THE DA VINCI CODE has spawned a mini-industry of exegesis and echoes --- even tours for beguiled readers. I've read Brown's book and even written a tongue-in-cheek research piece about some of the history involved in his mystery, and I'm here to tell you my honest opinion: THE ASSIGNMENT was more interesting, more honest and more fun to read.
Like Brown, Mark Andrew Olsen bases his book on a small, secretive Roman Catholic group: the Order of St. Lazare, comprised of just seven priests. Like Brown, Olsen's protagonist is faced with a seemingly insurmountable task that involves convincing others of an impossible premise. Like Brown, Olsen's book is fa