“Chicago. The blizzard. January, six years ago…but it still feels like yesterday.” Where seeds were planted. “I accepted the wrong client, I trusted the wrong person.” These words helped sow the seeds for a potential world catastrophe. Italy, Venice to be exact is where the adventure starts in this fourth installment of the Robert Langdon mystery INFERNO by Dan Brown.
Robert Langdon is a fictional, world-renowned professor of Religious Iconology and Symbology at Harvard University. He also has a unique gift which enables him to vividly remember details. As usual we find him in the midst of yet another thrilling adventure.
He wakes up in a hospital in Venice not knowing how he got there, but after witnessing a doctor get shot he knows he has to get out of there quickly. Enter in Dr. Sienna Brooks, who befriends him and helps him escape. She soon becomes his accomplice (it’s always a “she”) as he fights to remember why he was in Italy in the first place.
They embark on a scavenger hunt of sorts, that leads them through the streets and museums of Venice and Florence, Italy, as well as Istanbul, Turkey. With each situation snippets of his memory come back to help him connect the dots. Along the way they discover that the poem INFERNO by the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri and a stolen death mask hold the key to unlocking the mystery.
INFERNO is rich in supporting characters that read like something straight out of a James Bond movie.
- An underground syndicate “The Consortium” led by “The Provost” whose job it is to hide people who don’t want to be found.
- Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Agent Brüder head of the Surveillance and Response Support (SRS) team and countless other field agents. Together they must work to find and contain the situation.
- Bertrand Zobrist, the man behind the mystery.
Bertrand Zobrist is a modern-day “mad-scientist” who wants to save the world from overpopulation. So he creates an “airborne vector virus capable of rendering a third of the population sterile.” Sienna Brooks is his lover, she believes in him and his Transhumanism cause. Zobrist was an egotistical man driven by the Transhumanism cause and Sienna was driven by the need to be loved, accepted and understood…and he did that for her. “The worst kind of loneliness in the world is the isolation that comes from being misunderstood. It can make people lose their grasp on reality.”
THOUGHTS for your SOUL:
- “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” – Dante Alighieri
- “Christians like faces; Muslims like words.” -As it relates to the Christian tradition that favored literal images of its gods and saints, Islam focused on calligraphy and geometric patterns to represent the beauty of God’s universe. Islamic tradition held that only God could create life and therefore man has no place creating images of life – not gods, not people, not even animals.”
Finally everyone realizes that the situation is far greater than ever imagined. Robert Langdon and Dr. Sinksey race against time to locate the virus. The great thing about reading a Dan Brown book is his exquisite attention to details which affords the reader the luxury of experiencing the scene as if you were watching it live, so colorful that you could almost reach out and touch the museum artifacts or feel the stuffiness in the cramped quarters where the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra was playing Dante’s Symphony.
This book is a real page turner, the kind of book that you know you need to put down. If not for a minute or a day. However, the curiosity of wanting, no needing to know what happens on the next pages. So you convince yourself that reading a couple more pages won’t hurt….and usually it doesn’t.
Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates INFERNO as LABORIOUSLY LENGTHY (500+ pages)…way too long, the author should have made this into two books. 🙂