Triple

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As the nuclear arms race escalates in the Middle East, the Mossad, KGB, Egyptians, and Fedayeen terrorists will play out the final ...
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Overview

As the nuclear arms race escalates in the Middle East, the Mossad, KGB, Egyptians, and Fedayeen terrorists will play out the final violent moves in a devastating game where the price of failure is nuclear holocaust...

"Masterful...first class... a grand slam home run." --Philadelphia Inquirer

"Fascinating."--Washington Post

"Sizzling."--Time

"Earth-shaking."--New York Times

* A #1 bestselling thriller by the author of The Hammer of Eden--now repackaged for a new generation of Follett fans
* Signet also publishes the classic Follett titles Night Over Water, On The Wings Of Eagles, The Key To Rebecca, Eye Of The Needle, The Man From St. Petersburg, Lie Down With Lions, and The Pillars Of The Earth
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451163547
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/1/1991
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Follett

Ken Follett's career as a bestselling author has spanned more than three decades. He is the author of numerous immensely popular books, including Eye of the Needle, Triple, The Key to Rebecca, The Man From St. Petersburg, On Wings of Eagles, Lie Down With Lions, The Pillars of the Earth, A Dangerous Fortune, The Third Twin, The Hammer of Eden, and World Without End. He lives in England with his wife, Barbara Follett, a British M.P.

Biography

As a young boy growing up in Cardiff, Wales, Ken Follett's love for all things literary began early on. The son of devoutly religious parents who didn't allow their children to watch television or even listen to the radio, Follett found himself drawn to the library. It soon became his favorite place -- its shelves full of stories providing his escape, and ultimately, his inspiration.

Follett's more formal education took place years later at London's University College, where he studied philosophy -- a choice that, as he explains on his official Web site, he believes guided his career as an author. "There is a real connection between philosophy and fiction," Follet explains. "In philosophy you deal with questions like: ‘We're sitting at this table, but is the table real?' A daft question, but in studying philosophy, you need to take that sort of thing seriously and have an off-the-wall imagination. Writing fiction is the same."

After graduating in 1970, a journalism class touched off Follett's career as a writer. He started out covering beats for the South Wales Echo, and later wrote a column for London's Evening News. Becoming more and more interested in writing fiction on evenings and weekends, however, Follett soon realized that books were his true business, and in 1974 he went to work for Everest Books, a humble London publishing house.

After releasing a few of his own novels to less than thunderous acclaim --including The Shakeout (1975) and Paper Money (1977) -- Follett finally hit it big with 1978's Eye of the Needle. The taut, edgy thriller with more than a dash of sex appeal flew off the shelves, winning the Edgar award and allowing Follett to quit his job and get to work on his next book, Triple. Showing no signs of a sophomore slump, Triple went on to spark a string of bestselling spy thrillers, including The Key to Rebecca (1980), The Man from St. Petersburg (1982), and Lie Down with Lions (1986). 1983's On Wings of Eagles was an interesting departure -- a nonfiction account of how two of Ross Perot's employees were rescued from Iran in 1979.

Follett changed direction even more sharply in 1989, surprising fans with The Pillars of the Earth -- a novel set in the Middle Ages many critics considered his crowning achievement. "A novel of majesty and power," said The Chicago Sun-Times of Follett's epic story. "It will hold you, fascinate you, surround you."

Follett's next three books were a trio considered to be more suspenseful than thrill-filled -- Night Over Water (1991), A Dangerous Fortune (1993) and A Place Called Freedom (1995), but The Third Twin (1996) and The Hammer of Eden (1998) marked a return to Follett's trademark capers. The wartime novels Code to Zero (2000) and Jackdaws (2001) showcased Follett's "unique ability to tell stories of international conflict and tell them well," according to Larry King in USA Today.

Follett "hits the mark again" (Publishers Weekly) with his latest story of international intrigue, Hornet Flight (2002) -- the WWII story of a young couple trying to escape occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane who become unwitting carriers of top-secret information.

In a way, Follett's smash-hit success has allowed him to give back to the library of Cardiff, Wales -- by filling its shelves with his own transporting tales.

