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Back up to ‘Code’: Dan Brown’s latest will help you forget his ‘Da Vinci’ best-seller

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Return to form: Brown’s Inferno takes him back to Da Vinci Code territory.
Seth Wenig, AP

Good news, Da Vinci Code fans: Dan Brown is back. I mean, technically Brown came back in 2009 to publish The Lost Symbol—I gave it a two-star review and promptly forgot it—but now Brown’s back for real. And so is Brown’s hero, symbology professor Robert Langdon. In Inferno, Langdon finds himself dashing through Italy’s churches and galleries while deciphering clues found in pictorial and sculptural depictions of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.

What’s Langdon after? Something important; I can tell you that much. Langdon and former child-genius Sienna Brooks must find this “important something” before “the Consortium” does.

We don’t know much about the Consortium, but we do know: 1. They travel in a giant yacht from which they control operatives across the globe, and 2. They follow a simple moral code: Get the job done, no matter what. Don’t ask questions; don’t hesitate; just do what the client asks.

The Details

Inferno
Four stars
By Dan Brown, $30

One of the Consortium’s clients—a wealthy super-genius who recently jumped to his death—has a special connection to the “important something” ... and that’s all I can tell you without revealing too much.

As Langdon and Brooks race against the Consortium, we become armchair experts in Florentine architecture, Botticelli paintings, population growth and transhumanism. “All artwork, literature, science and historical references in this novel are real,” Brown assures us.

I obviously won’t spoil the book’s ending, but I will say that it’s very different from those of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. Not different in a crappy/preachy way (I’m referring to The Lost Symbol here); different in an intriguing way.

As Columbia Pictures debates whether to give The Lost Symbol the movie treatment or jump ahead to Inferno, I recommend picking up a copy, driving to California and reading it on the beach. Or you can try the new pool at Sapphire.

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