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The Da Vinci Code
(Dan Brown)

The book concerns the attempts of Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious Symbology at Harvard University, to solve the murder of renowned curator Jacques Saunière (see Bérenger Saunière) of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The title of the novel refers, among other things, to the fact that Saunière's body is found in the Denon Wing of the Louvre naked and posed like Leonardo da Vinci's famous drawing, the Vitruvian Man, with a cryptic message written beside his body and a Pentagram drawn on his stomach in his own blood. The interpretation of hidden messages inside Leonardo's famous works, (which relate to the concept of the Sacred feminine) including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, figure prominently in the solution to the mystery.

Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo da Vinci.The main conflict in the novel revolves around the solution to two mysteries:
What secret was Saunière protecting that led to his murder?
Who is the mastermind behind his murder?
The novel has several concurrent storylines that follow different characters. Eventually all the storylines are brought together and resolved in its denouement.
The unraveling of the mystery requires the solution to a series of brain-teasers, including anagrams and number puzzles. The solution itself is found to be intimately connected with the possible location of the Holy Grail and to a mysterious society called the Priory of Sion, as well as to the Knights Templar. The story also involves a fictional rendition of the Catholic organization Opus Dei.
The novel is the second book of a trilogy by Brown in which Robert Langdon is the main character. The previous book, Angels and Demons, took place in Rome and concerned the Illuminati. Although Angels and Demons is centered on the same character it is not necessary to read the book in order to understand the plot of The Da Vinci Code. The next book is tentatively scheduled for release in 2007. Its working title is The Solomon Key, and it is understood to concern Freemasonry.

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