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INFERNO by Dan Brown (Transworld PS20) IT'S been almost four years since Professor Robert Langdon, the renowned Harvard symbologist, last embarked on a mystery.

In 2009, Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, which was set in Washington, was met with a lukewarm reception. Perhaps the winning formula of the bestselling Da Vinci Code and its sequel Angels And Demons had started to seem tired.

With Inferno, Brown wisely returns the action to Europe, the setting for his first two books, but the formula is the same: Langdon meets a very attractive, intelligent young woman called Dr Sienna Brooks and together the pair try to unravel a mystery with its roots in ancient literature to save the world from a deadly plague, while escaping from some evil types who are trying to kill them.

Here Brown returns to his Da Vinci Code best.

7/10 THE LAST HANGMAN by Shashi Warrier (Atlantic Books, PS12.99) A RETIRED hangman in south India is visited by a writer interested in producing his biography.

To help the writer, he suggests the hangman put pen to paper to describe his life.

Through diary entries, the reader learns about every aspect of his work, and how society shuns him for the job he does. An interesting, thought-provoking read. 9/10 LEFTOVERS by Stella Newman (Avon, PS6.99) ACCORDING to a magazine quiz, Susie Rosen is a 'leftover'. A modern day Bridget Jones, 30-something stuck in a career she hates and recovering from her last failed relationship.

But what happens when you're ready to jump off that treadmill and start doing something you actually enjoy - like setting up a blog about the best pasta to eat in any given circumstance? This read is funny, feisty and fresh.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 18, 2013
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