The Key to Rebecca
1980 | Thriller | 528 pages
A Ruthless Spy
A Failing Campaign
A Deadly Chase
The last camel collapsed at noon. It was the five-year-old white bull he had bought in Gialo, the youngest and strongest of the three beasts, and the least ill-tempered: he liked the animal as much as a man could like a camel, which is to say that he hated it only a little. They climbed the leeward side of a small hill, man and camel planting big clumsy feet in the inconstant sand, and at the top they stopped. They looked ahead, seeing nothing but another hillock to climb, and after that a thousand more, and it was as if the camel despaired at the thought. Its forelegs folded, then its rear went down, and it couched on top of the hill like a monument, searing across the empty desert with the indifference of the dying. Continue reading
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.
“From the opening sentence to the gripping climax . . . Ken Follett delivers the surefire suspense readers have come to expect.” - Los Angeles Times
“A top-flight adventure thriller . . . violence, intrigue, and exotic passions. . . . A vivid page-turner.” - The Washington Post
“Brilliant . . . breathless high adventure.” - Time
“Magnificent . . . pulse-racing . . . the runaway hit of the year.” - People