E pluribus unum
Symbologist Robert Langdon is once again called out on a mission, but this time it seems for an innocuous reason. Of course, it can’t be, or there would be no new novel. There is not much new here, other than the setting in DC and its monuments. Langdon is plunged into a maelstrom of a hunt for a deranged, sadomasochistic villain who is close to learning the Masonic secret of the universe and will probably use it for no good. Because “symbologism” is such an intellectual topic, every time a new clue pops up, it’s necessary for Langdon to run a mini seminar, which breaks into the action and the tension. As usual, his cohort on this wild chase is an attractive, brainy woman, but at least in this go-round, she’s middle aged like Langdon.
If I hadn’t already read Da Vinci and Angels, I’d probably have enjoyed Symbol more than I did. This book is better than most of the clones cranked out by others have been, Langdon is a very engaging protagonist, and lots of the material he deals with is fascinating. But I do hope that Brown breaks out of this mold next time around.