Deception Point – Dan Brown

Sitting at LHR with only my part-read copy of Allan Massie and part- read- and- abandoned- a- while- ago copy of William Dalrymple’s White Mughals, and starting to feel increasingly nervous about our 13 hour cross Atlantic flight from Madrid to Santiago, I decided that I absolutely *had* to buy some more gripping reading materials…. and induldged in a 3 for 2 offer at Books etc: The Shadow of the Wind, The Line of Beauty, and Dan Brown’s Deception Point. Not prizes for guessing that the latter was the first in my sweaty little palms.

I’d like to think that it was the Arctic american setting that swung it, but in fact it was a toss up between this and Digital Fortress, and I know that Hazel has a borrow-able copy of that.

Dan delivered, much to my relief. Spurred on by the prospect of some lighter fare, I ploughed on through The Evening of the World to the bitter end, and somewhere over Brazil I started on Deception Point. Dan kept me turning the pages as we changed planes at Santiago and flew southwards to Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas, and, on Christmas eve, eastwards from Patagonia to the Mount Pleasant and the Falkland Islands. I finally reached the end on Christmas Day, but only after we’d unwrapped our presents and gorged ourselves on a feast of festive food.

Buy it: Amazon link

Angels and Demons – Dan Brown

A stroke of luck in my pre-Yalta holiday foray into the Barbican library, finding Angels and Demons in the Adventure carousel made up for my fruitless search for a travel guide and/or map for the Ukraine.

As with The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown provides a compelling page turner with plenty of twists and turns. Less of the historical in the sleuthing for Robert Langdon this time, and a lot more of the gore, but no less readable for that. The only aspect I didn’t like was the fact that the baddie in this white western world was neither white nor western – but perhaps that is me being too PC.

Buy it (and join the millions who have!!): Amazon link

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

Do believe the Hype!

This present-day-historical-whodunnit-cum-religious-conspiracy gripped me, and I read it in a day, not wanting to take a break even for the daily G&T on the verandah (and that’s saying something).

Hazel and I were not the only ones devouring Da Vinci – I don’t think there was a single party on Le Meridien Kovalam Beach’s beach who didn’t have a copy for their holiday read…. we saw versions in English, Spanish, Swedish and German.

Buy it: amazon link

…… although reading the reviews on the website, I’d say that if you are a Holy Grail connoisseur, or looking for something deep and meaningful in a novel, this holiday blockbuster isn’t the book for you.

On the other hand, if you’re after a bit of escapist holiday/commuting/bedtime reading, which teases out half remembered bits of information on christianity and (western) european history, and weaves them all together into a believable narrative (so long as – like me – you don’t analyse every plot line), then you should enjoy this book!

Turning Thirty – Dan Brown

Great chicklit (written by a bloke – so is that blokelit?) set in Birmingham (which gave it extra brownie points from me), with a techie-yet-cool leading man who returns home from NY to “celebrate” his 30th birthday, having first split up with his girlfriend.

Lots of nostalgia (even if you don’t come from Brum, although being bornin the 1970s must help), lots of familiar events and emotions – revolving reaching the dreaded (it’s not that bad!!) Three-O, and lots of humanity in there too – as one of the amazon reviewers says, “Buy it, read it and you will see yourself in there somewhere.”.

Buy it:Amazon link