About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

41. – 504.) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – The most eagerly anticipated book of the decade with over 70 million copies of The Da Vinci Code printed and at least 2 million copies of this book sold before release. Robert Langdon is back in America for this adventure in symbology. Brown moves away from the Catholic Church to Free Masons. They apparently have a secret connection to the lost wisdom of the ancients. Langdon is called to Washington D.C. by Peter Solomon, a 33rd degree Mason, for a speech. When he arrives the story explodes into action. Peter’s hand is found on the floor of the Capitol staked to a base with the fingers pointing up and tattoos upon the tips. A strange and powerful character, Mal’akh, has Solomon and expects Langdon to find and decode the pyramid in Washington that leads to the Ancient Mysteries. Solomon’s sister, Katherine, is exploring noetic science – new theories in thought and how it can affect matter. She is drawn into the maelstrom. The CIA, through its office security section headed by the fearsome 4’11” Innouye Sato, jumps into the investigation. (While not a 4th spy novel it does involve the CIA.) Brown has the amazing skill of taking a mystery from ancient theory and making its unraveling contemporary and believable. He never takes off into the impossible of some thriller writers. He suspends disbelief with a credible plot. Once again he creates a haunting villain. He provides easily knowable facts that were unknown to me. I never knew Washington was so filled with Masonic symbols. The cryptic solutions are superb. The puzzles are complex (more visual than written) but all solvable with knowledge of symbols ranging from our era to the Egypt of the pharaohs. It was hard to be fair in the reading because of the hype and because The Da Vinci Code was a great thriller. Michael considers Angels & Demons better. The Lost Symbol is a worthy successor. It is a good not great thriller. I expect the Mason hierarchy will be as unhappy as Catholic leaders if readers believe everything in the book is true. The book says they decline to respond to criticism. In the first month since release, I have neither heard nor read any response from the Masons. (Oct. 10/09)


  1. I give Dan Brown kudos for inventiveness and imagination. I enjoyed your review even if I'm not a fan of Dan Brown's writing.

  2. Yvette: Thanks for the comment. I am looking forward to seeing if he rebound with his next book.