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.
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
Listen to an excerpt
- “Follett really knows how to tell a story!” — Atlanta Journal
- “His scenes whip along. And his ending is absolutely smashing!” — The Virginian-Pilot
The Third Twin by Ken Follett, Crown Publishers, New York, 1996.
- The United States and Canadian edition is published by Penguin Random House
- The British and Commonwealth edition is published by PanMacMillan
- The Danish edition, Den tredje tvilling, is published by Cicero
- The Dutch edition, De derde tweeling, is published by Uitgeverij Unieboek
- The French edition, Le Troisième Jumeau, is published by Robert Laffont
- The German edition, Der dritte Zwilling, is published by Lübbe
- The Greek edition, Ο Τρίτος Δίδυμος, is published by Bell
- The Hungarian edition, A harmadik iker, is published by Gabo
- The Italian edition, Il terzo gemello, is published by Mondadori
- The Norwegian edition, Den tredje tvilling, is published by Cappelen Damm
- The Polish edition, Trzeci bliźniak, is published by Wydawnictwo Albatros
- The Portuguese edition, O Terceiro Gémeo, is published by Editorial Presença
- The Romanian edition, Al treilea geaman, is published by Rao Books
- The Russian edition, Третий близнец, is published by AST
- The Serbian edition, Treći blizana, is published by Evro Book
- The Spanish edition, El tercer gemelo, is published by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
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.