As described by Ken Follett
January 01, 2006
The Eye of the Needle (1978) It is 1944 and weeks before D-Day. The Allies are disguising their invasion plans with a phony armada of ships and planes. Their plan would be ruined if an enemy agent found out...and then, Hitler's prize agent, "The Needle," does just that. Hunted by MI5, he leads a murderous trail across Britain to a waiting U-Boat. But he hasn't planned for a storm-battered island, and the remarkable young woman who lives there.
Triple (1979) "It was never determined what had actually happened to the 200 tons of uranium," but three countries know the truth. Three young men met decades ago and now world events have cast them as adversaries. Nat, Israel's hero, known as "The Pirate," stages a daring nuclear exploit. Breathing down his neck, the KGB's Rostov and Egyptian intelligence's Yassif. A furious race against time builds to an extraordinary climax on a doomed cargo boat.
The Key to Rebecca (1980) 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.
The Man from St. Petersburg (1982) In 1914, Germany arms for war and the Allies are preparing their defenses. Both sides need Russia. The Earl of Walden and Winston Churchill plan a secret Russian alliance, but a man steals into England, intent on leaving his mark on history. Fate catches up with a beautiful woman, a young girl and a star-crossed lover, while the police close in on the man who might bring England to her knees.
On Wings of Eagles (1983) This is the real-life story of a Green Beret colonel, who came out of retirement to lead a secret raid, the computer executives, shaped into a crack commando team and the Texas industrialist, who would not abandon two Americans in an Iranian jail. After a hairbreadth escape, there is a desperate race for safety. Today the team is back home living normal lives. But for a while, they lived a legend.
Lie Down with Lions (1986) In the Afghan mountains lies the Valley of Five Lions, a place of ancient legend. To it come two young aid workers and an American who has a message for the legendary guerrilla leader, Masud, who is wanted dead or alive by the Russians. Below, in the Valley, a woman stumbles upon a terrifying treachery, leading to a chase across impassable mountains and a confrontation that echoes all our nightmares.
Night Over Water (1991) In 1939, with war just declared, a group of privileged people board the most luxurious airliner ever—the Pan American Clipper, bound for New York: an English aristocrat, a German scientist, a murderer under escort, a young wife escaping her husband and a charming, unscrupulous thief. For 30 hours, there is no escape from the flying palace. Over the Atlantic, tension mounts and finally explodes in a dramatic and dangerous climax.
A Dangerous Fortune (1993) In 1866, a schoolboy drowns in a mysterious accident. Present are Hugh Pilaster and his older cousin Edward, the dissolute heir to a banking fortune and Micky Miranda, son of a brutal South American landowner. Caught in the ensuing maelstrom are sly matriarch Augusta Pilaster, rich heir Solly Greenbourne and slum girl Maisie Robinson. Micky Miranda uses blackmail and murder to advance his family and threatens the whole British economy.
A Place Called Freedom (1995) Hidden by a Scottish river bank in the winter of 1767, Lizzie Hallim watches a naked figure emerging from the icy water. Mack McAsh is a slave and Lizzie is helping him escape. Mack challenges the mighty Jamisson family, which enslaves whole families to work their mine. Mack soon finds himself wrongly sentenced to death. Rescued from hanging, he is transported to America, where he continues to struggle for freedom.
The Third Twin (1996) Young scientist Jeannie Ferrami discovers a baffling mystery. Two young men, law student Steve and convicted murderer Dan, appear to be identical twins. Yet they were born on different days, to different mothers. Jeannie investigates, but shadowy forces retaliate and Steve is accused of a terrible crime. As Jeannie falls in love with him, can she be sure he is different from his evil twin? Solving the mystery will mean deadly danger.
The Hammer of Eden (1998) The one thing Californians fear most is a full-scale earthquake. The thing Priest fears most is the destruction of his commune in the Sierra Nevada foothills—the one place he can hide from his mobster past. He has to make the governor of California listen to him. And now he has a way. He knows how to create an earthquake. And if his demands aren't met, the next quake is just 48 hours away...
Code to Zero (2000) A man wakes up to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station, his mind stripped bare of all recollection. He has no idea how he got there; he does not even know his own name. Convinced he is a drunken down and out, it isn't until a newspaper report about a satellite launch catches his eye that he suspects all is not what it seems... The year is 1958, and America is about to launch its first satellite in a desperate attempt to match the Soviet Sputnik and regain the lead in the space race. As Luke Lucas gradually unravels the mystery of his amnesia, he realizes that his fate is bound up with that of the rocket that stands ready on launch pad 26B at Cape Canaveral. And as he relearns the story of his life, he uncovers long-kept secrets about his wife, his best friend and the woman he once loved more than life itself.
