The Key to Rebecca. Digital – January 1, 1980
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- Publisher : William Morrow & Company; First Edition/First Printing (January 1, 1980)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 0230527825
- ISBN-13 : 978-0230527829
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,474,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I thoroughly enjoyed The Key to Rebecca. I found it very suspenseful and at times I had to put the book down just to calm down my racing heart. So, if you have a heart condition you better first check with your cardiologist before you start reading.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.
While there are some good elements throughout the book, there is a lot of simply unbelievable silliness in places that I sometimes found hard to get past. For example, there is a very long scene where three characters are on a small house boat. Two characters are engaged in, shall we say, relations, while a third character sneaks around, fumbles with a keys, a briefcase, sneaks in and out of a cabinet and so on, all without the male relations-engaging characters noticing somehow. No door separates then; they are basically all in the same small room. It's like something out of a Charlie Chaplin movie. We are also supposed to believe that the main villain's amazing sneaky plan is to randomly steal briefcases from English officers walking around Cairo. That's slightly exaggerated, but not by much.
There's another lengthy, silly scene where an English character who speaks little Arabic pretends to be an Egyptian cab driver. His passenger, a fluent Arabic speaker who must give multiple instructions on where to drive, somehow never notices this.
It's still mostly a fun book if you can look past this kind of nonsense.
Top reviews from other countries
And that's the point, this is a fast-paced thriller. So what if the story is a bit light-weight, a bit unrealistic and dependent on a convenient contrived device to kick-start the tale [no spoilers here]; so what if the principle characters are a bit stereotyped, especially the senior British officers in General Headquarters, Cairo, but then who hasn't known a boss like Colonel Bogge who shows more interest in organising fielding practice for the military intelligence cricket team than catching spies [apologies if that's a bit of a spoiler]; and so what if there's quite a lot of sex, but then that's true of many of Follett's books. But these are what make this a fast-paced thriller as spy Alex Wolff and spy-catcher Major Vandam race around Cairo and through Egypt in a very personal game of cat and mouse. There is though little intrigue, there are no real twists and turns, this is just a chase, a race against time, between two professionals "with previous" and that's why it's four stars and not five.
Read only if you enjoyed "Night Over Water" or "Jackdaws", perhaps not if you're looking for another "Pillars of the Earth".