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The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
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The Key to Rebecca (1980)

by Ken Follett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,124243,084 (3.64)44
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English (20)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All (24)
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To set the scene: it's 1942 in North Africa and the Germans are winning the Second Great War.
Alexander Wolff is a clever yet psychotic man with a deep seeded grudge against the British. Born to look like and pass as an Englishman but with a German past, he has an affinity for helping Hitler win the war. His good looks, deadly skills and unflinching temperament make him the perfect proficient spy, especially when he is able to seduce any woman he wants into aiding and abetting his every crime.
Major William Vandam is a hard drinking yet dedicated military man with a growing obsession with catching Wolff. A lonely widower with a ten year old son, he struggles to balance a home life while always frustratingly one step behind Wolff. When he meets and enlists the help of lovely Elena the burning question is will she help Vandam or be drawn into Wolff's charming ways? As Natalie Merchant warns, "you'll fall under an evil spell just looking at his beautiful face" ("Build a Levee").
At the center of this cat and mouse chase is Daphne du Maurier's famous novel, Rebecca. Buried deep within its pages is code designed to alert the Germans to the British military plans.
This is a fast paced adventure across the arid Sahara and down the darkened streets of Cairo. The characters as well as the action keep you riveted. I read it in four days time. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 3, 2017 |
Utterly formulaic and predictable, but I did enjoy the stream of consciousness section in Chapter 26. All in all a plausible explanation for events in Egypt in 1942. ( )
  5hrdrive | Jun 22, 2016 |
1942 Cairo, North Africa; spy Alex Wolff is on a mission to steal British military plans and send them to Rommel using a code whose key is buried in the Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca vs British Major Vandam.
( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
I didn't expect the quality of an Umberto Eco in this book. Probably my expectation was something on par with Robert Harris, but I was pretty disappointed to read what felt like a Dan Brown novel. If you like the Da Vinci Code, this book is for you. It's a pretty standard (trite) thriller story, you don't learn much about history, but in exchange you get your fair dose of clichéd depiction of women and Arabs. ( )
1 vote Frederic_Schneider | Jan 23, 2016 |
North Africa, Rommel, Wolf Spy

His code name: "The Sphinx." His mission: to send Rommel's advancing army the secrets that would unlock the doors to Cairo...and the ultimate Nazi triumph in the war. And in all of Cairo, only two people could stop this brilliant and ruthless Nazi master agent. One was a down-on-his-luck English officer no one would listen to. The other was a young Jewish girl...
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  christinejoseph | Aug 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Follett, Kenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bonomi, P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Our spy in Cairo is the greatest hero of them all."
-Erwin Rommel, September 1942

(Quoted by Anthony Cave Brown in Bodyguard of Lies)
Dedication
To Robin McGibbon
First words
The last camel collapsed at noon.
Quotations
"Onze spion in Cairo is de grootste held van allemaal" - Erwin Rommel, september 1942 (zoals aangehaald door Anthony Cave Brown in Het Onzichtbare Front).
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From Ken Follett: 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
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451207793, Paperback)

Ken Follett’s The Key to Rebecca took readers and critics by storm when first published more than fifteen years ago. Today, it remains one of the best espionage novels ever written.

 

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….

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A Nazi agent possesses the secret that will open the doors of Cairo to Rommel's advancing army. Only two people can stop him--a down-on-his-luck English officer and a beautiful Jewish girl who serves as bait.

» see all 6 descriptions

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