"Angels & Demons" is a very good suspense thriller set primarily in The Vatican City. The novel is the second novel by Dan Brown, the first being "Digital Fortress". This is the first of the "Robert Langdon" series. It is a medium length, fast paced novel that is written in modern conversational English and is mostly an easy read. The chapters are mostly short and the novel can be read in intervals during work breaks, etc., without losing the flow of the story. I liked it very much.
Although somewhat similar in format to "Digital Fortress" this novel marks a distinct improvement and the story line is completely independent of "Digital Fortress". There is little or no gratuitous vulgar language in this novel, another distinct improvement over "Digital Fortress". "Angels & Demons" is dedicated specifically to Dan Brown's mother and I cannot help but wonder if this elevated the author's lexicon to a level more consistent with good literature. The first novel was dedicated to both of his parents.
The novel is primarily set in Vatican City and is a mystery thriller. The story requires detective work of a more academic nature than the average violent street felony. Although I am a retired detective and I read a good bit, I would not have been able to work though this case on my own, in the time allotted in the novel, without Robert Langdon's expertise. I really enjoyed the academic aspect of this novel and this was my favorite part of the novel. I did parallel reading and learned a good deal.
This novel features yet another semi omniscient uber villain who cannot resist spewing background information to his victims. Personally I last encountered this in "The Lincoln Letter", another academic mystery novel. I never encountered villains of this nature in my professional career and I have concluded that this is a literary device to shorten and simplify the story. I preferred this novel over "The Lincoln Letter".
In summary, I really enjoyed this novel. It is a distinct improvement over the author's first novel. The two stories stand alone and a reader can skip the first novel without missing anything in this second novel. Although very academic it is still a relatively easy read and I prefer it to other mystery novels by contemporary American male authors such as James Patterson and Dean Koontz. I mean no disrespect to them, I just liked this novel better. Thank You...