Good To Know

Eye of the Needle was made into a major motion picture, and four of Follett's books have been made into television mini-series: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, On Wings of Eagles and The Third Twin -- the rights for which were sold to CBS for the record sum of $1,400,000.

A very civic-minded soul, Follett is quite involved in his Hertfordshire community, serving as President of the Dyslexia Institute, Council Member of the National Literacy Trust, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Chair of Governors of the Roebuck Primary School & Nursery, Patron of Stevenage Home-Start, director of the Stevenage Leisure Ltd. and Vice-President of the Stevenage Borough Football club.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hertfordshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cardiff, Wales
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Philosophy, University College, London, 1970

First Chapter

Triple

Chapter One

The public-address system at Cairo airport made a noise like a doorbell, and then the arrival of the Alitalia flight from Milan was announced in Arabic, Italian, French and English. Towfik el-Masiri left his table in the buffet and made his way out to the observation deck. He put on his sunglasses to look over the shimmering concrete apron. The Caravelle was already down and taxiing.

Towfik was there because of a cable. It had come that morning from his "uncle" in Rome, and it had been in code. Any business could use a code for international telegrams, provided it first lodged the key to the code with the post office. Such codes were used more and more to save money—by reducing common phrases to single words—than to keep secrets. Towfik's uncle's cable, transcribed according to the registered code book, gave details of his late aunt's will. However, Towfik had another key, and the message he read was:

Observe and follow professor Friedrich Schulz arriving Cairo from Milan Wednesday 28 February 1968 for several days. Age 51 height 180 cm weight 150 pounds hair white eyes blue nationality Austrian companions wife only.

The passengers began to file out of the aircraft, and Towfik spotted his man almost immediately. There was only one tall, lean white-haired man on the flight. He was wearing a light blue suit, a white shirt and a tie, and carrying a plastic shopping bag from a duty-free store and a camera. His wife was much shorter, and wore a fashionable mini-dress and a blonde wig. As they crossed the airfield they looked about them and sniffed the warm, dry desertair the way most people did the first time they landed in North Africa.

The passengers disappeared into the arrivals hall. Towfik waited on the observation deck until the baggage came off the plane, then he went inside and mingled with the small crowd of people waiting just beyond the customs barrier.

He did a lot of waiting. That was something they did not teach you—how to wait. You learned to handle guns, memorize maps, break open safes and kill people with your bare hands, all in the first six months of the training course; but there were no lectures in patience, no exercises for sore feet, no seminars on tedium. And it was beginning to seem like There is something wrong here beginning to seem Lookout lookout beginning to

There was another agent in the crowd.

Towfik's subconscious hit the fire alarm while he was thinking about patience. The people in the little crowd, waiting for relatives and friends and business acquaintances off the Milan plane, were impatient. They smoked, shifted their weight from one foot to the other, craned their necks and fidgeted. There was a middle-class family with four children, two men in the traditional striped cotton galabiya robes, a businessman in a dark suit, a young white woman, a chauffeur with a sign saying FORD MOTOR COMPANY, and—

And a patient man.

Like Towfik, he had dark skin and short hair and wore a European-style suit. At first glance he seemed to be with the middle-class family—just as Towfik would seem, to a casual observer, to be with the businessman in the dark suit. The other agent stood nonchalantly, with his hands behind his back, facing the exit from the baggage hall, looking unobtrusive. There was a streak of paler skin alongside his nose, like an old scar. He touched it, once, in what might have been a nervous gesture, then put his hand behind his back again.

The question was, had he spotted Towfik?

Towfik turned to the businessman beside him and said, "I never understand why this has to take so long." He smiled, and spoke quietly, so that the businessman leaned closer to hear him and smiled back; and the pair of them looked like acquaintances having a casual conversation.

The businessman said, "The formalities take longer than the flight."

Towfik stole another glance at the other agent. The man stood in the same position, watching the exit. He had not attempted any camouflage. Did that mean that he had not spotted Towfik? Or was it just that he had second-guessed Towfik, by deciding that a piece of camouflage would give him away?

