This book (Italian title – “La Verità del Ghiaccio”) is definitively confirming the idea I have about Dan Brown. I think that he is a master in writing addictive books, but he is equally poor in devising characters and plots. The scenario is the election of the president of the United States. There is the Good Guy who is the president in charge and the obviously Bad Guy who is the contender.
In the foreground there is the Hero (more specifically a Heroine) that is called in Antarctica to examine an amazing discovery made by NASA.
But somewhere there is the Evil Guy who is maneuvering in order to keep curious and too bright people away from the truth. The Evil Guy is using the mythical Delta Force a special army that has no limit for its action and is used in covert operations.
The heroine and her friends risk their life several times and at the end the reader (maybe earlier if he/she is attentive) discovers who the Evil Guy is and how the Good Guy will prevail.
Dan Brown is able to write a book which you can’t drop after you start reading it. There is such a strong hook at the end of each chapter that closing the book requires an incredible amount of will.
Aside of this he plays cheap trick to channel the reader attention, to make him/her ignore the obvious solution. It is impossible that any scientist, even if at the beginning of the career could think that sea water fills a shaft well above the sea level. There is no need for the polar base commander to send a group of valuable scientist to do measurement by feet during a storm when they could use a vehicle.
The deception of the Evil Guy is the very same of the other two books. The Evil Guy is someone that is put under so good-natured light that the reader cannot suspect. A False Evil Guy is proposed so the reader is further distracted…. As I said cheap tricks, already seen in the “Da Vinci Code” and “Illuminati” (“Angeli e Demoni” in italian).
So, it is a strange feeling, I couldn’t actually put down the book, but I couldn’t like it. What a pity.