The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 42

Summary: Saunière’s key gains Sophie and Langdon access to the Depository Bank of Zurich, where the guard at the front desk directs them toward the elevator. The elevator takes the pair to the underground vault in which Saunière’s safe deposit box can be found; once Langdon and Sophie have left the lobby, however, the guard notifies Interpol—he has seen an alert about Sophie and Langdon on television. Unaware that the authorities have been contacted, Langdon and Sophie are told by the greeter in the vault that they must have an account number in addition to the key in order to access the deposit box. Meanwhile, Captain Fache instructs Collet to send officers to the bank to arrest the two fugitives.

Analysis: Brown’s detailed depictions of the Swiss bank’s measures to protect clients’ security and anonymity reinforce not only the verisimilitude of his novel—for, whether readers know if such procedures are authentic or not, they certainly seem as though they could be—but also heighten suspense. Select use of dramatic irony—the front desk guard notifying the police without Sophie and Langdon’s knowledge; the vault host’s inward suspicion of his two visitors—serves to further increase narrative tension.