Robert Langdon is summoned to Switzerland where a priest/scientist named Leonardo Vetra is murdered and branded. The word ILLUMANTI is found to be that code, and the story is that a group of four Illumantists were branded and killed for heretic messages against the Catholic Church. An assassin is out there, and he will make good on his threat to blow up the Vatican.
Langdon evetually teams up with Vittoria Vetra, adopted daughter of Leonardo Vetra, and they chase after a canister of antimatter, which Vittoria and her father had created and perfected; it would have the power to supply electricity to any city in the world, but if evil people got to it, it would be a very dangerous weapon. And the canister of antimatter is hidden underneath the Vatican.
Several days earlier, the pope had died of a stroke and Cardinal Mortati organizes a conclave to select the next pope. Four of the candidates vanish, and they are found dead at various temples in the tiny city. Langdon and Vittoria follow “the Path of Illumination” (which is a secret path hidden in the city that incorporates four small temples dedicated to the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water) and finding the four men dead, until they find a small temple, where Vittoria fights off the assassin who killed her father and the evil man falls to his death.
Langdon discovers the Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca has gotten possession of the antimatter and he is angry because the four dead cardinals were supporters of technological advancements. The camerlengo takes the antimatter and escapes by helicopter. Langdon survies the crash and is taken to a hospital while the camerlengo is found on the roof and is made the new pope.
But after all was said and done, the camerlengo confesses that he caused all the trouble and after discovering that he was the son of the late pope, he kills himself. Mortati becomes the new pope and sends Langdon a gift thanking him for his help.
My review: Nicely written, even if it was kind of like the Da Vinci Code.
My recommendation: anyone who has read the Da Vinci Code or likes mysteries or thrillers will enjoy this book.
My rating: ****
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