Thriller

The Key to Rebecca…suave spies = ok reading

Title: The Key to Rebecca
Author: Ken Follett
Published: NAL Trade, 2003
Genre: Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Rating: 5/10

Ken Follett is one of my favorite authors. I have his newest, Fall of Giants, waiting in the wings. I’ve been saving World Without End for two years because I liked Pillars of the Earth so much I can’t bring myself to read it yet. But The Key to Rebecca was a quick, oldie-but-goodie to read in the meantime.

I might be slightly less enthused because I read this book in bits & pieces over a few weeks & read it on my Kindle, where it’s harder to gauge what you’ve read and what’s left to read. I think it’s a book you should dive into & read quickly–and it’s not that long. The Key to Rebecca is a spy novel, set in World War II. The novel ping-pongs mainly between the determined Major Vandam, a British officer, & Alex Wolff, the cunning, handsome & suave spy on the German side. Both Wolff & Vandam have gorgeous lady loves who assist them, not only in the bedroom (whoa is all I’ll say) but in their professions as well. Follett is a captivating author, detailing the lives of both the protagonist Vandam & the antagonist Wolff & the war unfolding around them.

Apparently (thanks to Wikipedia) Follett based The Key to Rebecca on a true story of the Nazi spy Johannes Eppler  and his involvement in Operation Salaam. Eppler was the inspiration behind the Alex Wolff character. The real-life Eppler, like Alex Wolff, grew up in Egypt with a mixed German and Arab cultural heritage and was based at a houseboat on the river Nile, got help from a belly dancer and used a system of codes based on Daphne du Maurier‘s book Rebeccawhich provided the title of Follett’s book.

I will say the book dragged a little–it was divided into three parts & at the beginning of part three I was taken aback in a good way, thinking, here comes the action we’ve been waiting for, but there was still a third of the book to go. But it was still entertaining & worth reading if you like spy novels or Ken Follett.

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