Friday, January 8, 2010

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Robert Langdon is back. The ‘hero’ of The Da Vinci Code, Brown’s blockbuster bestseller, is thrust into yet another romp through history, complete once again with horrific villains, Masonic secrets, art history, and a rapid paced thriller of a plot.

The story opens with Langdon traveling to Washington D.C., allegedly to present a lecture for his longtime friend Peter Solomon in the U.S. Capitol building. The key phrase here is ‘allegedly’. Langdon soon realizes that his travel to DC is just a ploy to immerse him into yet another plot to use his skills as a symbolist. Langdon is being interrogated by the CIA. The first of many clues has been left in the Capitol rotunda. His friend has been kidnapped, mutilated and tortured. Thus the story begins.

In this volume, Landon does not travel all over the world. His unfolding of the twists and turns take place within the Beltway of Washington. However, the smaller geographical setting does not diminish the intricacy of the plot. Symbols must be deciphered. The history of the Masons is once again brought to the forefront of the storyline.

The story is, ironically, predictable with its unpredictable twists and turns. Any reader of Brown’s work will feel a familiarity with the flavor of the plot development. Names and places are different, but the same ‘feel’ is present in this work, and is somewhat a letdown. I kept waiting for something new to be introduced.

What were most enjoyable to this reviewer were the detailed descriptions of portions of buildings in Washington D.C. not accessible by the general public. I would love to have access to the upper areas of the Capitol Building, complete with roof access. In addition, the details given about the Washington Monument were most fascinating.

A history buff will enjoy the book. A reader of thrillers will enjoy the book. A fan of Dan Brown will enjoy the book. I recommend The Lost Symbol, even though I was slightly disappointed.