My wife was a little concerned that she had not seen me reading for some time now. This was quite a valid concern and I realized that I had indeed not read any new stuff after my return from UK. As I was mulling on how to restart my reading I remembered Darth Pedro's blog and his review of The Da Vinci Code. As he had given a good review I decided to try it out.
So as often happens with me I went to buy this book and ended up buying one more ...Zen and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. I could not find my old copy of the Zen and reading it is an annual pilgrimage for me. However more about the Zen on a different day.
The Da Vinci Code is a great book. It is quite well written and tightly paced. It does fall into using the usual backbone structure of most fictional thrillers (sudden thrust of mystery on unsuspecting man, beautiful girl to help out, arcane cults, police mishandling situation etc.). However the secret of this book (and its saving grace) is how it plays on historical fact and conspiracy theories. The first book that came to my mind as I read this one was The Name of the Rose (an interesting parallelism as the rose plays an important part in this book too.) as it has the same feel to the story. Another reason it struck a chord with me is that I was quite caught up in the history of the Knights Templar on my visit to UK. Religious and vindictive knights also reared it head in comics especially the Batman series. This background did make me appreciate this book better. However even without any historical knowledge this book should still be fun as it is quite self sufficient with respect to information.
The best thing about this book is it's pacing. The mystery unravels so fast that it is very difficult to put the book down. I started reading it at 21:30 hours and did not put the book down till 4:00 hours, by which time I had completed it. No way could I sleep till I had reached the end of the road.
All in all money well spent, thanks to Darth Pedro for good advice.