This is incredible. It has all the opposites in all the
right proportions. There is hard action and deliberation,
historical truth and fictional nonsense, heroism and
anti-heroism. The story involves the Pope, an albino monk,
the French police, a fanatical bishop, and, unbelievably,
direct descendents of the marriage of Mary Magdalene and
Jesus Christ! It is a story about a quest for the holy
It is astounding that such ingredients could go into a
modern-day adventure novel without it turning out to be pure
cheese or just Pythonesque, but Dan Brown has created the
most intelligent action-adventure I have ever read, and
everything taken together makes it just astonishing.
There are times - just fleeting moments - where the
fiction just goes over the edge (like when the heroine sees
Jesus sat next to his wife in Michelangelo's painting of the
Last Supper), and other times - just fleeting moments more -
where revelations seem to pop from nowhere into somebody's
mind (like when the hero works out how to open the codexes).
There are also moments - fleeting - when you find yourself
ahead of the plot.
If I have to find a flaw, it is just that the villain is
a little too unreal (a fantastically rich knight of the
English realm, who happens to have private jets and castles
tucked away in all the right places), and the crime he pulls
off is just a tad too implausible (he bugs the entire French
government, gets inside information from Vatican City, and
infiltrates a New York-based fanatical sect, subverting
people to perform his dastardly deeds - including serial
murder of very important persons - without ever implicating
Whatever, the plot will eventually overtake anybody
(except a second reader), and the ending is as brilliant as
the whole rest of the work.