So, here is the second book featuring Robert Langdon. This is the story that made Dan Brown a best selling author. Again he throws at us a number of conspiracy theories and shakes up the fate of lot of people. Just like Angels & Demons, this book is also filled with history, art, architecture.. things that became Brown’s trade mark of sorts.
The book was published in 2003 and it sold 80 million copies! Yes, that’s right, 80 million. It was translated into 44 languages.
This book also starts with someone’s death. This time it’s a Louvre curator named Jacques Sauniere. He is shot in the museum by an albino Catholic monk named Silas.
When Jacques’ body is found in the pose of the Vitruvian Man, the police captain, Bezu Fache, calls no other, but Robert Langdon. His job here is to decode the cryptic message Jacques left in his final moments. The message includes a Fibonacci sequence that is out of order.
Later we meet Sophie Neveu, a police cryptographer. She tells Langdon that she is in fact Jacques’ granddaughter. She also tells him that Fache thinks that Langdon is the murderer because Jacques left a message for Sophie. The message said: “PS. Find Robert Langdon.”
Sophie has some unclear memories of her grandfather being in a pagan group, but she is sure that her grandfather intended for Langdon to decipher the message.
And the chasing begins.
Since this book was more popular that Angels & Demons at the time, I read this first. But in fact, the books are not connected. So, you don’t have to read them in order.
In 2006 the book got its film adaptation, featuring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, just like in Angels & Demons. Because just like my reading order, this book was filmed first, there are some slight changes in the script to adapt the story with the order of the movies.
Just like in the previous book, there are some historical inaccuracies. The fans don’t seem bothered by this, because hey, it is a work of fiction after all. But, some christian communities didn’t enjoy Brown’s conclusions about the Holy Grail and some other “mysteries” that I am not going to spoil for you.