Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

When a world renowned scientist is found brutally murdered, a Havard professor, Robert Langdon, is summoned to identify the mysterious symbol seared onto the man's chest. His conclusion: it is the work of the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years – now reborn to continue their bitter vendetta against their sworn enemy, the Catholic church.

In Rome, the college of cardinals assemble to elect a new pope. Yet somewhere within the walls of the Vatican, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. While the minutes tick away, Langdon joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to decipher the labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome to the long-forgotten illuminati lair – a secret refuge wherein lies the only hope for the Vatican.

But with each revelation comes another twist, another turn in plot, which leaves Langdon and Vetra reeling and at the mercy of a seemingly invincible enemy...

Genre: Fiction,Mystery, Thriller
Year: 2000
Publisher: Corgi Books
Rating: 4/5

Much like The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons begins with Robert Langdon receiving a phone call asking for his help with a symbol, related to a murder. This sets force a chain of events that see Langdon racing all over Rome trying to find an ancient Illuminati meeting place. 

Long considered obsolete, the Illuminati have reemerged to take down the Vatican in a well planned and creative attack. First they steal a canister containing the recently discovered antimatter, from CERN and hide this inside the Vatican. The canister can only stay off its battery terminal for 24 hours before it will explode with the power of a small nuclear weapon... there are 6 hours to go. 

While the canister is counting down, the Illuminati hassassin kidnaps the four cardinals that are being considered for pope-hood. He starts to kill the Preferiti off, one each hour, in a way which relates to the four primordial elements: earth, fire, air and water.

In an effort to save the Preferiti, Landgon joins forces with the scientist who helped create the antimatter, Vittoria Vetra. They set off on a race against the clock, to find and follow the 'Path of Illumination', a secret puzzle that spans across Rome, pointing it's way to the Illuminati lair.

This novel is the perfect mystery thriller novel. It is face-paced, action-packed, full of twists and turns and ultimately satisfying. Littered with facts about the Vatican, CERN and musings on scientific discovery VS Religion (can science prove the existence of God? can they co-exist?) it made for an interesting and fun read.

If you like The Da Vinci Code or The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury, then this book should be right up your alley!
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