The latest book by author Dan Brown hits bookstores Tuesday with an initial print run of over five million copies.
The Lost Symbol, the direct sequel to Brown's controversial 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code, will once again feature Brown's trademark protagonist, Robert Langdon, who will turn his attention to Washington, D.C., and a hunt for a legendary Masonic treasure.
"The Lost Symbol is a brilliant and compelling thriller," commented Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor in chief of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Doubleday, which is publishing Brown's latest novel in the United States and Canada, is an imprint of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
"Dan Brown's prodigious talent for storytelling, infused with history, codes and intrigue, is on full display in this new book. This is one of the most anticipated publications in recent history, and it was well worth the wait," he added.
The 509-page book, which has been in development for several years, takes place over a period of 12 hours and begins when Langdon is seemingly invited to Washington by his friend Peter Solomon, a wealthy, and high-ranking Mason. When Solomon turns up missing, Langdon finds himself on a rapid chase through the concealed passages of the city in search of a Masonic legend – a map or portal that leads to a body of secret knowledge that, as Langdon puts it, "allegedly enables its practitioners to access powerful abilities that lie dormant in the human mind."
Though not expected to stir the volume of controversy that Brown's 2003 novel had, The Lost Symbol is still expected to be make a splash for the book industry, which has been hit hard by lower sales, consolidations and layoffs.
According to The Los Angeles Times, by the time The Lost Symbol lands on bookstore shelves Tuesday, pre-orders will have kept it at or near the top of Amazon's bestseller list for the last 148 days.
"Dan's readers will feel the thrill of discovery as they follow Robert Langdon through a masterful and unexpected new landscape. The Lost Symbol is full of surprises," commented Jason Kaufman, Brown's longtime editor and the vice president and executive editor at Doubleday.
Brown's last novel, The Da Vinci Code, ended up being one of the most popular books in publishing history, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide in 44 languages.
The 2003 thriller, which rankled Christians worldwide, was based on the hotly protested idea that Jesus Christ had married Mary Magdalene and conceived a child with her.
The Da Vinci Code was also the first Brown novel to be adapted to the big screen, though it was published three years after Brown's first bestseller, Angels & Demon.
Angels & Demons was adapted to the big screen earlier this year as the sequel to "Da Vinci Code" the movie.
Aside from Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol, Brown also came out with books in 1998 and 2001.