Inferno, by Dan Brown, is one of his typical thrillers. Although "typical" isn't a fair descriptor of this page-turner, it’s only “typical” for Dan Brown.
Robert Langdon, Brown’s recurring hero, returns to solve a new nail-biter. A mad scientist, intent on saving the world from its own population explosion, has created a viral time bomb. Accompanied by a smart and pretty blonde, Langdon attempts to decode the clues left by the suicidal scientist while being chased by corrupt government officials and a virtual private army through the streets of Florence and the canals of Venice. His task is complicated by the fact that he awoke in a hospital in Florence with amnesia, having no memory of how he got there or why. Visions of the dying and of a mysterious silver haired woman haunt him, and a tiny projector sewn into his jacket leads him to Dante's Divine Comedy. The only thing the reader knows for sure is that Langdon is the good guy, as always, and the other characters Brown introduces could be playing for either side. In fact, Brown cleverly pulls the rug from under the reader more than once, with unexpected revelations that induce literary gymnastics and the desire to return and reread sections of the book so the reader can be “in on” the surprise, too.
Brown's books are smart and engrossing. The action in this book primarily occurs in just a day’s time, and is gripping from the first page. Made for a movie, it’s not difficult to picture Tom Hanks reprising his role as Langdon.
Inferno was published in 2013 by Doubleday.