Dan Brown may have achieved fame – and multimillion copy sales – with his ability to blend ancient and modern conspiracies and puzzles, but he is by no means the only author to have done so. There are have been writers before him who have tried a similar approach, using conspiracy theories, myth and popular beliefs in books that have thrilled thousands of readers around the world. So if you like Dan Brown, we have a feeling that there is a good chance that you will love these seven authors who use a similar approach, but sometimes to even better affect than the creator of Robert Langdon
Pérez-Reverte is a versatile Spanish writer and his works span a number of genres (he is a journalist too), but he seems to acquire quite a different dimension when he tackles lost artefacts and cults. Perhaps his most Brown-like title is The Club Dumas, in which a book dealer stumbles across a cult when trying to acquire a rare manuscript. Similarly, The Flanders Panel sees an art restorer and evaluator discovering a message on a masterpiece and trying to solve a 500 year old murder. Terrific narration and some excellent puzzles mark these works.
Start off with: The Club Dumas
The Italian literary maestro is anything but your conventional thriller writer and tends to write non-fiction more often than fiction, but has few peers when he does step into the world of conspiracy and myth.. No, he will never write a book like a thriller writer, and will always be more long-drawn out than succinct, but books like In The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum and The Prague Cemetery will keep you on the edge of your seat without compromising on narrative elegance.
Start off with: Foucault’s Pendulum
Well, his real name is James Paul Czajkowski, and he is also a very scuba diver. But what marks Rollins out as special is his ability to weave a story around well-known monuments and belief systems. Perhaps his best work is seen in the Sigma Force series in which myth, military and science run shoulders. Strange cults, the Harappan culture, Angkor Vat…they are all there and more. And will keep you riveted.
Start off with: Excavation
Dan Brown hailed him as the “new shining star of literary fiction” but there are many who believe that Pearl is a much better author than Brown himself. He certainly has the knack of picking up literary loose ends and trying to solve them – be it the mystery behind Dickens’ last work or the death of Edgar Allan Poe. That he does so with remarkable elegance is a huge bonus to the reader.
Start off with: The Dante Club
Not too many know that Bourne is actually a pseudonym of well-known British journalist Jonathan Freedland. What thousands DO know is that Sam Bourne is adept at serving out books that mix ancient revelations with modern characters, often with a generous dose of religious politics thrown in. An immensely readable author.
Start off with: The Last Testamant
The Templars, the Romanovs, Charlemagne, the Vatican…Berry has tackled them all in his extremely fast-paced books, which have a very strong accent on action. There is not as much puzzle solving as in a Dan Brown or Arturo Pérez-Reverte, but the stories are still very readable. And thanks to Berry’s extremely prolific writing skills, a new book is always around the corner.
Start off with: The Third Secret
He shot to fame with the stunning The Last Templar which had everything from treasure hunts to secret maps and betrayal, and has since then been writing regularly on similar themes. His combination of FBI agent Sean Riley and archaeologist Tess Chaykin has a fan following in its own right. Some very clever writing here.
Start off with: The Last Templar