This is my review of the book Code to Zero by Ken Follett which I have read recently. I wanted a book that moved along at a reasonable pace following on from Ivanhoe, and this book certainly did not disappoint.
The book goes back to America in the late 1950's and the space race with the Russians. A man wakes up in a railway station, and he cannot remember who he is, or what he is doing there. He cannot even remember his own name.
All he can think is that he is a drunken down and out, but then gradually though a fast moving series of events he gradually discovers who he is, including his name Luke Lucas.
He is tied up in uncovering a Russian spy ring and finds that he has been labelled the spy. So not only discovering the truth he also needs to avoid the CIA and other secret services who are trying to capture him as a spy.
It is a clever book as alongside the main plot line the story goes back to the main characters university days and how they formed relationships. Now having lost his mind the relationships need to be re-born, but will they come back in the same way as they did the first time. Well of course not.
This was a very enjoyable read and kept one turning the pages right to the end and I will record it as book book 47 week 39 fiction 42 (audio books 7) non fiction 5
There is a saying that time and tide wait for no-one. If one adds in internet connection problems then trying to keep a business running that uses the net this is an issue. Add keeping my book list reviews up to date is a real problem. (All I can say is if using BT Broadband then do read their spam emails because if they say they are going to change your settings even if you have not asked them to they will and it is not easy getting them to put things right and as to telling you why they changed things then “that is a mystery – The system seems to have a mind of it's own” as the man from their finance dept said).
So after much thought rather than playing catch up all the time, I will list all the 7 books I have read or listened to in the last few weeks without a review and then hopefully move on from there.
So this brings the total up to book 44 week 32 fiction 41 (audio books 12) non fiction 3
Friends, this is my review of the book Lie down with Lions by Ken Follett, which I read recently. This book was written in the mid 1980's, and is about life in Afghanistan, though not of course the Afghanistan, which we hear about on the news every day, but one where the Russians are the invaders and the locals are fighting them as the oppressors.
Ironically the book is all about the Americans, in the form of the CIA helping the rebels. They supply arms and teach them how to make traps and lay land mines. Oh the snake that turns on the hand that feeds it.
In some aspects the book is quite sad, and makes one question how things might have been if the rebels still had weapons of over 100 years old, rather than high explosives. Anyway enough daydreaming about the what if? -
The book is a romantic spy adventure, set in Afghanistan, where our star Jane falls in love with two unbeknown to her spies, one working for the CIA and one for the Russians. She marries one of them, and has a daughter.
When one spy tries to kill the other along with several local war lords, she is trapped, and has to get out of the line of fire. There then follows a chase across Afghanistan. This part of the story did seem to be real life acting as a mirror to the fictional narrative, but makes an exciting
This being said the twist at the end was unexpected, and the book was an enjoyable read. This was book 28 week 21 fiction 25 (6 on audio) non fiction 3
Sometimes when one picks up a book of a well know author and notice that the only quote given on the cover is a generic one, alarm bells ring, but you ignore them as they are an award winning author who you have enjoyed before, and you are sure you are going to enjoy this book.
Well sadly this one was not quite so good. If I had not read and enjoyed Ken's books before then I would not have bothered to read on to the end, and it would not be getting a review. (Only books that I complete get a review, that is why the majority of my reviews are fairly positive.)
The idea behind the story is that a genetics researcher uncovers several people with seemingly different parents, born in different places, on different days all with the same DNA. It seems that a biotech company has been making illegal clones as super aggressive males just right for the army. If this is uncovered then a multi million dollar deal will go down the pan.
On the face of it a good idea but just lacked execution, too much time spent describing in great detail all the sexual deviations these clones are exhibiting, and not enough time exploring the rest of the characters giving some depth to the story. As I did get to the end it does get a review but sadly in my humble opinion this is a book for the recycling.
Book 21 week 13 fiction 20 (7 on audio) non fiction 1
Ken is very good at writing a story that progresses along, and he gives you lots of ideas as to where you know where it is going. This is a story that covers the two weeks before the D-Day invasion in 1944.
The French Resistance has to try and knock out a French chateau that contains a central telephone exchange vital to German defences of the area. It is also home to the local SS and their torture cells.
It is believed that the only way the guard to the building can be penetrated is by an all woman team of secret agents called the Jackdaws. Sadly they are up against Rommel's trialling intelligence officer – Colonel Dieter Frank, tasked with stopping any resistance activity.
Taken together these ingredients all lead to a very enjoyable book, even though you have some vague idea as to where it is going just enough goes wrong to provide the suspense required to keep you hooked and wanting to find out what happened next. So I won't say any more to spoil to story.
This was book 7 week 4 fiction 7 (3 on audio) non fiction 0
__ “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...” About life in the 1760s in Scotland, London and Virginia. The book fairly races along and you want to find out more, yet there are enough blind alleys to keep it interesting and Ken manages to incorporate his usual twist at the end.
The story beside, it does highlight the terrible living conditions of the Scottish coal miners and the mine owners. The miners were slaves in all but name during the 18th Century in Scotland. This was a good read as written book 19 taking the total up to 26 for week 22 as at audio book 7
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.