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Secrets, symbols, and suspense: books for fans of The Da Vinci Code

By Kobo • March 17, 2024Recommended Reading

Unlock labyrinthine puzzles, ancient secrets, and more suspense than you can handle

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was an explosive bestseller when it arrived in 2003. It spawned not only several sequels and a film franchise, but a whole thriller subgenre featuring historical intrigue, secret societies, confounding puzzles, and thrilling mystery. Here are some of the best among them.

The Last Templar by Raymond Khoury

In the 13th century, a Templar knight on the run with a mysterious chest entrusted to him by the Grand Master of the order disappears without a trace. Over eight centuries later in New York, four horsemen dressed as Templar knights carry out a violent raid on the Metropolitan Museum of Art and steal a geared encoding device. Now, archaeologist Tess Chaykin and FBI agent Sean Reilly find themselves entangled in a web of secrets and mystery that connect these two events across time and continents. This is the first in a series of novels following the investigations of agent Sean Reilly.

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The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl

A group of poets in Civil War era Boston—including such luminaries as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., and James Russell Lowell—work together to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy into English for the first time, calling themselves "The Dante Club." When a series of murders strike their city, the poets begin to see parallels between the grisly crimes and the punishments described in the Inferno. Will this band of scholars be able to use their extensive knowledge of the writings of Dante Alighieri to catch a killer?

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

A professor and his daughter search for the tomb of the infamous Vlad Tepes, aka. Vlad the Impaler in Kostova's singular novel. Weaving the story of Bram Stoker's classic novel Draculawith the historical record and folklore, this Gothic thriller explores ideas of history, literature and storytelling, religion, as well as the very concepts of good and evil.

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The Dead Sea Deception by Adam Blake

While investigating a series of mysterious deaths, lead police officer Heather Kennedy and ex-mercenary Leo Tillman find themselves in the path of a band of assassins who claim to be descended from Judas Iscariot. Their aim: to expose the secrets contained within the Dead Sea Scrolls—the hidden truth behind the death of Christ. This religious mystery takes readers on a rousing and suspenseful adventure around the world as our protagonists investigate these so-called “fallen angels.” A sequel, The Demon Code, follows Heather Kennedy and Leo Tillman on another hair-raising race against the clock.

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Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

Alaȉs is a French teenager, entrusted with keeping and protecting books that contain the secrets of the Holy Grail. Alice Tanner  is an archaeologist exploring a hidden cave with cryptic carvings, uncovering shocking links to the past. In this first book of the Languedoc trilogy, the lives of two women—one living in 1209, and the other living in 2005—become miraculously entwined across time.

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The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

When her father, a legendary cartographer, is found dead in his office Nell Young takes it upon herself to investigate. He was Nell’s hero—until an argument over a tattered highway map from a gas station escalated into estrangement. To her surprise, Nell discovers that this cheap old map isn't what it appears, and there are others like it, each one the target of a collector who will let nothing stop them from possessing every copy. This is a gripping story about family histories and secrets, science and art—and even a touch of magic.

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The Eight by Katherine Neville

Computer expert Catherine Velis is on a job in Algeria when she inadvertently finds herself wrapped up in something called the "Game," a centuries-long pursuit of the pieces of a chess set that once belonged to Charlemagne. As the legend goes, when all the pieces are brought together the chess set carries a civilization-ending power. That's why, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, the nuns of the Pyrenees abbey where it was buried scattered the pieces across the world. If Cat succeeds at reuniting the set, will it mean the end of the world as we know it?

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Séverin Montagnet-Alarie is a wealthy treasure-hunter in 19th-century Paris who has been asked by the Order of Babel to find an ancient artifact for them. Together with an eclectic band of experts, Séverin begins the hunt for this mysterious object with the power to change the course of history.

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Lightseekers by Femi Kayode

Dr. Philip Taiwo is an investigative psychologist, a scholar who specializes in understanding the “why” behind crimes. He has been summoned by a politician to look into the torture and murders of three university students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. This novel is an original, atmospheric thriller filled with mystery, intrigue, social commentary, and conspiracy.

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