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Review – “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is a religious thriller, whose plot revolves around the famous “Holy Grail” in Christianity. The story follows Harvard Professor Robert Langdon, a symbologist, who gets embroiled into the mysterious murder of a well known French curator, of the famous Louvre museum.

Jacques Saunière is found dead in the grand gallery of his museum, with a peculiar message on his naked body. Arranged in the pose of the Vitruvian Man, and with a pentagon on his bare chest, Saunière’s body is discovered by the French police, headed by Fache. Also present is another message on the floor beside the body, the Fibonacci Sequence, out of order. Robert, in the city for a professional commitment, is summoned by Fache to crack the codes left by the aged curator himself. Unknown to him is the fact that Fache thinks he is the culprit, because of another message that Saunière had left, “P.S. Find Robert Langdon”.
Sophie Neveu, the curator’s estranged granddaughter, helps Robert escape Fache’s grip, and together they embark on a haul, across the country, to locate something that, if fell into the wrong hands, will put the entire Christianity at risk, The Vatican included.
Will the couple succeed before it is too late? Will they overcome the mortal danger to fulfill the vow for which Saunière gave up his life?

This was my first ever novel by the author, and I admit I’ve since then become a fan of his work, not only because I have interests in religions other than my own, but the way he brings facts and fiction together to churn out a thrilling read is commendable. Like I have always said, the most difficult plot any author could choose is a blend of fact and fiction, and present it in a manner which is neither derogatory to the facts, nor distorts it, rather builds the storyline around it such that it is complimented. While I find this the author’s best work to date, there may be many who don’t. I will admit here, that I did go through several reviews on Goodreads before writing mine, and have found it swelling with as many single stars as with five stars. Yes, am a nobody when it comes to Christianity and it’s birth and growth, and a lot of people must be, and are better at reviewing this book than me, but a fact that remains unabashed is that I enjoyed it immensely, in the same way, that I enjoy a retelling of my own mythology and religion, keeping aside my own beliefs and taking them as a work of fiction. Needless to say, the novel had me gripped the entire time. My penchant for mysteries and thrillers might be one of the reasons. I remember reading this book ages ago, while I was still new into the world of reading and usually read into the dead of the night. The language is good and yes, the vocab too. The pace at which the story unfolds is good, neither too slow, nor too fast. The explanations of the theories were explicit, and I felt satisfied. What was lacking though, was the depth in characters, lead, and otherwise, I couldn’t see beyond Robert’s symbologist and Sophie’s granddaughter image. Probably that wasn’t the author’s main focus, considering the humongous plot. But I feel that if a character is to reappear in several of your books in future, or you plan to have an entire series with him/her as the lead, it becomes an important aspect of the story and it’s the author’s responsibility to reveal the character’s finer points.
For me, Robert Langdon comes second to my most favorite character, Harry Potter. Never did I feel so engrossed in reading any other thriller as I did while reading this.

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