The passengers began to emerge, and Towfik realized there was nothing he could do, either way. He hoped the people the agent was meeting would come out before Professor Schulz.

It was not to be. Schulz and his wife were among the first little knot of passengers to come through.

The other agent approached them and shook hands.

Of course, of course.

The agent was there to meet Schulz.

Towfik watched while the agent summoned porters and ushered the Schulzes away; then he went out by a different exit to his car. Before getting in he took off his jacket and tie and put on sunglasses and a white cotton cap. Now he would not be easily recognizable as the man who had been waiting at the meeting point.

He figured the agent would have parked in a no-waiting zone right outside the main entrance, so he drove that way. He was right. He saw the porters loading the Schulz baggage into the boot of a five-year-old gray Mercedes. He drove on.

He steered his dirty Renault on to the main highway which ran from Heliopolis, where the airport was, to Cairo. He drove at 60 kph and kept to the slow lane. The gray Mercedes passed him two or three minutes later, and he accelerated to keep it within sight. He memorized its number, as it was always useful to be able to recognize the opposition's cars.

The sky began to cloud over. As he sped down the straight, palm-lined highway, Towfik considered what he had found out so far. The cable had told him nothing about Schulz except what the man looked like and the fact that he was an Austrian professor. The meeting at the airport meant a great deal, though. It had been a kind of clandestine VIP treatment. Towfik had the agent figured for a local: everything pointed to that—his clothes, his car, his style of waiting. That meant Schulz was probably here by invitation of the government, but either he or the people he had come to see wanted the visit kept secret.

Triple. Copyright © by Ken Follett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2004

    fantastic book, can't put it down, don't want it to end!

    This is my 1st Ken Follett book, and I am EAGERLY looking forward to reading all of his others. This book was detailed about the history behind the conflict of the Palestinians and Israeli's - and while it is a serious subject, this book is highly entertaining and shows the human side to each person. It's also slyly humrous and catches you off guard. Great love story as well. One of the Best books I've ever read hands down. Highly recommended!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    More Than a Triple, Follett Hits a Home Run

    As a big Ken Follett fan, I have read many of his books. Triple is by far one of my favorites. Our hero, Nat Dickstein, is not only someone that you root for, he's someone that you want to know personally. Definitely a page-turner - the only problem is that you don't want it to end. Full of suspense with very real characters. Even as a single mom with a two-year-old, I made time to read this one.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    Follett has reinvented the mystery

    In my opinion, this is not one of Follett's best. To me, that is like saying an Olympic athlete didn't play his best match. It is a engaging read with good characters and an involved plot. If you enjoy reading Follett then you will enjoy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Check it out

    I do enjoy reading his books.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Gwen

    Next res.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Junk

    Worst Follett book I have tried to read.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy!!!

    You can't tell the players without a scorecard and here's the scorecard. Ken Follett once again weaves and a amazingly complex story that is simple at heart. There are many sides to war and here we see a ton of them. Double cross on top of double cross as characters and motives keep popping up. It was a little slow going at first but then it really got moving. I enjoyed the many points of view and the research involved in this project. A really solid spy novel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001

    great & exciting

    I read this book as an application project on the five themes of geography. This book helped me understand the five themes of geography by making me look for supportive quotes. To do this I had to understand all five themes of geography. In addition, while finding the quotes the story played out very exciting spy plot, which could lead to nuclear holocaust since the clock was ticking. I was able to identify with the characters quite easily, because Ken Follett doses a great job of illustrating the characters. I am a slow reader and not the best either, yet this book was fairly easy to read. This book would be great for high school students, since I believe it is about a ninth grade reading level. The one thing I especially liked about this book was you never know where Nat will be travailing next. Also, the romantic background that is set. Or if Nat will be shot, or captured at any time. Another book I have read is Dog Song, which is about a trained killer. One more book I have read is Call of The Wild, which is a change in taste it takes place in the wilderness.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 2, 2009

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    Posted January 17, 2012

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    Posted January 2, 2012

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