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Decoding Dan Brown

Dan Brown's ''Lost Symbol'' -- Fans look for clues in the newly released jacket art of the author's latest novel

On July 7, Dan Brown fans made like Robert Langdon and began decoding the cover art for Brown's The Lost Symbol (Sept. 15). We gathered their theories and asked Chris Hodapp, author of Solomon's Builders, for his.
Red Seal: Fans point out its similarity to the seal of the Scottish Rite, a branch of Freemasonry based in part in Washington, D.C. The number 33 — contained inside the triangle — alludes to a high ranking in that branch, says Hodapp.
Background Glyphs: Some speculate that these symbols simply serve as wallpaper, but Hodapp thinks they may have been drawn from alchemy or the zodiac.
The Capitol: Brown's third Langdon novel follows the professor on a 12-hour adventure in D.C. ''I suspect there are places in the city's architecture that have signs of the zodiac built in,'' Hodapp says. ''That would be a good starting place for the plot points.'' And for rabid fans who can't wait for Sept. 15.

Originally posted Jul 09, 2009 Published in issue #1056 Jul 17, 2009 Order article reprints