The Key To Rebecca

The Key To Rebecca

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Ken Follett's The Key to Rebecca took readers and critics by storm when first published more than twenty years ago. Today, it remains one of the best espionage novels ever written. Look out for Ken's newest book, A Column of Fire , available now.

A brilliant and ruthless Nazi master agent is on the loose in Cairo. His mission is to send Rommel's advancing army the secrets that will unlock the city's doors. In all of Cairo, only two people can stop him. One is a down-on-his-luck English officer no one will listen to. The other is a vulnerable young Jewish girl. . . .
ISBN: 9780451163493


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Sep 11, 2019

The spying methods in this novel are somewhat naive and the last section is quite contrived, but it is all compensated by the unusual setting of Cairo during the German advance in World War II and by the fast-paced plot. Inspired by a true story (also referred to in "The English Patient"), most of the characters are nevertheless fictional, but it is fun to encounter Rommel and the future president of Egypt, Anwar el-Sadat. In fact, the ambivalence of Egyptians towards the British and the Germans is one of the major assets of the story. Far from being "one of the best espionage novels ever written", as the cover claims (surely that honour must go to one of LeCarre's works, in my mind the Quest for Karla trilogy), Follett's work is very well researched and crafted.

Jun 04, 2017

Couldn't put it down. Great spy novel.

Sep 12, 2016

A very enjoyable read, with the exception of some vulgar bits. Ken Follett's books are usually a pretty good read, and adding a WWII genre, makes it better.

Jul 26, 2016

Not only one of the best spy novels ever written, one of the best popular novels written in my lifetime. The opening to this is amazing. The last camel collapsed at noon...and it's impossible to put it down thereafter.

Jul 25, 2011

The Key to Rebecca ---- by Ken Follett c - 2002/RP - read an earlier printing c - 1980. ---- This story Rocks, Mr. Follett Really excelled with this story. ---- Enjoy! ---- RichardPaul

Mar 14, 2010

Ken's view

After the success of Eye of the Needle, my publishers would have liked me to write another World War Two spy story every year for 25 years. But I was only 29, and not ready to be put in a box. I was very firm that I was going to write anything that caught my fancy and the fancy of my readers. However, while researching Eye of the Needle, I had come across a wonderful true story.

There was a spy ring based on a house boat in Cairo in 1942 which involved a belly dancer and a British major she was having an affair with. The information at stake was crucial to the battles going on in the desert. The code used by the spies was based on one of the great suspense novels of all time, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. The spycatcher in the story is trying to find the key to the Rebecca code. The Key to Rebecca was my third bestseller. After that, I really started believing that I was a success.


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Mar 14, 2010

North Africa in the summer of 1942 and Rommel seems unbeatable. His secret weapon is Alex Wolff, master spy, and a deadly code buried in the pages of du Maurier's novel, Rebecca. Crossing the blazing Sahara, Wolff enters Cairo to steal British military plans. His pursuer, Major Vandam, engages the lovely Elene to lure him into range. As Rommel's troops come closer to victory, the pursuit continues across the desert to a startling, explosive confrontation.

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