Summary and book reviews of Code To Zero by Ken Follett

Code To Zero

By Ken Follett

Code To Zero
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  • Hardcover: Dec 2000,
    368 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2001,
    480 pages.

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Book Summary

January, 1958. A man wakes to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station. He cannot remember how he got there. He has forgotten where he lives. He does not even know his own name.

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 race for the skies above.

Bound together by the past, separated by the war, and caught up in the mighty struggle between the superpowers, four old friends from Harvard sit at the very center in the this dangerous heart of the cold war. And as Luke Lucas relearns the story of his life, he uncovers long-kept secrets about his wife, his best friend, the woman he once loved more than life itself... and realizes that his fate is tied to the rocket that stands ready on launch pad 26B at the Cape. Luke knew something that someone was desperate for him to forget, and unless he is able to discover that terrible, deadly secret, Luke may be left powerless to save the launch of Explorer - and with it, America's future.

Chapter One
5 A.M.



The Jupiter C missile stands on the launch pad at Complex 26, Cape Canaveral. For secrecy, it is draped in vast canvas shrouds that hide everything but its tail, which is that of the Army's familiar Redstone rocket. But the rest of it, under the concealing cloak, is quite unique.

He woke up scared.

Worse than that: he was terrified. His heart was pounding, his breath came in gasps, and his body was taut. It was like a nightmare, except that waking brought no sense of relief. He felt that something dreadful had happened, but he did not know what it was.

He opened his eyes. A faint light from another room dimly illuminated his surroundings, and he made out vague shapes, familiar but sinister. Somewhere nearby, water ran in a cistern.

He tried to make himself calm. He swallowed, took regular breaths, and attempted to think straight. He was lying on a hard floor. He was cold, he hurt everywhere, and he had some kind of hangover, with a ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
San Francisco Chronicle

Follet has introduced enough new wrinkles to make Code To Zero fresh and fast-paced, even if it isn't exactly exploring new territory. Follett is no slouch at keeping the pages flying by. He maintains a brisk clip throughout and creates compelling and likable characters.

Los Angeles Times

Ken Follett delivers the surefire suspense readers have come to expect.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Follett is an artist of compelling talents.

Publishers Weekly

Follett does a wonderful job of keeping readers guessing about Lucas....suspense junkies won't be disappointed by Follett's man-on-the-run framework; tension courses through the book from start to finish.

Library Journal

With Eye of the Needle and the numerous novels that followed, Follett established himself as a master of the thriller. This latest tale of Cold War espionage is one more bit of evidence....a taut and exciting story.

Reader Reviews
D. McDonald

Anachronisms spoiled it for me
Good suspense, well developed characters and an excellent grip on the manners and mores of the time (WW2 to late 1950s). Unfortunately he refers to a particular car that wasn't marketed until 20 years later and there were a couple of instances of ...   Read More

Jule Rabino

Pow pow pow
Pounding, pulsating. The story is tight, and the readers are left breathless from its grip.

Matrin Kolb, 17

Excellent Book!!
I can't stop reading it. I'm reading it for the third time now.

ted alzate

Wow! Follett is the best next to none! Great plot, superb thrill to the finish.

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