“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown has action, pace and intrigue sustained right throughout and not since “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets” have I wanted to finish a novel in one day and enjoyed it all along! The plot can be summed up as one big treasure hunt (with cryptic clues leading to more clues, as in the eponymous game) for that ultimate Christian quest - the Holy Grail.
To that end, the author manages to weave a tale involving almost every famous Occidental Christian persona, myth, legend or secret society including the Divine Proportion (also known as Φ or the Golden Ratio), the Pentacle, the Star of David, Solomon's Temple, Mary Magdalene and her alleged relationship with Jesus Christ, the Gnostic Gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Constantine's massaging of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible Code, the Crusade, the Merovingians, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, the Vatican, the Opus Dei, the Priory of Sion, the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, etc. Along the way, one also learns about the surprising etymology of common words like “villain”, “sinister”, “pagan”, etc. Quite a lot for one little novel!
Though the novel alleges that the Catholic Church did everything in its power to sideline and almost vilify the role of women, especially Mary Magdalene, I could not help but notice that the author seems to forget about Mary, the mother of Jesus altogether and how she is revered far more than what would be reasonable by just reading the Gospels! Anyway, the book is one hell of a read and I would highly recommend it to anyone.