Blood Oath
Christopher Farnsworth

G.P. Putnam & Sons
May 20, 2010
Hardcover/390 pages
ISBN: 978-0-399-156359
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". . . politics is a blood sport. . . "

When people say politics is a blood sport, they’re not kidding. Wayne Denton was always the quiet kid sitting in the back of the classroom. Until 9/11 hit, Wayne had always been that silent, unnoticeable person who you’d never remember. After 9/11, his talents became true gifts; drafted into Sniper School, Wayne began his career with the Rangers. As we begin this absolutely fantastic story, Wayne sits in ice-cold Kosovo watching a strange, almost blindingly-lit package, being delivered by some…creatures called the Wolf Pack, into the hands of the United States government. As the switch takes place, Wayne gets the most incredible shock of his entire life – watching creatures that he knows are a complete fabrication come to life right before his eyes.

Zach Barrows is a young man working in Washington, D.C. He’s the ultimate boy wonder who simply can’t wait for the President to assign him to a huge position of power in the White House. Unfortunately, Zach also was caught with the President’s daughter, and the “job” he will be taking on is not even close to what he thought it would be. At the beginning of our story, we find him in a secret service car with Griff – an agent who has spent his many years of service working on a project that is beyond top-secret. As they pull up in front of the Smithsonian Institution, Zach finds himself being ushered into a secret set of rooms called the Reliquary that houses items such as a crystal skull, and wood from the actual “Devil Tree.” As the young man takes in the very “X-Files” surroundings, he is told of his new government position – taking care of a U.S. treasure by the name of Nathaniel Cade.

Nathaniel Cade was found on a whaling vessel that ran aground in Boston Harbor in 1867. His first meeting on American soil was with quite a famous man by the name of President Andrew Johnson. With the help of Marie Laveau from New Orleans, and using the bullet that came straight from President Lincoln’s brain, an oath is made, and Nathaniel Cade brings a whole new meaning to the slogan “To Protect and Serve.”

Forget the War on Terror, the world is now racing directly into the War on Horror, and literally everything that Zach Barrows once knew to be true is falling apart around him. As he takes on his new job, working with Codename: Nightmare Pet, Zach begins to uncover some rather strange secrets (including what was actually said in that 18 ½ minute gap on the Watergate Tapes). He also steps into a world where civilian contractors are sending shipments to the U.S. and placing them in the hands of a doctor who once cheered the Nazi establishment during World War II, and wants nothing more than to bring back the good old days.

Included in this magnificently-written story is a woman by the Name of Helen, who works for an agency known only as The Shadow Company. Although extremely reliable to her organization, Helen is also searching for the one thing that she wants more than anything else in the world…eternal life; and, is willing to use all her inside knowledge in order to succeed. Add in a vamp named Tania who is torn between the human “monetary” world and her own “darker” needs, which include being in love with the President’s vampire; and a Vice President who has an agenda of his own, and you have a story filled with so many twists and turns that you will, literally, not want to put the book down until you’ve read the very last word on the very last page.

Debut novels of this caliber are a true gift to receive. Not only is Blood Oath an unforgettable story, but it’s also a fantastic beginning to – what I’m sure will be – a long and rewarding career for Christopher Farnsworth.

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor