‘The Lost Symbol’: A Crime That Thrills


A genre of thriller, mystery and crime, ‘The  Lost  Symbol’ is another novel of Dan Brown wherein our very own Robert Langdon sets off in a quest to rescue his friend and a country.

As the plot goes, Robert Langdon goes to the United States Capitol with the purpose of fulfilling his friend-cum-mentor, Peter Solomon request for a lecture. Upon reaching there some eerie happenings follow up and Langdon realizes that Peter Solomon is in a huge trouble. Then the captivator of Peter, Mal’akh (antagonist) contacts Langdon and offers Peter’s life as leverage for the ‘masonic treasure’ hidden in Washington. Langdon is accompanied by the capitol police and the CIA head, Inoue Sato in the pursuit of the treasure. As the technologically advanced Mal’akh has arranged a way of exposing some freemasonry rituals which can cause social turbulence in the country, Sato decides that his capture is prior to Peter’s life. But Langdon dares to disagree and separates from the police to find  and rescue Peter on his own.

Langdon along with Katherine Solomon, Peter’s sister solves a series of symbolic puzzles and ancient mysteries. It is later revealed that Mal’akh is more closely related to the Solomons than they thought and his obsession with this ‘treasure’ was only to transform himself into a devil that will close all the portal towards human enlighten that the ‘treasure’ claims of.

The writing style is full of metaphors, symbolic info and picturesque description. The part where Mal’akh chases Katherine is so graphically described that reader may have adrenaline rush while reading it. Brown has mentioned ancient Indian scriptures like the Bhagvad Gita, Vedas and Upanishads as collections of ancient mysticism. Noetic sciences have been explained for the layman quite well.

‘Melancholia 1’ is used as the symbol map this time and Newton’s thermodynamic theories as key to solving a granite pyramid (puzzle). U.S Presidents Ben Franklin and George Washington, who laid the cornerstone of the city, have been regarded as ‘enlightened humans’ and godfathers, well the present US President is being regarded as a national threat, so that legacy is officially broken. The author has used the real places and institute references and at places blends it with fiction, which makes the reader launch a Google search to validate its reality.

The ‘Lost Symbol’ is not literally a symbol but a metaphor for the one thing that can take us towards the ultimate enlighten and to find that, one has to read the novel. Recently released movie, ‘Inferno’ has tempted the viewer to read the novel as well. The ‘Lost Symbol’ will be a good comparison to that. If read, you may end up loving ‘Inferno’ more or start hoping for a movie on this novel, which by the way held up because the script couldn’t be cracked.

With 1.25 million copies sold by the second week of its release, this novel was regarded as a bestseller and the New York Times said “Too many popular authors (Thomas Harris) have followed huge hits (The Silence of the Lambs) with terrible embarrassments (Hannibal). Mr. Brown hasn’t done that. Instead, he’s bringing sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead.”

Rating: 3-5-stars

About the Author:

Niharika Rai (PGGC 11)

Niharika Rai
(PGGC 11)

I am a concoction of desires, seek solace in solitude. Circumspectly sarcastic. My pen is prompted by societal stimuli.



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