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5 Books like Angels and Demons: Murder, Conspiracy & Clues

Helen Maloney itcherIf you like creepy mysteries with twists around every corner, then I have some great titles for you. The first in Dan Brown’s epic series, ‘Angels and Demons’ is a captivating story of ritualistic murder, underground organisations and hidden truths. In ‘The Crucifix Killer’, symbols are used to brand victims, while ‘The Sign of the Cross’ features murdered priests. ~ Helen Maloney

From the Very First Clue…

Science and religion are not at odds. Science is simply too young to understand.

‘Angels and Demons’ is a book which, in my eyes, portrays the current battle to reconcile divine faith with science. We follow Robert Langdon, renowned symbologist, on his journey to Vatican City where he must help track down those responsible for killing the cardinals in such a public and ritualistic manner, while solving clues to determine a terrible bomb’s whereabouts.

It is a thrilling and sometimes brutal story and I have attempted to find similarly exciting reads for you in this list.

And if you’re rather in the mood for a films, check out these movies like ‘Angels and Demons’.


Books Similar to ‘Angels and Demons’…

‘Cotton Malone’ series (Steve Berry, 2007- )

Image Source: Goodreads

But heroes, at times, had to be fools.

Beginning with the ‘Templar Legacy’ (2007), we follow Cotton Malone as he unearths the Templar treasure, Alexander the Great’s final resting place, and even a Chinese emperor’s tomb. His only wish is for a quiet life running his antique book shop, but it seems fate has other plans.

Like Langdon, Malone doesn’t really want to be involved but finds himself drawn into doing the right thing, regardless of the personal danger. Unlike Langdon, however, he has his US Justice Department training to fall back on.

There are so many similarities between these two books – the multiple point-of-view style, the lethal competition our hero struggles against while trying to solve the clues, and figure out what’s actually going on.

Similarity Match: 90%
Both books are filled with gruesome treasure hunts but Dan Brown’s world has a narrower focus, even in terms of geography.

‘Map of Bones’ (James Rollins, 2005)

Image Source: Delcampe

Whenever I start a novel, I’m always looking for two things: a bit of science that makes me go ‘what if?’ and a piece of history that ends in a question mark. – Chris Kuzneski

This is an example of the ‘Sigma Force’ series: a group of special-forces operatives with specialist scientific and technical training and knowledge that comes in very handy. While we often follow Grayson Pierce, this series is very much a team deal, which makes it stand out a little from ‘Angels and Demons’.

In this particular novel, Rollins explores similar themes to Brown, as a mysterious underground organisation has stolen the bones of the three Magi, meaning our heroes must work with the Vatican to uncover what is going on and stop them before something terrible can happen.

Similarity Match: 85%
Though the ‘Sigma Force’ books involve more far-out science and skilled operatives, both books grab you by the throat and refuse to let go.

‘Sign of the Cross’ (Chris Kuzneski, 2006)

Image Source: Amazon

Some people see the glass as half empty… But Jones stares at it and tries to figure out who drank the damn water.

Although this is another story about a church conspiracy that could “rock the foundations of Christianity” (from the blurb), Kuzneski has the skill to give it new life. For example, the murdered priests are around the world, not just in Vatican City, and other organisations are involved as well.

Similarly to Brown, Kuzneski focuses on the action and history within the plot, keeping you reading on as you follow the conspiracy and secrets around the world. Again, violence, murdered priests and secrets are the dish of the day, but we have the added element of Payne and Jones’ banter, which lightens the mood and tension in places, adding an interesting ingredient.

Similarity Match: 75%
Yes, we have another religious thriller but this time with a comic duo as the stars of the show.


If You Like ‘Angels and Demons’, You Will Like…

If you’re looking for a similar rush to the one you get reading Dan Brown and ‘Angels and Demons’, but the church conspiracy or ancient secrets angles aren’t the main draw, then I think the following two books will be right up your alley.

‘The Crucifix Killer’ (Chris Carter, 2009)

Image Source: Amazon

When reality becomes too senseless to make sense, the human mind will sometimes create its own.

Hunter finds himself facing the past when the ‘Crucifix Killer’, whom many thought dead, returns to continue his spree of brutal and ritualistic killings. With only a symbol for a lead, Hunter and the rookie, Garcia, must uncover the killer’s identity as soon as possible.

On the surface, our ‘heroes’ are very dissimilar but Hunter also has a knack for spotting things others miss and seeing to the truth. However, Hunter is presented more as a ‘genius’ profiler and catching the killer while working as part of the police department is far more of an element here.

Similarly ‘Angels and Demons’, we are on the hunt for a man branding his kills, yet we delve deeper into the minds of those involved here.

‘The English Spy’ (Daniel Silva, 2015)

Image Source: Amazon

The life of a professional spy is one of constant travel and mind-numbing boredom, broken by interludes of sheer terror.

This novel captures your attention with the description of a mystery man who murders a princess (who is based on Princess Diana, supposedly) and a boatful of people. I have to admit that I thought this was going to be a simple spy thriller focusing on capturing and killing the mystery man. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Silva’s work was so much more.

I have not read any of the previous 14 books in this series, but if this is what I can expect, then I’m going to correct this oversight ASAP!

It was an exciting, action-packed book full of twists and turns. It seemed to me to be a blend of Tom Clancy’s politics and quiet intrigue, Robert Ludlum’s action and Ian Flemings’ James Bond style writing.

While this is more of a typical spy thriller, intrigue and suspicion still form the backbone.


The End: No Plot Twists Here!

Whichever of these novels you pick up, you can be guaranteed that there’ll be plenty of action, suspense and the unexpected to keep you turning those pages.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did; I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about them or even your own recommendations.

Hi, I′m Helen, I teach English in the UK and am a book addict (I′m serious - if I go too long without reading I get withdrawal symptoms!). I also love music, films, crafting, corresponding and video games. It is impossible for me to sit still unless I′m eating, holding a book or making something.
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