Once again, Dan Brown has produced a blockbuster best-seller. In The Lost Symbol, we meet up again with the Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. As the book opens, Langdon receives a message from an old friend. He is needed to deliver a lecture at the U.S. Capitol building that evening. Langdon is whisked from Cambridge to the Capitol via private jet and limousine. On his arrival, he finds that there is no lecture scheduled, and he is drawn into a bizarre drama, where the life of his friend hangs in the balance.
As Langdon races around Washington to meet the midnight deadline, he is thwarted, and assisted, by people and forces beyond his control, including an official of the C.I.A. and the sister of his friend. The main idea of this book revolves around the rituals of the Masons, and Langdon’s clues to solving the mystery of his friend’s disappearance lie in the decoding of Masonic symbols hidden around Washington.
Knowing nothing of the Masons, I was quite intrigued by their portrayal as this secret group of powerful men. Many of America’s founding fathers were Masons, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. The Lost Symbol would have the reader believe that the design of Washington D.C. is all based on Masonic symbols and traditions. Well, of course it is not, and much of the symbology presented is fictional.
But it is an intriguing fiction. This book is fun to read and, despite its length, moves quickly. It currently sits in the #2 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Robert Langdon is a great character, and I’m sure we’ll see more of him. So-read and enjoy, but don’t take it too seriously.