Dan Brown: Angels and Demons. (Disclaimer: I was forced to read this.) The good: after a plodding start, the plot did get interesting, and exciting enough that I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened. Nice twist at the end.
The bad: Wooden, two-dimensional characters. Romantic scenes written like Mills and Boon. Spelling out every plot development 2-3 times so nobody will miss anything. Sloppily written (either refer to the Swiss Guard as one body, or the Swiss Guards as a group of individuals, but don’t swap between the two, especially in one paragraph).
For fiction to be believable, it has to have a basis in truth, and this fell down on basic facts (such as the BBC telephone operator smoking at her desk, and people continually commenting that their cell phones didn’t have a dial tone — dial tone???), which destroyed the fantasy and left me wondering how much else of it was wrong.
All in all, a mostly enjoyable read. But there are many much better-written books out there.
Life is short. Read good books. Thumbs down to Brown.
Update 13/7/2013: Just thought I’d add this link to this CERN page debunking some of the story from the book.