Dan Brown's new Robert Langdon thriller Origin, due for release with Transworld in October, will be set in Spain. It will also be the first Robert Langdon thriller to feature modern art, the publisher has revealed.
Prior to today (Tuesday 27th June), little had been revealed about the new novel, first announced in September 2016, apart from that it would be "in keeping with [Brown's] trademark style", featuring codes, science, religion, history, art and architecture.
The book cover has also been released. Cast in shades of maroon, the ‘O’ of Origin is placed at the centre of a bird’s eye view of a spiralling staircase in Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia. Beneath the book’s title is a landscape of the city also featuring Gaudí's famed cathedral, which is heavily symbolic.
The novel's events will unfold entirely in Spain. Opening in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the plot will then take Langdon to Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. In a "fresh twist", the title will also be the first of Brown's to concentrate on modern art.
The "paradoxical interplay between science and religion" will be "central to the plot", according to Transworld, hinging on two questions: "Where do we come from?", and "Where are we going?".
Key characters, in addition to Langdon, will include "friend and former student" Edmond Kirsch, a 40-year-old tech magnate, controversially known for "dazzling inventions and audacious predictions", and museum director Ambra Vidal with whom Langdon must embark on a "perilous quest" to locate a cryptic password.
The inside cover for the book reads in full: "Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that 'will change the face of science forever'. The evening’s host is his friend and former student, Edmond Kirsch, a 40-year-old tech magnate whose dazzling inventions and audacious predictions have made him a controversial figure around the world. Tonight is to be no exception: he claims he will reveal an astonishing scientific breakthrough to challenge the fundamentals of human existence.
"But Langdon and several hundred other guests are left reeling when the meticulously orchestrated evening is blown apart before Kirsch’s precious discovery can be revealed. With his life under threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape, along with the museum’s director, Ambra Vidal. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
"In their path lie dark forces which will do anything to stop them. To evade a tormented enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Langdon and Vidal must navigate labyrinthine passageways of hidden history and ancient religion. On a trail marked only by enigmatic symbols and elusive modern art, Langdon and Vidal uncover the clues that will bring them face-to-face with a world-shaking truth that has remained buried – until now."
Origin will be released as a Bantam Press hardback on 3rd October and be made available as an e-book and an audiobook from Penguin Random House Audio.