About a month ago I mentioned that I had won a copy of Dan Brown’s Inferno, which was a good thing as, after The Lost Symbol I wasn’t planning on buying one of his novels again. Turns out my instincts were right as Mr Brown’s latest offering was not much of an improvement on its predecessor.
I have to admit that wasn’t my first impression. In fact, I quite enjoyed the first two thirds of the novel.
(At this point it would be pertinent to insert a spoiler warning. I am going to reveal significantly more than the jacket blurb, but I’ll try not to ruin the big stuff just in case you really want to read it.)
Inferno once again features Robert Langdon, the Harvard professor in Art History and Symbology who had previously caused havoc in Rome, Paris, London and Washington DC. This time Langdon wakes up in a Florence hospital with a bullet wound to his head and no recollection of the past forty-eight hours. A woman in black leather bursts in and tries to shoot him and he gets dragged out into the night by a beautiful American doctor named Sienna Brooks who takes him to safety.
Langdon discovers a biometrically-sealed biohazard container hidden in his clothes and inside, a laser projector with a curiously altered version of Botticelli’s Mappa dell’Inferno. Langdon is also having visions (which had me raise my eyebrow, as in the previous novels Langdon is painted as an agnostic verging on atheist – not the type of person who has visions as a rule) but that is later explained as a side-effect of the head wound and resulting retrograde amnesia.
Langdon and Brooks do not remain safe for long, but are soon running for their lives pursued by the relentless assassin, Vayentha, the Florence police, and agent Brüder and his special forces team. While on the run, they naturally manage to decipher the riddle of the altered painting which leads them into a race against time through Florence, Venice and Istanbul to prevent a terrible plague from being unleashed on humanity.
Click on Page 2 below to find out what I liked about the novel.