 

Tecumseh

 

 

“Pale Death beats equally at the poor man's gate and at the palaces
of kings.”

 

Horace

 

 

 

 

 

Preface

 

The pace of scientific progress is breathtaking at times, the gap
between discovery and market incredibly tight now. What is discovered today can
be in consumer hands within twenty-four months, if not sooner. In the past,
scientific discoveries often took many years, sometimes decades to make it into
the public’s hands. This gave scientists, politicians, ethicists and the
general public time to evaluate whether some of those advancements should
actually be permitted to happen.

Today
that buffer once provided by time is gone.

Now the
question is whether or not that is a good thing.

Scientists
are now considering trying to bring back the wooly mammoth, confident they have
the technology to actually accomplish this. But should this be allowed? If we
can bring back extinct species, should we? If we can bring back the wooly
mammoth, what about others more recent like the dodo? And if we bring back the
mammoth, then decide it was wrong, do we have the right to then kill it?

And what
if the technology is taken to the next step? With a single blood cell we can
create a clone of an animal and in theory, a person. With the pace of progress
racing forward at breakneck speed, some of these experiments are discovered by
the public
after
the successful results are already completed, meaning Pandora’s
Box could be unleashed on humanity before it even knows it exists.

And what
if we take it beyond animals and to human beings?

Or one
human being.

Born two
thousand years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author's Note

 

A portion of this book deals with the crucifixion of Christ, the
rest dealing with the characters’ beliefs around this event. Whether you
believe or not is immaterial to the enjoyment of the book as it serves as a
backdrop to other events. Though loosely based on the Gospels, artistic license
has of course been taken for these scenes and no offence is meant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
Present Day

 

“Oh my God, Laura!”

Professor
James Acton dove across the room, sliding on the marble floor as bullets flew
overhead, glass and shards of ancient stone raining down upon him as he
desperately tried to reach his wife. Screams of agony from one of the cathedral’s
defenders momentarily drowned out his wife’s own cries as he scurried on his
stomach trying to cover the few short feet to her prone form, his hands, cut
and bleeding from the shattered display cases, leaving a crimson trail.

He winced
as something sharp sliced into his knee.

“Hold
on!”

He could
see the agony on the face of his wife, Professor Laura Palmer, as she gripped
her stomach, a rapidly expanding red stain oozing out from between her fingers,
her blouse already soaked with blood.

Bullets
tore open the floor in front of him causing him to scamper backward, taking
cover behind a large display case. He looked for his friend, Interpol Agent
Hugh Reading and spotted him behind a pillar on the opposite side of the room
from him.

And
closer to Laura.

“Can you
reach her?”

Reading
poked his head out and immediately a bullet ricocheted off the stone pillar. He
jumped back, shaking his head. “I’m pinned down.”

Acton
tried once again to reach his wife, and again was sent diving for cover. He
looked behind him at the French police, their gunfire dwindling, their numbers
severely thinned by the explosion, caused he guessed by a grenade of some type.
Their attackers, so effective over the past few days, had always arrived well equipped
and well organized.

And
always unexpectedly.

But today
they had been expected.

Or at
least anticipated.

The
gunfire from the defenders diminished yet again as someone cried out. He
watched as one lone man, covered by a pillar, returned fire, followed by the
distinctive click of an empty magazine.

The gun
clattered to the ground and the opposing fire immediately stopped.

He dove.

Boots
pounding on the marble were ignored as he finally reached his wife, cradling
her in his arms as he moved her hands to see the wound. “It’s okay, I’m here,”
he said, his beloved looking up at him, her intense pain overwhelming, her face
weary.

And
pale.

She’s
lost so much blood.

Suddenly
Reading was at his side, his cellphone pressed to his ear. Acton lifted his
wife’s blouse, blood oozing from the wound, unsure of what to do other than
press on it.

Then an
idea struck him.

A final,
desperate, crazed idea that he couldn’t believe he was even contemplating.

He
jumped up as their attackers rushed past, ignoring the unarmed trio. Reaching
into a shattered display case, he grabbed a clay jar and returning to his wife,
reached inside, scooping its dried contents with his fingers. As he began to
remove his hand he felt something press against the back of his head.

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