Jackdaws (2001) D-Day is approaching. They don't know where or when, but the Germans know it'll be soon, and for Felicity "Flick" Clariet, the stakes have never been higher. A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) responsible for sabotage, Flick has survived to become one of Britain's most effective operatives in Northern France. She knows that the Germans' ability to thwart the Allied attack depends upon their lines of communications, and in the days before the invasion no target is of greater strategic importance than the largest telephone exchange in Europe.
But when Flick and her Resistance-leader husband try a direct, head-on assault that goes horribly wrong, her world turns upside down. Her group destroyed, her husband missing, her superiors unsure of her, her own confidence badly shaken, she has one last chance at the target, but the challenge, once daunting, is now near-impossible.
The new plan requires an all-woman team, none of them professionals, to be assembled and trained within days. Code-named the Jackdaws, they will attempt to infiltrate the exchange under the noses of the Germans—but the Germans are waiting for them now and have plans of their own. There are secrets Flick does not know—secrets within the German ranks, secrets among her hastily-recruited team, secrets among those she trusts the most. And as the hours tick down to the point of no return, most daunting of all, there are secrets within herself.
Hornet Flight (2002) It is June 1941, and the low point of the war. England throws wave after wave of bombers across the Channel, but somehow the Lufwaffe is able to shoot them down at will. The skies—indeed the war itself—seem to belong to Hitler. But on a small Danish island across the North Sea, Harald Olufsen, a bright 18-year-old with a talent for engineering, stumbles across a secret German installation. Its machinery is like nothing he has ever seen before and he knows he must tell someone—if he can only figure out who.
With England preparing its largest aerial assault ever, what Harald has discovered may turn the course of the war—but the race to convey the information could have terrible consequences for everyone close to him.
For his older brother Arne, a pilot in the grounded Danish Air Force and already under suspicion of the authorities. For Arne's fiancée, Hermia, an MI6 intelligence analyst desperate to resurrect the foundering Danish resistance. And most of all for Harald himself—because as the hour of the assault approaches, it will all fall to him and his friend Karen to get the word to England. And the only means available to them is a derelict Hornet Moth biplane abandoned in a ruined church, a plane so decrepit that it is unlikely ever to get off the ground.
Pursued by the enemy; hunted by collaborators; with almost no training, limited fuel, and no way of knowing if they will survive the six-hundred mile flight, the two will carry with them England's best—perhaps only—hope of avoiding disaster.
White Out (2004) A missing canister of a deadly virus. A lab technician bleeding from the eyes. Toni Gallo, the security director of a Scottish medical research firm, knows she has problems, but she has no idea of the nightmare to come.
As a Christmas Eve blizzard whips out of the north, several people converge on a remote family house. Stanley Oxenford, the research company's director, has everything riding on the drug he is developing to fight the virus—but he isn't the only one: His grown children, who have come to spend Christmas, have their eyes on the money it will bring.
Toni Gallo, forced to resign from the police department in disgrace, is betting her career on keeping the drug safe; a local television reporter, determined to move up, has sniffed the story, even if he has to bend the facts to tell it; and a violent trio of thugs is on its way to steal it for a client already waiting—though what the client really has in mind is something that will shock them all.
As the storm worsens, the emotional sparks—jealousies, distrust, sexual attraction, rivalries—crackle; desperate secrets are revealed; hidden traitors and unexpected heroes emerge.
World Without End (2007) On the day after Halloween, in the year 1327, four children slip away from the cathedral city of Kingsbridge. They are a thief, a bully, a boy genius and a girl who wants to be a doctor. In the forest they see two men killed.
As adults, their lives will be braided together by ambition, love, greed and revenge. They will see prosperity and famine, plague and war. One boy will travel the world but come home in the end; the other will be a powerful, corrupt nobleman. One girl will defy the might of the medieval church; the other will pursue an impossible love. And always they will live under the long shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed on that fateful childhood day.
World Without End is the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth. However, it doesn't matter which you read first. The second book is set in the same town, Kingsbridge, but takes place 200 years later, and features the descendants of the original characters.