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Publisher's Summary

A man wakes to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station. He does not remember how he got there. He has forgotten where he lives. He cannot even remember his own name. So begins Code to Zero, Ken Follett's explosive tale of intrigue, espionage, and conspiracy. It's January 1958, a dark hour in the cold war and the early dawn of the space race. At Cape Canaveral, a countdown has begun. On launch pad 26B sits Explorer I, America's best hope to match the Soviet Sputnik and regain the lead in the contest for the skies above.
As Luke Lucas starts to unravel the mystery of his amnesia, his desperate search leads him back to his Harvard friends: to his wife, to his best friend, to the woman he once loved more than life itself...and to the rocket that stands ready at the Cape. For Luke knew something that someone deliberately wanted him to forget, and unless he is able to discover his own deadly secret, he may be left powerless to save the launch of Explorer, and with it, America's future.
Don't miss Ken Follet discussing the history of the thriller and its role in literature at the 92nd Street Y.
©2000 Ken Follett (P)2000 Penguin Audiobooks and Recorded Books, Inc., LLC
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Critic Reviews

"Great spy thriller material." (AudioFile)
"Suspense junkies won't be disappointed by Follett's man-on-the-run framework; tension courses through the book from start to finish." (Publishers Weekly)
"With dependable skill, Follett weaves the threads of his narrative together, tying them into an unexpected and story-resolving knot." (New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By William on 05-14-05

Code to Zero

After listening to Ken Follett's Hornet Flight (excellent), I had high expectations for Code to Zero.

Flashbacks--from WWII to 1958--and Flashtechs--from the story to 1958 vintage space technology--eventually merge into a somewhat coherent plot, but take far too long. The object of suspense should be how the story may turn, not whether the author is ever going to get his arms around it.

And the story?when it does come together?keeps being broken apart by consistency goofs. After beginning the story waking up in Washington with amnesia, dressed like a vagrant with no trace of his identity, the hero eventually traces his way back to his home--where he pulls a key out of the pocket of his stolen clothes and opens the door. The Ford Fiesta, one of which the hero steals in 1958, didn't start production until 1976. Time machines and self-replicating pocket replicators shouldn't be needed for a historical novel to work.

With good editing, Code to Zero could have become an engrossing yarn. However, it is simply too poorly crafted to approach that potential.

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23 of 23 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 11-01-05

Very enjoyable.

Though it didn't keep me on the edge of my seat, and I felt the characters could have been a bit more developed, I still found this to be an entertaining and well written book. There were several plot twists that were an unexpected surprise, but for an espionage book, it was still a bit mild.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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