I recently (finally!) read Dan Brown's Inferno.
Have you read it?
If you haven't, in a bit I'll go into plot discussion, so when you see the big SPOILER ALERT, please stop reading. Or not. If you are like me, you will want to know, just a bit, what is in store for you.
Dan Brown has a way with words. And with plots. He really seems to grab your hand and lead you on a wild race where you find yourself willingly going despite the trepidation of the chase. This guy can really work a thriller. I like the little details that tell you that he must have been in the place he has his characters in or at least has made an exhaustive investigation. He DOES take several artistic liberties, but really, one reads novels to escape reality, or to lose yourself in a world of fiction, and if you expect the equivalent of a documentary or a History book in a novel, well, I would go about finding a documentary or a History book.
If truth be told, I was a bit reluctant to begin reading this book. I am Catholic, and in the past books he has flirted with outright slander of the Catholic Church. He always seems to stop just short of it, and as I said before, he is a writer and must take artistic liberties, and a novel is no place to find your facts about religion but still it makes me a bit uncomfortable, because I've found disinformed Catholics (let alone our Separate Brethren) that believe said "facts". It's a novel, and should be treated like that! So I picked up the book (a present from my brother) and began reading it.
(this is where I ruin the book for you if you keep reading and you've not read the book. Consider yourself warned!)
One thing Dan Brown has down pat is a good plot twist. I believe he is a very careful note taker: you must keep attention to detail while reading, because seemingly small things have a great impact later on in the story. This is a book that you really should read twice, because with prior knowledge of the plot, some character action has a world of meaning that you cannot get the first time. (the assasin in the beams, for example)
The theme of the mistery, that bag of plague to be unleashed on an unsuspected population... Dan Brown really had a great idea. This "plague" could be happening right now, and you'd think Mr. Brown merely discovered the explanation to it!
I really like the fact that for most of the novel, the characters seem to float in a grey haze, not really good but not blatantly bad and vice versa. Even Prof. Langdon at one point could be suspect of having done something really, really bad. Why does he have amnesia? why are some people trying to kill him? why did he have that cilinder with him?
The story leads us through some of the most beautiful places in Europe, and as always its a pleasure to "see" it through Langdon's eyes.
Bottom line: grab your coffe cup, some cookies and this book. And go hide yourself so you can read without interruptions!