After a racy book on Jesus Christ’s descendancy, and an even racier tale of conspiracy in the Vatican City, here’s another one of the typical conspiracy theory, mostly Masonic culture related evenly racy book from Dan Brown’s kitty! Well not that I did not expect this to be yet another ancient mysteries’ tale which is what Dan is famous for, but this is yet story which happens just under a day; the time span of the story in the book is spread to show flashbacks and side events but the story follows a trail of one single day (in fact 12 hours only) in the life of Robert Langdon. Yes, an important aspect…Robert Langdon, the famous professor of symbology is back in his 3rd adventure! Only this time around, he is not travelling to other countries; this is based in his own country, Washington D.C. to be precise!!
Dan Brown introduces a lesser known subject of Noetic Sciences which deals with a kind of inner consciousness, the usual Masonic stuff that legends are made up of and how they related to the founding fathers of America. So while Langdon is called for a lecture (which was never supposed to be), he is quickly sucked into a hyperventilated chase across town to unfold the mystery of a long lost Masonic symbol. Of course there is the usual balance of intrigue, murder, kidnapping, and a lot of history and hidden messages in the art strewn around the capital.
The conspiracy theorist will find this interesting as it covers a lot on the government, covert Masonic rituals involving top officials, threatening to put the country in chaos, chases across the city to stop the villain Mal’akh to reveal the secrets of the Government worldwide using a modern weapon – the internet! Intending to be a thriller, there are moments of breathlessness in the sequences on one side and on some other occasions the author leaves you waiting. The continuity in the thrill is broken many times, however, by the look of it, the dry places were needed in the story to bring in the angle required. The incidents in the lab of Noetic Sciences, the “silent” escape in the darkness, are some occasions which are gripping!!
One thing which I like about Dan Brown’s books is his writing style. The effect of Dan Brown’s writing style is very movie-like. They assume a fast action paced movie effect and makes you visualize the events unfolding. Now that Tom Hanks has become the face of Robert Langdon, one can easily place him in the story and the movie begins to form. People who have visited Washington D.C. would be able to picture the artifacts mentioned here – the Capitol building (its lesser known subterranean part of the building), the Washington Monument, House of the Temple etc. At least for someone who has never visited earlier (like me), at least I known now why Washington Monument was built and that it is seemingly hollow inside and not solid as earlier imagined! This writing is a good mingling of age old culture, puzzles, modern influences and modern settings.
In many ways, I would say it appears to be a new story, however, one could easily say it’s an ‘Angels & Demons” in the capital city. For once, a good read!