Robert Langdon in Catalonia: Dan Brown’s Origin picks bad day to launch

The Da Vinci Code author’s latest caper – partly set in Barcelona – is likely to struggle for attention as Spanish readers follow a rather more urgent story

A Dan Brown launch usually goes like this: critics sneer a bit, the media swarms to a rare author appearance (he is known for only occasionally deigning to meet press), readers buy the book in their millions, and the cities he’s chosen to set the Indiana Jones-style adventures of his protagonist, symbology professor Robert Langdon, subsequently see an influx of conspiracy-keen tourists. It will be interesting to see if this pattern is repeated with his latest book Origin, which is entirely set in Spain, its publication coinciding with the full-on crisis that has followed the Catalan referendum and the police violence that tried to repress it.

Origin, the fifth book following Langdon running around the world in his repeatedly described “collegiate cordovan ...