Summary: Chapter 4
Fache leads Langdon through the darkened Louvre to the Grand Gallery, where Saunière’s body lies. Saunière is revealed to have been a connoisseur of goddess iconography— relics related to religions that worship the sacred feminine—and that Langdon is writing a book on the same subject. Langdon’s book has been kept a secret because he believes that some of his interpretations will be controversial. Fache seems unpleasant and fairly hostile. Langdon notices that the police inspector is wearing a crux gemmata, a religious pin depicting Jesus and his twelve apostles.
Saunière’s body is surrounded by a metal barricade, part of “containment security,” a measure used by the museum to try to trap thieves on the premises. Fache makes Langdon climb under the barricade with him, and Langdon clumsily bangs his head.
Summary: Chapter 5
Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, the president-general of Opus Dei, packs his bags and leaves his organization’s luxurious headquarters in New York City to board a plane headed for Rome. Though he is dressed modestly, he wears an elaborate bishop’s ring. While in the air, Aringarosa reflects on the history of Opus Dei, a conservative Catholic organization started early in the twentieth century. Lately Opus Dei has been besieged by critics who say that the organization is a religious cult. But as of five months ago, the biggest threat to the organization wasn’t coming from the media or from the organization’s critics, but from a different source, one not yet revealed to the reader. While in the air, Aringarosa takes a phone call from someone who reports Silas’s discovery that the keystone is hidden in the Church of Saint-Sulpice. The Bishop agrees to pull some strings to gain Silas access to the church. Meanwhile, Silas is preparing to retrieve the keystone. He is excited about this mission in a way he hasn’t been since joining the church. His excitement makes his violent past come flooding back to him.
Summary: Chapter 6
Standing in front of Saunière’s body, Langdon explains to Fache the significance of the way Saunière arranged himself before dying. The curator drew a pentacle on his stomach with his own blood. The pentacle, a five-pointed star that symbolizes the pagan goddess Venus, has often been misinterpreted as a sign of devil worship. Fache shows Langdon that Saunière is clutching a glow-in-the-dark marker that the museum staff uses to make maintenance notes on paintings. With the help of a black light, a message is revealed. Fache asks Langdon to help him understand it. Meanwhile, Collet is taping this conversation from Saunière’s former office.
Summary: Chapter 7
Sister Sandrine, the keeper of the Church of Saint-Sulpice, is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from her boss, who tells her that Aringarosa asked him to let a member of Opus Dei come to the church immediately. She is taken aback by this request, but she does as her boss asks. Sandrine, a pious woman, does as her superiors ask. Still, she is mistrustful of Opus Dei. She is disturbed by the sect’s practice of “corporal mortification,” or physical self-punishment, and she disapproves of their discrimination toward women.
Summary: Chapter 8
As Collet continues to survey the scene from afar, Langdon takes in the cryptic message that Saunière has written next to his body: