by Dan Brown
“Inferno” is the latest book by Dan Brown and one I have been looking forward to reading. It is Dan Brown’s sixth novel, and the fourth to feature Professor Robert Langdon.
Brown has a formulaic way of writing, with all of his books following the events of a single day. Whilst this approach gives the stories a pace not found in many other books, it also limits his scope for depth, particularly with regards to his characters.
The format, plot and pace of his previous works have no doubt been a key factor in his growing popularity, but I am beginning to feel that his fixed approach may also be a weakness.
I found his previous book, “The Lost Symbol” a little disappointing and I had hoped that his latest offering would see a return to the excitement I felt when I first read “Digital Fortress” and “Da Vinci Code”. Unfortunately it isn’t!
There is little plot, and what there is is confused and contrived. As with his other books, the action kicks off almost immediately, but unlike his previous works, a lot of information is kept from the reader. In an attempt to change the character of his work, he uses Langdon’s amnesia to keep both his hero, and the reader, very much in the dark.
But even when, in the last 100 pages it all begins to come together, there are still unanswered questions.
I actually felt a little cheated by the end. The quality of the writing is as good as ever, but the premise behind this particular story and the way it has been executed, was far below what I have come to expect.
Personally, I hope this is the last we will see of Robert Langdon whose usefulness as a character to hang plots on has surely outlived his usefulness.