Book #88 was The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. The back of the book reads:
One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies’ greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin—code name: "The Needle"—who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory. Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is coming to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.
Ken Follett’s unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart—Eye of the Needle
Eye of the Needle was Follet’s first book published in the U.S., and it’s no surprise that it’s sold somewhere around 10 million copies worldwide. I consider Follett’s WWII books to be his best. He is able to put us smack dab in the middle of the war, usually in a situation we wouldn’t expect. Here, he takes a single question — What if the Germans knew the Allies were attacking Normandy? — and turns it into a thrilling cross-country chase that culminates in an unexpected showdown on a tiny island. He gives us characters that are three-dimensional and complex, even if they aren’t major characters in the story. Perhaps most interesting was Follett’s fictional Third Reich.
I was fortunate enough to see Ken Follett speak at the National Book Festival this year, and now I’m a bigger fan than ever. How can you not like a man who tops off every writing day with a glass of champagne?
The Eye of the Needle – Ken Follett « A Book Sanctuary
Page count: 464 | Approximate word count: 116,000
2009: Unnatural Exposure (Patricia Cornwell)
2008: I’m Watching You (Mary Burton)
2007: The Ritual Bath (Faye Kellerman)
2006: You Belong To Me (Mary Higgins Clark)
Used in these Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; 2010 Reading From My Shelves Project; Historical Fiction Reading Challenge; Pages Read Challenge Season 2;
Title: The Sigma Protocol
Author: Robert Ludlum
American investment banker Ben Hartman arrives in Zurich for a ski holiday, the first time he’s been back to Switzerland since his twin brother died there in a tragic accident four years earlier. But his arrival triggers something far more sinister than his brother’s fate. When Ben chances upon Jimmy Cavanaugh, an old college friend, Cavanaugh promptly pulls out a gun and tries to kill him. In a matter of minutes, several innocent bystanders are dead – as well as Cavanaugh – and Ben has barely managed to survive. Plunged into an unspeakable nightmare, Hartman suddenly finds himself on the run.
Department of Justice field agent Anna Navarro is being stalked around the world by a relentless killer, managing to survive the killer’s attacks only by a combination of luck, skill, and her own quick wits. These attacks are somehow related to her current assignment: investigating the sudden – and seemingly unrelated – deaths of a number of very old men throughout the world. The only thing that connects them is a file in the CIA archives, over a half-century old, marked with the same puzzling code word: Sigma. But someone or something is always seemingly one step ahead of her, the survivors are rapidly dwindling, and her own life is in ever-increasing danger.
Brought together by accident, Ben and Anna soon realize that their only hope for survival lies with each other. Together they race to uncover the diabolical secrets long hidden behind the code word Sigma, secrets that threaten everything they think they know about themselves, everything they believed true about their friends and families, and everything they were ever taught about history itself. For behind Sigma lies a vast deception that is finally coming to fruition, and the fate and future of the world is in their hands.
Book #26 was The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum.
This is the first Ludlum book I’ve read, and I enjoyed it, for the most part. It had a little bit too much bad guy monologing that I tended to skim, but I got the jist of it. I like spy/espionage/intrigue stories, and Ludlum is one of the best.
Book count: 26/50 — 52%
Pages in book: 672
Page count: 8,388/15,000 — 55.92%