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Review: 'Bloodborne' is a strong thriller, derailed by a single flaw

By Matthew Seamons

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Nov. 5 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Gregg Luke, the author of "Bloodborne."

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"BLOODBORNE," by Gregg Luke, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 325 pages (f)

“Bloodborne” by Gregg Luke seems to have everything you could hope for in a thriller — a brilliant but innocent protagonist, a shadowy secret society bent on world domination, and it even has a super-virus.

The story begins with Dr. Erin Cross, a brilliant researcher at a local company, sitting in a cafÉ in Lehi enjoying her lunch. She then receives an anonymous text message telling her that she will soon die. A man storms into the cafÉ and tries to shoot her. A former Marine named Sean Flannery takes down the shooter who ends up turning his gun on himself, but before he dies, he mutters a phrase in Latin.

Cross goes on the run, eventually meeting back up with Flannery. It turns out that the men who want her dead are part of a secret society bent on world domination, and they plan to attain their goal by decimating the world’s population using a virus created using ideas and concepts from her own research. As the one person who has knowledge that may unravel the group’s plans, or at least find a cure for the virus, Cross must be eliminated.

Unfortunately, Cross’s enemies prove themselves to be completely inept at being bad guys. The result is that at no point does the reader get the sense that the protagonists are in any real danger. Although Cross and Flannery, her knight in shining armor, find themselves in many sticky situations, it never feels like either of them could be harmed at all.

This is unfortunate, because beside this single flaw, “Bloodborne” has many things to recommend to Mormon readers. The characters feel real, the concept of the book is compelling, and Luke clearly did his research for this novel. The romance between Cross and Flannery is interesting without turning corny or becoming sexual in any way, and Luke has a way with exposition and dialogue that never includes foul language. Although the book is violent, it never becomes graphic.

Some readers may be able to focus on the many admirable qualities of "Bloodborne." Others will likely find it difficult to enjoy a thriller that some will consider only mildly thrilling at best.

Gregg Luke talks about his new book, "Bloodborne."

Residing in Ogden, Utah, Matthew Seamons is passionate about the stories that make our lives.

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