Follett, Ken. The Key To Rebecca. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc. 1980.
Reason read: Follett was born in June.
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.
Author fact: Follett also wrote Eye of the Needle and Jackdaws; the latter being on my Challenge list.
Book trivia: Key to Rebecca is based on true events.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Lines that Linger; Sentencing that Stick” (p 143).