The Da Vinci Code - Book Summary
by Dan Brown
– New York Times
The book presents Robert Langdon, the main character, being summoned to Luvru by a police detective, Jerome Collet, to help with a murder.
Here Jacques Saunière is shot, and before dying he drags himself into the centre of the circle, re-creating the position of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and leaves a message with invisible ink on the floor.
After some time, at the museum arrives Sophie Neveu, an agent of the department of cryptology and Saunière’s granddaughter, and tells Robert that he must call the embassy. When he calls the number Sophie gave him, he reaches her voice mail and listens to a message telling him that he should meet her in the bathroom at the Louvre.
Here, Robert discovers that he is the main suspect. She also shows him the message that was wiped before his arrival “Leonardo Da Vinci! The Mona Lisa! P.S. Find Robert Langdon!". They head to the Da Vinci paintings and find a key.
As they escape the museum and drive to the Swiss bank, to use the key, Robert explains to her the history of the Priory of Sion and their armed force, the Knights Templar. He reveals that the Priory protects secret documents known as the Sangreal or the Holy Grail.
When they arrived at the bank, they manage to find the account number and open the box content, finding a cryptex, a message delivery device designed by Da Vinci and crafted by Saunière. The cryptex can only be opened with a password.
To get some help with cryptex, Robert and Sophie go to the house of Sir Leigh Teabing, a historian. Here Sophie learns about the legend of the Grail. Leigh also mentions evidence that Jesus’ divinity was settled by a vote at Nicaea, and that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, who was of royal blood and had children with her. He also shows her the hidden symbols in The Last Supper and the painted representation of Magdalene. His opinion is that the Holy Grail is actually Mary Magdalene’s body and he thinks Saunière and the others may have been killed because the Church suspected that the Priory was about to unveil this secret.
As they were talking about the cryptex, the murderer, Silas, appears in Leigh's house in an attempt to steal the cryptex. After some struggles, they manage to tie Silas up.
When Detective Collet arrives at the castle, it was too late, Sophie, Robert, the tied Silas, Leigh, and his servant, Rémy, escape and board Leigh's private plane to England. Sophie realizes that the writing on the cryptex is decipherable if viewed in a mirror. When they open the cryptex, however, they find only another cryptex, this one with a clue about a tomb where a knight was buried by a pope.
Once arrived in London they go to the Temple Church in London, the burial site of knights that the Pope had killed.
Rémy frees Silas and reveals that he, too, follows the Teacher. Silas goes to the church to get the keystone, but when he tries to force Robert to give it up, he threatens to break it. Rémy intervenes, taking Leigh hostage and therefore forcing Langdon to give up the cryptex.
Meanwhile, the Teacher meets Rémy in the park and kills him. The Teacher calls the police and turns Silas into the authorities. As Silas tries to escape, he is shot, and he accidentally shoots back his idol, Bishop Aringarosa.
Sophie’s and Robert's research leads them to the discovery that Sir Isaac Newton is the knight they are looking for, the one buried by a Pope because they learn he was buried by Alexander Pope. They go to Westminster Abbey, where Newton is buried. There, the Teacher lures them to the garden with a note saying he has Leigh. They go there only to discover that Leigh himself is the Teacher. Wanting the secret to be public, he had decided to find the Grail himself.
Leigh forces Robert and Sophie to open the cryptex. In the meantime, Robert figures out that the password is apple, he opens the cryptex and secretly takes out the papyrus. Then he throws the empty cryptex in the air, causing Leigh to drop his pistol as he attempts to catch it. Suddenly, Fache bursts into the room and arrests Leigh.
The papyrus inside the second cryptex directs Sophie and Robert to Scotland. Here Sophie finds her brother and her grandmother and discovers that her family is, indeed, of the bloodline of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
Back in Paris, Robert figures the poem, which directs him to the small pyramid built into the ground in the Louvre, where he is sure the Grail is hidden.
Note: Some pieces of information are left out of the book.
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