This is one of those books that I avoided reading for a long time. Sure, it was popular, and it had an intriguing concept, and a lot of people thought it was very good. A lot of writer people, however, denigrated the book, saying it had too many adjectives and adverbs, among other things. When I finally did get around to reading it, I was surprised to find myself drawn inexorably into the story. The Da Vinci Code begins with Robert Langdon being called to the Louvre museum, where there has been a bizarre murder. Langdon, an expert symbologist, winds up becoming both a suspect in the case and the only investigator who really understands it. Together with Sophie Neveu, a police cryptographer who turns out to be the victim's granddaughter, Langdon sets off on an urgent quest to solve the crime. As Langdon and Neveu race from clue to clue, the plot unfolds to huge proportions, including murderous conspiracies and secret societies, with nothing less than the Catholic church at stake. As a story, The Da Vinci Code is very well done. It captures the reader's interest from the start and holds it throughout Langdon and Neveu's headlong dash through the night. The characters are well drawn, if awkward in places. The locales are exotic, and the settings intricately detailed. The plot itself is a masterwork. The fact that this book has spawned so many other books to discredit it is testimony to the authenticity and credibility of its voice. To be honest, there are places in the book where the structure of the sentences falls into a pattern that is humorous and annoying if you recognize it. The vast intricacy of the plot and the convincing detail of the setting, however, more than compensate for any deficiency of character or sentence structure. As a writer, I found much more to covet here than to ridicule. All in all, I think The Da Vinci Code is a new classic. Many people still discount the work, but I'm not sure how a true bibliophile could justify avoiding it. The book has become a phenomenon, an icon of modern success in the book industry. And, underneath it all, it really is a good story.