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The Third Twin

Young scientist Jeannie Ferrami discovers a baffling mystery. Two young men, law student Steve and convicted murderer Dan, appear to be identical twins. Yet they were born on different days, to different mothers. Jeannie investigates, but shadowy forces retaliate and Steve is accused of a terrible crime.

As Jeannie falls in love with him, can she be sure he is different from his evil twin? Solving the mystery will mean deadly danger.

Ken’s view

Everyone is interested in twins. There are lots of twins in literature: Shakespeare, for example, used them. The idea that there is someone who looks exactly like you is very intriguing and dramatic. Clones are just like twins. Everyone is worried about cloning and something that makes people anxious is the ideal background subject for a thriller.

Steve, the hero of The Third Twin, is troubled when he finds he has an identical twin who is a murderer. He's led to examine himself and he worries that he is like his brother. He asks, “do my genes make me what I am? Or is it my upbringing and my environment?”

He comes to the conclusion that, in the end, he himself is responsible for what he is. That isn’t really a philosophical answer, but it is a personal answer, and it is one that I believe in. I don’t think that after about the age of 25 you can carry on blaming either your parents or your DNA for anything that you do. My readers don’t buy my books to learn about philosophy, of course, but they like a story to have a thoughtful side.

Listen to Ken’s view on The Third Twin


Read the first chapter

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  • “Follett really knows how to tell a story!” — Atlanta Journal
  • “His scenes whip along. And his ending is absolutely smashing!” — The Virginian-Pilot

Published as

The Third Twin by Ken Follett, Crown Publishers, New York, 1996.

Also published in other languages, and available as an audiobook and as an ebook.


The Third Twin was filmed in 1997 as a TV mini-series starring Kelly McGillis as Dr. Jeannie Ferami. See the Filmography pages for more information.