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It was simply impossible to escape the hype around The Da Vinci Code. It made Dan Brown the world’s biggest thriller writer, and after over 60 million copies sold, fans were salivating for another page-turner featuring the brilliant Professor Robert Langdon. On 15 September 2009 the anticipation was over. On the first day The Lost Symbol sold 1 million copies, making it the fastest selling book written for adults in history.

Brown has a gift for writing fast-paced, surprising fiction to fit a well-edited action movie. Almost impossible to put down, his books combine often controversial science with a gripping plot. But after what was considered the biggest revelation of our time, what does Brown have left to write about?

You’d expect, as I did, that Brown would remain on the safe side and stick to Christian mythology. Instead, he goes for the jackpot. Never one to shy away from exploring lofty themes within the thriller genre, he takes on the most universal, most difficult questions mankind has ever posed. What is God? What is humanity?

There are secrets we all wonder about, questions so complex and varied we are afraid to ask them. There are things we have accepted we will never be able to understand. And now here’s Brown, telling us we just haven’t looked closely enough.

No doubt the science in the novel will come under scrutiny and some of it will undoubtedly be proven either false or poorly researched. But it’s not the answers Brown offers, but the questions he so boldly asks. As an author he must have known that whatever he ends up writing will be read by millions of people all over the globe, just because his last book carved his name into history. The Lost Symbol is everything Brown was warming up to with the Da Vinci Code, now that he’s got the world’s attention.

Niina Mero