Summary: Agent Sophie Neveu, a cryptologist from the police department, arrives at the Louvre, announcing she has deciphered Saunière’s numeric code. Before she explains, she delivers what she claims is a message from the United States embassy to Langdon. It is a phone number and an extension; when Langdon dials it, he reaches Neveu’s own answering machine. Realizing she wants him to retrieve her messages, Langdon enters the “extension” code and hears Neveu, in a pre-recorded message, telling him that he is in great danger.
Analysis: This chapter introduces the novel’s co-protagonist. It also reinforces for the readers the realization that Fache is not altogether as he seems; he, in apparent cooperation with Collet, is somehow a threat to Langdon. Sophie Neveu will, as the novel progresses, serve as a very literal embodiment of Saunière’s preoccupation with the sacred feminine. Unsurprisingly, then, she is described in an idealistic way: “this woman was healthy with an unembellished beauty and genuineness that radiated a striking personal confidence” (p. 56). That her intellect is on a par with Langdon’s is established by the way in which she tricks Langdon into retrieving her message for him.