Who knew I’d become a Dan Brown fan? I sure didn’t. Thrillers and mysteries aren’t my go-to genre because I’m often too impatient to wait for the mystery to be solved. Such stories keep me at the edge of my seat, making me so anxious that I have to read the end before I even get there just to appease my curiosity. I didn’t do so with Brown’s books (although I was very tempted to), but I still enjoyed them.
The Da Vinci Code is the second of Brown’s books I’ve read. Two years ago, I read and enjoyed his Angels & Demons and since then have been looking forward to reading the Da Vinci Code. I’ve seen the film adaptation of both books but had forgotten much of the plot before reading Angels & Demons, so I was surprised by the twists and how that story ends. I read Da Vinci Code fairly soon after rewatching the movie, so I remembered more of that plot as I read, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book. I still had a good time with it.
Robert Langdon, book 2
The Da Vinci Code places Robert Langdon in Paris for academic reasons (I think it was to give a lecture) as well as to meet with a noted art historian named Jacques Saunière, who’s the curator of the Louvre and the leader of a secret society. Unfortunately for Langdon, Saunière is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect.
Bezu Fache, captain of the police force, orders Langdon to be brought to the scene of crime in hopes of tricking Langdon into a confession. However, Fache’s plan goes awry when Sophie Neveu, a cryptographer who works with the police department, arrives to tell Langdon that the U.S. embassy in Paris has an urgent message for him.
Neveu’s “urgent message,” however, is a ploy to get Langdon away from the police so that he can help her solve Saunière’s murder. The story becomes a fast-paced mystery as Langdon and Neveu race to find the Holy Grail, which the two believe Saunière died protecting, and discover who is behind Saunière’s murder. (Goodreads)
The Da Vinci Code was an entertaining read that had me hooked the entire time. Of course, part of the reason why is because of the many facts included about art, history, religion, and architecture. I soaked it all up and dreamed of visiting some of the places mentioned in the story. (Now I dream of visiting them after the coronavirus epidemic is hopefully resolved.) However, although I enjoyed reading this book, I much preferred Angels & Demons. I guess it’s because I read Angels & Demons first; that’s usually the case. I almost always prefer the first book in a series. But I also felt as if this book was too fast-paced. Everything happened so quickly, within about a day or two, that I kept thinking to myself “Wow, that’s a lot the characters have to figure out and deal with on no sleep, food, or bathroom breaks.”
I enjoyed the mystery and mini puzzles Langdon and Neveu had to solve to unravel the plot’s greater mystery. I was able to tell pretty quickly, once the characters began puzzling it out, Sophie’s true identity (I’d forgotten that bit from the movie), but if I hadn’t seen the movie before reading the book, I wouldn’t have suspected Teabing, who’s actually my favorite character in this story. Bezu Fache, however, I disliked the most. I guess he was a red herring because I identified him as the bad guy from the beginning and kept believing that until I started remembering details from the movie more than halfway through.
My favorite part of the story is the breakout from the Swiss bank. Actually, I enjoyed every moment when Langdon and Neveu (well, mostly Neveu) outwitted Fache and evaded capture. It was exciting to read.
I don’t know much about the Catholic church, so I was surprised that the Opus Dei is a real organization, which is quite silly of me having read Angels & Demons.
An exciting read that makes me eager to continue with the series.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
I’m thinking to get the e-book. I own Angels & Demons, and I can see myself rereading these books in the future.