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When art historian Robert Langdon gets an urgent phone call claiming that an ancient cult of anti-Catholic scientists have resurfaced, he believes it is a hoax.  But when he sees a picture of a dead scientist with a symmetrical Illuminati symbol branded on his chest, he quickly realizes that the danger is real.  Max Kohler, the director of the scientific research facility where Leonardo Vetra was murdered, enlists Langdon’s aid in discovering the Illuminati’s motivation.  When Vetra’s daughter Vittoria arrives and reveals what the Illuminati stole, however, their objective becomes clear:  the Illuminati plan to use a canister of anti-matter as a bomb to destroy the Vatican in the midst of the Papal Election.  Langdon and Vittoria rush to Rome, only to discover that the Illuminati assassin has also abducted the four Prefereti cardinals, candidates for the papacy, who they plan to publicly murder in four different churches across the city.  As the Swiss Guard search Vatican City for the anti-matter bomb, Langdon races to decipher the ancient trail of the Illuminati and find the assassin before he strikes again.

If you like fast-paced plots with unexpected twists and turns, this is a gripping thriller that is difficult to put down!  If you read for rich characters and character development, however, you may be disappointed as Dan Brown sacrifices the consistency of his already somewhat flat characters in order to create the unpredictable plot twists that drive his novel.

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