The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
The Second Robert Langdon Book                  
Publisher: Doubleday April 2003, Hardcover: 454 pages, ISBN-10: 0552159719, ISBN-13: 978-0552159715

Robert Langdon, a famous symbologist is brought into a gruesome murder scene as the prime suspect.  With a little help from a smart and pretty French cryptologist he is able to escape, and is then forced to solve the riddle left by the murder victim which will prove his innocence.

This is the second book written by Dan Brown with Robert Langdon as the protagonist.  Each book is stand alone and can be read in any order.  All the books including this one are in the thriller genre. The story is told in a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Robert Langdon, but at times we are given insight into some of the other players, including the culprits.  It is really interesting to read about the antagonists and what drives them.

This book follows Robert and Sophie around as they try to solve the mystery of why the victim was murdered and what was the meaning of the his final convoluted message? During this steady build to the final climax there are several exciting parts with a surprising twist thrown in as well. It is interesting to read about the brotherhood and the secret it is protecting. The story was intriguing as it unfolded, and it keeps us tuned in since we do not where the book is going or what it is trying to solve.  We quickly learn that the victim was murdered because he had a coveted, valuable secret, the location of a keystone which uncovers details about the Holy Grail. However, he was so determined to protect this secret that he died for it, but he did not want the secret to die with him, nor did he want it released to his murderer.  So instead, he left behind a series of clues which will eventually uncover this valuable knowledge.

I liked the writing and I found it to be interesting.  The book brings forward many points about religion and the bible.  It makes me wonder if these things are true or not.  Like, was Mary Magdalin meant to carry on Jesus’ church instead of Peter?  Did the church completely obliterate the sacred female? Many people feel that most of the information relayed in this book is bunk.  But this too, makes the books premise interesting.  However  I felt like some of the writing was like a school lesson. I also found that some of the technical descriptions and discussions went on too long and were verbose. But overall I thought the story was original, captivating and well written. I particularly liked the character development of all the characters, I really felt like I knew them all well by the end of the book. The chase throughout the book to solve the puzzle was fun to follow as it flowed up and up to the final conclusion.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading a good thriller, just be prepared to slog through some of the more drawn-out portions which deal with the holy grail. Although most of these wordy parts did also disclose an interesting and unique look at what happened or what could have happened.  However, if you are a strong church person you may be upset by how the church is portrayed throughout this book.

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