Da Vinci Code keeps readers guessing

Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. He was an inventor ahead of his time. He studied human anatomy by digging up corpses. In The Da Vinci Code, author Dan Brown suggests that Da Vinci also headed a goddess-worship cult and hid codes in his paintings, which reflected those beliefs.

The rich history presented by Brown causes readers to question what they think they know of Da Vinci. In doing so, he provides a historical perspective that is rare in fiction novels. He often raises more questions than answers. Because of his intriguing viewpoints, The Da Vinci Code is a must-have for those interested in art, history, religion and, of course, mysteries.

From the Louvre in Paris to Westminster Abbey in London, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and French cryptologist Sophie Neveu not only chase a murderer but also seek the answers to age-old questions that could impact the future of the Vatican and controversial Opus Dei, as well as redefine history.

Secret societies and what they are hiding are the foundation of this novel. Among the intriguing secret societies featured in the novel is the Priory of Sion, which once claimed Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci, Victor Hugo and Claude Debussy, among others, as members. The history of the Knights Templar also features prominently in the storyline.

The novel begins with a bang. An albino monk belonging to Opus Dei shoots Jacques Saunière, the curator of the Louvre, in the stomach. Left to die, Saunière arranges his body to mimic Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and places a cipher around his nude body. From that point on, it is up to Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu to solve the mystery of Saunière’s death and unravel his many secrets.

The codes in the novel are mind-blowing. Some codes are as simple as putting the Fibonacci sequence in the correct order 1-1-2-3-5-8-13-21. Others are extremely complicated, such as translating a word into Hebrew and then using the Atbash Cipher to translate the letters into a password.

The Da Vinci Code is worth reading. Brown has an easy writing style and does not talk down to the reader when he gives background information. Even without the murder, there are enough twists and turns to keep anyone guessing throughout the novel. The history proposed by Brown is rich and often surprising. Some of the outrageous things said about religion and Da Vinci’s codes are guaranteed to have more than a few people going to the Internet and running a search to check facts presented. People wanting smart but fast-paced mysteries will enjoy The Da Vinci Code.

Contact Sherry Mims at oraclescene@yahoo.com