6. The Third Twin (1996)
Everyone has been at least a bit curious about what it would feel like to have a twin at some point in their lives. Whether it`s the existence of another human being with the exact same physical features as you, or the mysterious psychic connection that twins are said to have, the idea is very intriguing. Follett decides to take it even further than this, treating not the subject of twins, but that of clones.
The story follows Jeannie Ferrami, a bright you scientist researching the influence of DNA on criminality by studying the behavior of twins who were separated at birth. However, her situation becomes more difficult when she comes across Dan and Steve, one a convicted criminal, the other a law student. They are identical twins, but she soon finds out that not only were they born on different days, but also to different mothers.
Norlam Law Student
Steve was no more than a normal law student, but one day he finds himself arrested and charged with rape. The news of his twin brother serving time in prison didn`t not help his situation either. Despite the bullet-proof DNA evidence, Jeannie believes in his innocence and together they decide to investigate what really happened in order to clear his name. However, the more they approach the end of the mystery, they`ll find out that not only Steve`s freedom is at stake, but also their very lives.
At the time of its writing, Follett`s book would have seem mere fiction, but nowadays, genetic engineering is something that`s as interesting as it is terrifying. With plot twists, cliffhangers and mysteries increasingly pilling up, The Third Twin is a novel that hardly allows you to put it down.
5. A Place Called Freedom (1995)
Probably the only thing stronger than the fear of the unknown, is the curiosity to discover everything it has to offer. What inspired this book to be written was the sheer nerve of pioneers, who set off to explore the newly found American land, not having even the slightest idea of what the future had in store for them. In so few words, Follett recreated the atrocious conditions of working in Scotland’s coal mines and the turmoil of eightieth century London back streets, until the characters finally reach the new world, the Place Called Freedom.
The story begins with Mack McAsh, a twenty-one year old coal miner born in slavery. Not wanting to accept a life of hardship in the coal mine, he finds the courage to stand up for his rights. Once escaped to London, he sets fire to the kindling of the British labor movement, but with this act he draws attention upon himself and he`s soon arrested and convicted for a crime he didn`t commit. Facing 7 years of servitude in America, he is now forced to rebuild his life from scratch in a land that he knows to little about.
In contrast, Lizzie Hallim is a rebellious young lady born in prestige. When the Jamissons arrive in town, her mother decides to offer her hand in marriage to the eldest son, Robert, but Lizzie had other plans for her future. Favoring the younger Jay, they make plans to elope and thus, assure themselves the Hallim estate. However, when she catches Mack trying to escape, she could not help but aid her childhood friend.
4. Eye of the Needle (1978)
Eye of the Needle is the crowning jewel of Follett`s thrillers, selling millions of copies and launching him as a bestsellers author. Although this wasn`t among his first novels, it`s the breakthrough that shaped him up as a writer. The richness in details that his new writing style developed gave the book the illusion of reality, something he admitted his previous works had never had before. The action advances at a paced rhythm, making sure to capture the tension of drama of a spy`s life.
The novel treats one of the most controversial plans of the Second World War. In 1994, Henry Faber was an undercover German spy, working at a railway depot. With the British Intelligence having caught most of the other agents, he remained the only one still at large. As the decisive D-Day approaches, he is tasked with finding out the real target of the British forces, Calais or Normandy. However, information would could for nothing if he was unable to deliver it and he soon finds himself in a race against time, with two ex-policemen hired for the sole reason of catching him.
In the Meantime
There is a parallel story involving David, a trainee pilot, and his wife Lucy. While on their honeymoon, they are involved into a car accident, resulting in David losing the use of both his legs. Since it was becoming harder and harder for him to accept his new condition, they decide to retire to the isolated coast of east Scotland.
Nonetheless, little did they know that it was soon going to become the fateful site of clashing wills. Everything will come to a ghastly conclusion in Ken Follett’s unforgettable masterpiece of suspense and intrigue.
Whatever his shortcomings as a writer might have been, Follett managed to take a story whose outcome everyone already knew, and turned it into an exceptional spy thriller full of plot twists and outbursts of violence that will have you breathlessly tear through the pages to see how it ends.