The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 63

Summary: Fache calls Collet, demanding that his subordinate wait so that Fache can personally arrest Langdon and Sophie. In the meantime, Collet’s men discover a black Audi parked some distance from the driveway. Collet thinks the vehicle was the two fugitive’s getaway car—until his agents also discover the bank truck. Collet realizes he never checked the truck’s cargo hold, and wonders who helped Sophie and Langdon escape—and who drove the black Audi.

Meanwhile, Bishop Aringarosa takes a privately chartered flight, sick not only with motion sickness but also with the knowledge, gleaned from his phone call with Paris, that everything in his plan has gone wrong.

Analysis: This brief chapter reinforces a negative view of Bezu Fache: according to Collet, “After putting the American’s face all over television, Fache wanted to be sure his own face got equal time” (p. 293). Of course, this negative impression of Fache comes to us via an equally ambitious police agent: Collet is resentful of Fache’s desire to get sole credit for arresting Langdon. He is also eager to attribute a mistake to his superior—“Is Fache,” Collet wonders, “having second thoughts that Langdon is the right man?” (p. 293)—while simultaneously confronting the fact that he has made a mistake of his own in failing to check the bank truck’s cargo hold. The fugitives were able to escape under his very nose. The moment is a minor one, but perhaps serves to remind readers of the novel’s thematic insistence that a quest solely for personal power will always prove futile. Truth will prevail.