The Da Vinci Code: Chapter 78

Summary: Sophie unlocks the cryptex, only to discover a second, black onyx cryptex inside, a scroll of vellum wrapped around it. The parchment bears another cryptic poem which begins, “In London lies a knight a Pope interred.”

Analysis: This chapter is an outstanding example of suspense as Brown slowly describes the unlocking of the cryptex—e.g., “Teabing and Langdon both leaned in as Sophie wrapped her palms around the ends of the cylinder” (p. 348)—only to surprise not only his characters but also his readers with the revelation of another cryptex within! As Teabing says to Sophie of Saunière, “Your grandfather was a pitiless architect” (p. 349). The same could easily be said of Brown as a master architect of the modern thriller!