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The Da Vinci Code
By Dan Brown

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The Da Vinci Code

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The Da Vinci Code
By Dan Brown
Random House Large Print, (2003)
ISBN: 0-375-43230-2
Genre: Thriller

Reviewed by Angela Evans - March 7, 2005

Almost from the moment it was first released, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown has been at the center of a controversy regarding the very foundations of the Christian faith. Controversy aside, The Da Vinci Code, was also an instant bestseller because it is a hard-hitting, fast paced mystery thriller. This novel has garnered such a following that a movie version of the book is currently in production and it is scheduled for release sometime in 2006. The Da Vinci Code is the sequel to Brown's best-selling novel, Angels & Demons. Although a sequel, The Da Vinci Code is a self-contained story and can be read independently of Angels & Demons.

The hero of The Da Vinci Code is Robert Langdon, a professor of religious symbology at Harvard University. Langdon is on a lecture tour in Paris when he is called in to help decipher a crypt code found beside the body of Jacques Saunière, who had been, up untill his death, the curator of the Louvre. Langdon teams up Saunière's granddaughter, Sophie Neveu to solve the mystery of the curator's death and the mysterious cipher found by his body. Neveu is the perfect partner for Langdon. Not only did she know the deceased, but she is also a gifted cryptologist and a member of the Direction Centrale Police Judiciaire's (DCPJ) Cryptology Department. The DCPJ is the French equivalent of the American FBI.

At first, all that Langdon and Neveu are trying to do is get to the truth behind her grandfather's death. Inexorably, however, they are pulled into a complex web of intrigue and deceit as they decipher the clues that Saunière left behind. What they discover is that Neveu's grandfather was a member of a variant of the Knights Templar, an ancient order whose members guard the secret of the location of the Holy Grail. As they seek to uncover this ancient secret they are hounded by the police, who have pegged Langdon as Saunière's murder, and by members of the Priory of Sion and the Opus Dei, both of whom who will stop at nothing to keep the valiant detectives from discovering the location of the Holy Grail.

Filled with chase scenes that take you on a whirlwind tour of western Europe and intriguing insights into a range of topics from the possible meaning of the Mona Lisa's smile to the notion that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, this book will entertain you from beginning to end. Best of all, the story is full of unexpected twists and turns, clever riddles, and an alternative take on Christian history that you'll either find amusing or sacrilegious. Either way, you'll find that Brown has a knack for weaving together a complicated story line composed of fact, fiction, and supposition. A masterful tale of suspense, this is an excellent book for anyone looking for some entertaining light reading material.

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