(2005) Adam Roberts, Gollancz, £6.99, hrdbk, 180pp, ISBN 0-575-07719-0
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown has topped the best-seller lists across the globe throughout 2004 and into 2005. It's a rollercoaster, thrill-a-minute, European ride which is almost impossible to put down. It has a strong, fast-paced storyline and likeable, fascinating and intriguing characters. This, however, isn't The Da Vinci Code, it's The Va Dinci Cod, a humourous and highly entertaining parody of the aforementioned novel which has managed to perfectly mimic the style of it. Jacques Sauna-Lurker, the curator of the National Gallery of London, lies dead on the floor. He has a three-foot cod stuffed into his windpipe. The race is on to find his killer and the solution to the clues he left on his deathbed, clues that could lead to the Holy Grail. Our intrepid duo, Dr Robert Donglan, a cryptologist from the University of London, and Sophie Nudivue of the French Special Branch, are compelled to follow Jacques' leads as Donglan is wanted for his murder!! The Va Dinci Cod is well-written, quick and easy to read and genuinely funny - some of the asides are truly laugh-out-loud funny. At the foot of each page you want to turn over and read on and, at only 180 short pages, there's no need to put it down. Go for it! Read it in one sitting!
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