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The Key to Rebecca Paperback – February 4, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition (February 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451207793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451207791
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (823 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brilliant…breathless high adventure.”—Time

 

“Magnificent…pulse-racing…the runaway hit of the year.”—People

 

“From the opening sentence to the gripping climax…Ken Follett delivers the surefire suspense readers have come to expect.”—Los Angeles Times

 

“It can keep you up all night—grabbed, gripped, and thrilled.”—Chicago Sun-Times

 

“The most exciting novel in years.”—The Cincinnati Enquirer

 

About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning Eye Of The Needle, which became an international bestseller. He has since written several equally successful novels including, most recently, Whiteout. He is also the author non-fiction bestseller On Wings Of Eagles. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Good story,good characters,well developed.
Rossity
A well paced and convincing story with believable twists and turns that keeps the reader interested to the very end.
John
Very weak plot line, lethargic progress, simplistic plot line, very little suspense and too much sex.
Marc Delisle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Key To Rebecca" is one of Ken Follett's most exciting suspense-thrillers. This novel has all the essential ingredients for an "unputdownable" read.
The novel opens in 1942. World War II is raging, and German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel is having success after success with his Afrika Corps. The Nazis are planning to invade Cairo. The British are hunkering down, and doing everything possible to thwart the invasion. Rommel desperately needs access to British intelligence from their Headquarters in Cairo, in order to ensure his plan's outcome. So Rommel sends a master spy into British occupied Egypt. The spy, known only as the "Sphinx," covertly enters the country, and with a few mishaps, makes his way to Cairo. He has with him a radio, a code to transmit the information secretly, based on Daphne Du Maurier's book "Rebecca," and a piece of paper with the key to the code. Having spent much of his childhood in Cairo, the German-born spy, knows the city, language and many of its inhabitants well.
The Sphinx's task is not as easily accomplished as he once imagined. A British officer, Major Van Damme, with whom he shared past adversarial encounters, is soon on to him - and after him. Enter a beautiful Egyptian Jewess, Elene, who Van Damme wants to use as bait to capture the Nazi spy. Sparks fly between Van Damme and Elene from their first meeting, making it difficult for him to send her into danger. The cast also includes a famous, erotic, and somewhat depraved, belly dancer.
The main plot, although complex, is very realistic and reads smoothly. The various subplots are fascinating, and are often related to historical fact, such as the Egyptian Free Officers Movement's plot to subvert the British.
Read more ›
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76 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Mike C on December 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read almost all of Ken Follett's books and would rate this as his second best, behind Pillars of the Earth, and right up there with Eye of the Needle. It has the usual stock elements found in any thriller: an admirable hero, a despicable villain, a vulnerable but brave young girl, but infuses them with real humanity and builds to a crackling and suspenseful climax. As in other Follett books, he makes the conflict many-layered: The hero (Major Van Damme) wants to apprehend the villain (Alex Wolf) not only because it can have an effect on the progress of the second World War in Egypt, but because they have a past together, and because the girl he is falling in love with has been used as "bait" for Wolf. Shades of Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious.
What I like about Follett's best work is that it really delivers the suspense and resolves the story in an incredibly satisfying way. Like many spy novels, there are contrived situations, but he "gets you to turn over the next page" (Ian Fleming's goal as author of the James Bond books) so eagerly that you just want to see how it ends. His female characters are far from cardboard as well: both of them are fully realized. And, best of all, he makes everyone vulnerable; he knows that we can identify with characters that have strengths and weaknesses, instead of the usual cast of robots exchanging gunfire from speeding cars.
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Rowe Hill on September 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like airplanes, intrigue, World War II stories, and good writing, you'll enjoy this novel by Ken Follett. Follett always does his homework and I always learn from him. This story takes place at the beginning of England's entry into the war against Nazi Germany in 1939. It is about the last flight of the flying boat, the Pan American clipper (Boeing 314), from England to America. The luxurious, short-lived air ship began life in the summer of 1939 and ended a few weeks later when Hitler invaded Poland.

On board is a troubled aristocratic British family; an American actress; an Englishwoman running off with another man, leaving her husband; a young jewel thief; a criminal being returned to the states by authorities; a grumpy, demanding old princess; a German scientist and his companion; and others. This mix of characters and the situation in which they find themselves, make for an excellent story, especially considering the terrifying news flight engineer, Eddie Deakin, receives shortly before takeoff.

The writing is tight, the suspense builds with every page (as events in a well-crafted story should), and the wartime events are accurate within the scope of a tale of fiction. I found it enticing, riveting, and plausible. I cared so much about some of the characters that at the end of the book I wanted there to be a sequel. I wanted to know what happened to Margaret and Harry, Diana and Mark, Nancy and Mervyn, young Percy, and even Margaret's sister, Elizabeth, who left the story fairly early on. The only problem with this book was that the copy I received from Amazon had 32 missing pages! I had to borrow a copy to read the missing text!!

Another good Follett book with airplanes and a World War II setting is Hornet Flight (November 2003).

Carolyn Rowe Hill
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rebekah Sue Carolla VINE VOICE on March 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
OK, so I bought it for the title. :)
I've been reading for over twenty-five years, and only discovered Ken Follett within the past three months!
His historical fiction is sharply detailed, but isn't overbearing or over my head. The characters in "The Key to Rebecca" are real enough that you love them, hate them, root for them, hope they get captured. They're clever -- perhaps more clever than the characters in "real" life upon whom they're based.
Buy it for the fabulous storytelling. Enjoy the history lesson that's interesting even to someone who didn't enjoy history in school. Wish that a sequel had been written.
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