Dan Brown is an American author and educator best known for his thrillers, including “The Da Vinci Code,” (2003) “Angels & Demons,” (2000), “Inferno” (2013), and “Origin” (2017).
His books are known for their combination of thriller, mystery, and historical elements, and often feature codes and ciphers as a central element of the plot.
As of 2022, Brown has sold over 200 million copies of his books, which have been translated into 56 languages.
As well as this, three of his books ( The Da Vinci Code , Angels & Demons, and Inferno) have been made into Hollywood blockbusters with Tom Hanks playing the leading role in each movie.
Brown is also a talented public speaker, and has given talks and lectures on topics ranging from creativity and writing to technology and education.
Authors Like Dan Brown
If you are a fan of Dan Brown’s themes of thriller and mystery as well as the adventure genre, then you will love authors such as Daniel Silva, John Grisham, Gillian Flynn, and many more.
Today, we are going to explore some of these authors and discuss what books you should read (see also “Authors Like Faye Kellerman“).
First, let’s take a look at some famous books by Dan Brown and the common themes that run throughout is writing.
Dan Brown Books
Dan Brown has so far composed three stand-alone novels:
- Digital Fortress (1998) – his first novel, this is a techno thriller exploring the theme of government surveillance of the lives of citizens using information stored electronically. It also examines possible ethical implications and civil liberties concerning the use of this technology.
- Deception Point (2001) – Brown’s third novel, this is a mystery thriller following an intelligence analyst from the White House and her involvement in a meteorite discovery by NASA that may hold proof of extraterrestrial life.
- Wild Symphony (2020) – Very different for Brown, this is an illustrated children’s book that is humorous, musical, and entertaining.
Dan Brown is best known for his Robert Langdon series of adventure novels.
He has released five novels in this series so far, with each one involving historical and scientific elements and follows the main protagonist Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology.
These five books are:
- Angels & Demons (2000) – This bestselling mystery-thriller introduces us to Robert Langdon and shares many stylistic literary elements with its sequels, including secret societies, conspiracies, a time frame covering a single day, and the Catholic Church. As with many of Brown’s books, references to ancient history, symbology, and architecture are found throughout.
- The Da Vinci Code (2003) – The second in this series, this novel explores an alternative religious history, and sparked speculation surrounding the Holy Grail’s history. Again, historical and scientific elements are heavily referenced in this novel.
- The Lost Symbol (2009) – This novel focuses on Freemasonry as its major theme and became the fastest-selling adult novel when first released.
- Inferno (2013) – This fourth novel in the Robert Langdon series explores the theme of overpopulation in the world with historical references to the Black Death of 1348.
- Origin (2017) – Set in Spain, this latest installment of Brown’s series debates science and religion, whilst questioning human origin and its possible ending. As with all of Brown’s novels, he asks the readers questions, rather than presenting any solution.
Authors Like Dan Brown
If you like the themes of adventure, action, science, technology, and historical mysteries, then you will probably love these authors below.
Each one follows similar genres and themes in their novels to keep the reader on the edge of their seat throughout.
As with Dan Brown, Crichton was known for performing in-depth, comprehensive research for each of his novels.
This is no surprise when finding many scientific and medical notions throughout his work, reflecting his medical history and scientific training.
One novel which we recommend is A Case of Need. If you like the historical aspects of Dan Brown’s novels, you may enjoy this suspense-thriller.
The plot revolves around a group of history students who journey to France during the fourteenth century to save their professor.
This novel is a perfect example of Crichton combining technical details with science, and adventure-action themes.
- Explores historical themes like Dan Brown.
- Underwent extensive research for each book for accurate scientific storylines (not in all cases).
- Can be a bit too technical for some reader’s liking.
Daniel Silva is an American author and journalist who is known for exploring themes of love, loss, betrayal, anger, acceptances, and forgiveness in his novels.
Like Dan Brown, Silva references the past, particularly with messages of needing to act to make the best life possible for yourself in the face of what has gone before in your past.
His first novel, The Unlikely Spy, instantly became a bestseller and was on The New York Times bestseller list for five weeks.
Similar to Dan Brown’s first novel Digital Fortress, Silva’s first book revolves around Britain’s counterintelligence operations.
The novel involves finding the unlikeliest of agents, a history professor, chosen by Winston Churchill to help expose a traitor unknown to British intelligence. You get to step back into history and enjoy action and adventure during 1944.
- Explores themes of history, love, and loss, similar to Dan Brown.
- Poignant messages throughout Silva’s novels make the reader ponder important questions.
- Does not explore scientific themes as much as Dan Brown.
Sidney Sheldon was a man of many talents, winning awards as a novelist, a movie and TV screenwriter, and as a Broadway playwright. Quite the resume!
The Naked Face follows the story of Dr. Judd Stevens, M.D, a Manhattan psychoanalyst who finds out someone is trying to murder him.
With mystery after mystery, the protagonist’s patients start dying, one after the other in equally mysterious ways.
But, to make matters worse, the police suspect Stevens. Drama, mystery, and law, this novel has it all for lovers of crime novels.
Master of the Game revolves around a powerful, rich woman who creates an empire via her wealth, backroom deals, triumph, heartbreak, and vengeance.
One of the main themes of the novel is the corrupting influence of power and wealth.
Throughout the story, the characters are driven by their desire for money and control, and many of them are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, even if it means betraying those closest to them.
The novel also explores the themes of family dynamics, love and betrayal, and the consequences of one’s actions.
- Storytelling at its best with mystery after mystery on each page.
- Features fast-paced plots and complex characters, like Dan Brown’s novels.
- Focuses more on multi-generational sagas and explores themes such as love, romance, and betrayal, whilst Brown includes more historical and scientific elements.
Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic with Entertainment Weekly.
Regarded as one of the best mystery novelists of her generation, Flynn is known for her psychological thrillers that often involve complex, unreliable narrators and explore themes of family, relationships, and personal identity.
Flynn’s novels often have a dark and suspenseful atmosphere and are known for their twists and turns.
Although some of Flynn’s themes and writing style are somewhat different to Dan Brown, her novel Dark Places is a great read for any fan of mystery and psychological thrillers.
This mystery thriller follows a woman who is investigating the murder of her family, which took place when she was a child.
The novel explores themes of memory, trauma, and the consequences of one’s actions, similar to Daniel Silva and Robert Langdon’s personal quests throughout Dan Brown’s series.
- Explores similar themes to Dan Brown, such as mystery, investigations, and thrilling mind games.
- Dark and suspenseful with many twists and turns in the plots.
- Writing style is rather different to Dan Brown with less emphasis on historical and scientific themes.
Dan Brown is one of the best mystery and thriller writers of his generation.
His novels follow many themes, including the subjectivity of history, science fiction, conflict between faith and knowledge, and much more.
If you have read all of Dan Brown’s novels, then you should check out some of the writers above and take a step into the fascinating, often bewildering worlds they have created on paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Main Themes In Dan Brown’s Novels?
The most common themes in Dan Brown novels include power and corruption, adventure and action, ethics and morality, symbolism and codes, historical mysteries, and science and technology.