Da Vinci Code

Da Vinci Code
Catalog # SKU0628
Publisher Distributors
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Dan Brown
 
$24.95
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Description

The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown



While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum. Near the body, police have found a baffling cipher. Solving the enigmatic riddle, Langdon is stunned to discover it leads to a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci---clues visible for all to see---and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Langdon joins forces with a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and learns the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion-an actual secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. The Louvre curator has sacrificed his life to protect the Priory's most sacred trust: the location of a vastly important religious relic, hidden for centuries.

In a breathless race through Paris, London, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu match wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to work for Opus Dei-a clandestine, Vatican-sanctioned Catholic sect believed to have long plotted to seize the Priory's secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle in time, the Priory's secret-and a stunning historical truth-will be lost forever.

In an exhilarating blend of relentless adventure, scholarly intrigue, and cutting wit, symbologist Robert Langdon (first introduced in Dan Brown's bestselling Angels & Demons) is the most original character to appear in years. THE DA VINCI CODE heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightening-paced, intelligent thriller---surprising at every twist, absorbing at every turn, and in the end, utterly unpredictable---right up to its astonishing conclusion.

Reviews:
WOW...
Blockbuster perfection. An exhilaratingly brainy thriller.
Not since the advent of Harry Potter has an author so flagrantly delighted in leading readers on a breathless chase and coaxing them through hoops.
--Janet Maslin
THE NEW YORK TIMES


A new master of smart thrills.
A pulse-quickening, brain-teasing adventure.
--PEOPLE MAGAZINE

This is pure genius.
Dan Brown has to be one of the best, smartest,
and most accomplished writers in the country.
--NELSON DEMILLE

Thriller writing doesn't get any better than this.
--DENVER POST

This masterpiece should be mandatory reading. Brown solidifies his reputation as one of the most skilled thriller writers on the planet with his best book yet, a compelling blend of history and page-turning suspense. Highly recommended.
--LIBRARY JOURNAL

Excerpt:

FACT:
The Priory of Sion-a European secret society founded in 1099-is a real organization. In 1975, Paris's Bibliothè que Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.

The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic group that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brain-washing, coercion, and a practice known as "corporal mortification." Opus Dei has just completed construction of a $47 million National Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.

All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.

PROLOGUE

LOUVRE MUSEUM, PARIS
10:46 P.M.

Renowned curator Jacques Sauniè re staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Carravagio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-three-year-old man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and Sauniè re collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.

As he anticipated, a thundering iron gate fell nearby, barricading the entrance to the suite. The parquet floor shook. Far off, an alarm began to ring.
The curator lay a moment, gasping for breath, taking stock. I am still alive. He crawled out from under the canvas and scanned the cavernous space for someplace to hide.

A voice spoke, chillingly close. "Do not move."

On his hands and knees, the curator froze, turning his head slowly.

Only fifteen feet away, outside the sealed gate, the mountainous silhouette of his attacker stared through the iron bars. He was broad and tall, with ghost-pale skin and thinning white hair. His irises were pink with dark red pupils. The albino drew a pistol from his coat and aimed the long silencer through the bars, directly at the curator. "You should not have run." His accent was not easy to place. "Now tell me where it is."

"I told you already," the curator stammered, kneeling defenseless on the floor of the gallery. "I have no idea what you are talking about!"

"You are lying." The man stared at him, perfectly immobile except for the glint in his ghostly eyes. "You and your brethren possess something that is not yours."

The curator felt a surge of adrenalin. How could he possibly know this?
"Tonight the rightful guardians will be restored. Tell me where it is hidden, and you will live." The man leveled his gun at the curator's head. "Is it a secret you will die for?"

Sauniè re could not breathe.

The man tilted his head and closed one eye, peering down the barrel of his gun.
Sauniè re held up his hands in defense. "Wait," he said slowly. "I will tell you what you need to know." The curator spoke his next words carefully. The lie he told was one he had rehearsed many times---each time praying he would never have to use it.

When the curator had finished speaking, his assailant smiled smugly. "Yes. This is exactly what the others told me."

Sauniè re recoiled. The others?

"I found them, too," the huge man taunted. "All three of them. They confirmed what you have just said."

It cannot be! The curator's true identity, along with the identities of his three sénéchaux, was almost as sacred as the ancient secret they protected.
Sauniè re now realized his sénéchaux, following strict procedure, had told the same lie before their own deaths. It was part of the protocol.

The attacker aimed his gun again. "When you are gone, I will be the only one who knows the truth."

The truth. In an instant, the curator grasped the true horror of the situation. If I die, the truth will be lost forever. Instinctively, he tried to scramble for cover.

The silencer spat, and the curator felt a searing heat as the bullet lodged in his stomach. He fell forward---struggling against the pain. Slowly, Sauniè re rolled over and stared back through the bars at his attacker.

The man was now taking dead aim at Sauniè re's head.

Sauniè re closed his eyes, his thoughts a swirling tempest of fear and regret.
The click of an empty chamber echoed through the corridor.

The curator's eyes flew open.

The man glanced down at his weapon, looking almost amused. He reached for a second clip, but then seemed to reconsider, smirking calmly at Sauniè re's gut. "My work here is done."

The curator looked down and saw the bullet hole in his white linen shirt. It was framed by a small circle of blood a few inches below his breastbone. My stomach. Almost cruelly, the bullet had missed his heart. As a veteran of La Guerre d'Algérie, the curator had witnessed this horribly drawn out death before. For fifteen minutes, he would survive as his stomach acids seeped into his chest cavity, slowly poisoning him from within.

"Pain is good, monsieur," the man said.

Then he was gone.

Alone now, Jacques Sauniè re turned his gaze again to the iron gate. He was trapped, and the doors could not be reopened for at least twenty minutes. By the time anyone got to him, he would be dead. Even so, the fear that now gripped him was a fear far greater than that of his own death.

I must pass on the secret.

Staggering to his feet, he pictured his three murdered brethren. He thought of the generations who had come before them---of the mission with which they had all been entrusted.

An unbroken chain of knowledge.

Suddenly, now, despite all the precautions---despite all the fail safes---Jacques Sauniè re was the only remaining link, the sole guardian of one of the most powerful secrets ever kept.

Shivering, he pulled himself to his feet.

I must find some way---.

He was trapped inside the Grand Gallery, and there existed only one person on earth to whom he could pass the torch. Sauniè re gazed up at the walls of his opulent prison. A collection of the world's most famous paintings seemed to smile down on him like old friends.

Wincing in pain, he summoned all of his faculties and strength. The desperate task before him, he knew, would require every remaining second of his life.

End Excerpt


Hardbound, 6x9, 454 pages

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