The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
A lot to live up to – The Da Vinci Code sold 81 million copies, and is the bestselling adult fiction book of all time.
Dr Robert Langdon returns, and this one is set in another major city. The prologue introduces the villain and the secret society – last time Opus Dei, this time Freemasonry.
The story proper kicks off with Langdon accepting an invitation from his friend and mentor Peter Solomon to give a speech on architectural symbolism in the nation’s capital.
He accepts, only to find he was duped by the evil Malakh, who is holding Solomon hostage and has deposited Solomon’s severed hand, covered in mysterious symbols, for Langdon to find and decode – he must reveal the secret of human existence, no less, so that Solomon will be freed and Malakh will gain the power he is seeking. Obviously Langdon cannot allow this to happen, so the chase is on.
Fans of Dan Brown will enjoy the clever inclusion of arcane information about symbolism, semiotics, art and history that characterize his storytelling. He has been criticized for his writing – excitable, hyberbolic style and dialogue – but that is what makes his stories such successful and suspenseful thrillers – the action never lets up.
The novel ends on an uplifting, hopeful note that may make you look at religion differently.
This review was previously published on Coast.co.nz.
Reviewer: Stephanie Jones
Double Day Publishers