Review: "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown

If Alfred Hitchcock produced and directed the television show 24, the end result would be The DaVinci Code, a strap-yourself-in-and-hold-on-for-dear-life of a read that lives up to the hype and does not disappoint.

RATING: 5 out of 5

The DaVinci CodeThe summer of 2003 will probably be known as The Summer of The Phoenix as J.K. Rowling's long-awaited Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix hit the bookshelves, and took the world by storm. No one will debate that this recent year at Hogwarts was an incredible sensation, breaking records and meeting expectations, as well as promising incredible adventures in store for Harry, Hermoine, and Ron. It went unchallenged for weeks on bestseller lists everywhere, easily eclipsing other highly-anticipated releases including Hillary Clinton's memoirs and Charles Moose's account of the D.C. Sniper...

...but 2003 may be remembered as The Year of The Code, because in March, a book hit the shelves from Doubleday Press. It was the fourth book from this author, and premiered in bookstores everywhere with very little fanfare or promotion, far less than J.K. Rowling's fifth. Still, his book came out...and his dedicated fan-base bought this book, and started talking about this book. Now, a year after this unassuming mystery-thriller hit the shelves, it has assumed the slot J.K. held for many weeks, brought about a new hardbound release of a four year old book featuring its lead character, and is currently slated to hit the big screen with Ron Howard in the director's chair...

...and when you read The DaVinci Code, you will understand why Dan Brown has introduced the next sensation.

The DaVinci Code begins with a murder...murder most unusual when the Police arrive to the crime scene. It's a bit bizarre. It's really weird. It's just the beginning of a series of events that makes for a really long day for Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist who is speaking in Paris on the night of this murder at the Louvre Museum. The victim is the curator, Jacques Sauniere, found naked with a pentagram written in his own blood and his body splayed out in the same fashion as DaVinci's famous anatomical study, Vitruvian Man, and leaving a trail of clues...all pointing to Robert Langdon as the killer!

I would love to tell you more about The DaVinci Code but that would give up some of the juicy details and surprises that author Dan Brown cooks up in this book. I can tell you that it involves Leonardo DaVinci's painting the Last Supper, two warring secret societies, the Knights Templar, and the ultimate quest for a prize that is not what culture and Hollywood think it is!

The DaVinci Code reads like one of the classic Alfred Hitchcock movie thrillers like The Man Who Knew Too Much and (my personal favorite) North by Northwest. Robert Langdon thinks he's helping out the French Police, but what he doesn't realize is that he is the prime suspect in a puzzle that becomes more and more incredible as every clue leads to another clue, then another, and another. Langdon suddenly finds himself pursued by The French Police and The Catholic Church, and just when Langdon thinks he can't get in over his head any more, author Dan Brown throws ANOTHER curve ball. Brown challenges his characters (and his readers) with cliffhanger situations that keep you turning the pages, finally allowing you to taking a breath at the end of the book. And similar to the energy and pace of the television show 24, the events in The DaVinci Code all happen in ONE DAY, and what turns out to be a very LONG day for the symbologist provides a fantastic read for the rest of us.

The summer of 2003 may belong to J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix but the year belongs to Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code, a terrific ride for fans of Renaissance inventors, nail-biting thrillers, and intricate brain-teasers! Get this book, set aside some time to trip, and brace yourself...it's not only meets up to its hype--it surpasses it!

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