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The Key to Rebecca Paperback – February 4, 2003

933 customer reviews

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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 twenty-seven when he wrote Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. After writing more successful thrillers he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages, which continues to captivate millions of readers all over the world and its long-awaited sequel, World Without End, was a number one bestseller in the US, UK and Europe. Fall of Giants was the first bestselling book in the Century trilogy, followed by Winter of the World. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 (933 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 89 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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82 of 84 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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33 of 33 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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69 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 18, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ken Follett is a very good tale-spinner and The Key to Rebecca has a promising premise.

The setting is 1942 Egypt--Cairo is threatened by Rommel's advancing army. German-born and Arab-raised, Alex Wolff is the perfect Nazi spy--calculating and ruthless. Almost perfect--Wolff has an eye for pretty girls. Wolff's partner is Sonja el-Aram, a sensuous belly-dancer with a depraved mind--perfect for Wolff. Major William Vandam, a straight-laced British Intelligence officer who has seen better days, is hot on Wolff's trail. To set the trap, he recruits Elene Fontana, a beautiful Jewish runaway with nothing to lose. Together Vandam and Elene must stop Wolff at any cost!

The action is heart-pounding (typical Follett), the locations are beautifully described, and the key relationships are well-developed. My only two complaints are the brevity with which everything is resolved at the end and the overly graphic descriptions of some twisted sexual encounters. Please, leave some of that to the imagination next time!
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Beverley Strong on March 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Yet another gripping story by Ken Follett. On the eve of the outbreak of WW2, a clipper ship of the Pan American Line is due to fly from England to New York. These massive flying boats are the epitome of luxury and passage can be afforded by only the wealthy. It's a mixed bag on this trip-an aristocratic family who have been forced to leave England because of the fathers fascist views, a petty crook,an eloping couple who are being pursued by the womans jealous husband and various others.It's a gripping and exciting tale, well written in the Follett style and a good,fast,satisfying read.
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