First things first. It’s a page turner.
Dan Brown’s sequel to Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code was a little bit over-hyped (a reason for not reading it) and it follows the law of sequels, it is not as “good” as its forerunners (this can be expected, ergo another reason for not reading it). Yet, I am a sucker for mystery novels, so I read it.
In hindsight the plot is rather transparent and seems quite engineered. A few phrases turn up again and again and the flashbacks are not really helping in fleshing out the characters and explaining their motivation. In some parts of the novel the plot and backdrop drift off to the supernatural. Though I like this kind of, let’s say, fantasy genre in general I am not so fond of it when reading a mystery novel.
Brown is a skilled writer. This saves the novel. You just cannot put the book down. Unfortunately, in the meantime he also got maybe a little too professional…
Al in all, my feelings about The Lost Symbol are mixed. The novel is tantalizing and, yet, flawed. I’ll guess the movie – due in 2012 – will share these features.