Finally finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol - which I enjoyed. The body count of the walk on parts was a bit on the high side for my taste and I'm claustrophobic so some of the scenes were read with one eye shut as it were. I had guessed the identity of the villain very early on but that didn't spoil the suspense and I certainly could not have predicted the ending.
The villain is very much a product of the 21st century with his obsession with his body and identity. Ultimately his undoing is his failure to realise other people don't have his values and priorities. Some of the other characters were a little wooden and Robert Langdon himself could have done with a bit more flesh on the bones. I liked the scientist Katherine Solomon and the priest Colin Galloway as well as the Japanese CIA lady - definitely scary! I did question briefly whether the Americans would have employed someone from Japan in the CIA but no matter - it was convincing.
It was a good fast paced read with an intriguing background of codes and symbols and less well known scientific research. Yes people are going to trash it because no one seems to like success these days. I have read worse written books than this and after all thrillers are not meant to have characters who get in the way of the action. I read a review which criticised it because all the dialogue was plot driven. Well actually that's how it should be in a thriller otherwise it slows down the action. All creative writing books tell you to take out the irrelevant dialogue for that very reason. So for me that was not an issue. In fact the book is a good one for budding thriller writers to study for that very reason.
If you're visiting Washington - read it - it's as good as a guide book to some of that city's famous landmarks.