March 18, 2011


Frankly, I’m tired of reading book reviews that compare yet another thriller to Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code.”  The truth is, there is only one Dan Brown and thank heaven for that because while his work is gripping it is also relentlessly formulaic. I doubt the market could bear many clones.

One thing to be said about Brown is that he knows how to get from point A to point B with a minimum of fuss. The action immerses his reader in a plot that swings from one crisis to the next like a kid performing hand-over-hand gymnastics on the monkey bars. While Brown’s themes touch upon matters of mystical import, he doesn’t give one time to contemplate.The focus is on action. His characters are secondary and are given only a slight biography and little motivation except to escape one near death experience after another in a series of ups and downs more breathtaking than a roller coaster ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

No, there is only one Dan Brown and the writer of the 482 page clone I just read doesn’t come close. After being dragged through a plot so convoluted it could barely be followed and after the villain is revealed, I am still subjected to another 50 pages of wrap-up. Why this book wasn’t better edited is a question. How David Hewson’s “Sacred Cut” came to be a best seller is a head scratching mystery.