I found Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, on the book swap shelf in my office. Actually, the “book swap shelf” is now starting to take up a second bookcase, which makes me happy, but nevermind that.
So. We have the violent beginning. The mentor in trouble. The smart-chick scientist on the run with Langdon. The bad guy is just like that Opus Dei guy from the other book. Crazy in an obsessed, narcissistic, totally committed way.
Here’s the real problem:
I am not a Mystery Reader. I read mysteries, but I just read them for a good story. I do not try to solve them. I sometimes think, “Oh, damn. I hope you aren’t the real bad guy.” But that’s about it. So if I have pegged The Big Reveal at the 3/5 mark, there is a problem. Also, the climax of the book is a good 50 pages from the end. (I was speed reading before even that.)
The good news is that Brown did some homework on DC, and it shows. That is good stuff.
Side Note: Conversation with My Mother
Me: So it’s talking about how the Smithsonian only displays about 2% of its artifacts at any given time.
Her: We knew it was a low number…
Me: Yeah. Although if you’d asked me cold I would have said 10 – 20%. So the rest of it is stored in a vast underground network of stuff.
Her: We knew that, too! That’s where they have Ark of the Covenant.
Me: Yes! Except that was just a lame warehouse, and this is all climate controlled….
For the rest of my life, I am going to wander around Washington wondering what, exactly, is beneath my feet. So that’s fun.
But this book?
I am not the first person to dub a book “The DaVinci Code of…” The Historian was The Da Vinci Code for Dracula fans. Labyrinth was The Da Vinci Code for girls. The Lost Symbol is The Da Vinci Code for Washingtonians. And fans of that Nicholas Cage movie. And people who can’t read enough about Masons.
Brain candy for a holiday weekend. And maybe it will give DC tourism a boost. Here’s hoping.