Excerpt from Never by Ken Follett, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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A Novel

by Ken Follett

Never by Ken Follett X
Never by Ken Follett
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2021, 816 pages

    Jun 2022, 816 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Print Excerpt

Most Americans would see this as a desperately poor home, but Tamara knew that it was not only comfortable but a touch more affluent than the average. Kiah looked proud as she offered a bottle of local beer called Gala that she had cooling in a bowl of water. Tamara thought it would be polite to accept hospitality-and anyway she was thirsty.

A picture of the Virgin Mary in a cheap frame on the wall indicated that Kiah was Christian, as were some 40 percent of the people of Chad. Tamara said: "You went to a school run by nuns, I suppose. That's how you learned French."


"You speak it very well." This was not really true, but Tamara was being nice.

Kiah invited her to sit on the rug. Before doing so, Tamara went back to the door and glanced out nervously, screwing up her eyes against the sudden brightness. She looked toward the car. The cigarette vendor was bending down by the driver's-side window with a carton of Cleopatras in his hand. She saw Ali behind the window, his scarf wound around his head, making a contemptuous flicking-away gesture with his fingers, evidently not wanting to buy cheap cigarettes. Then the vendor said something that altered Ali's attitude dramatically. Ali jumped out of the car, looking apologetic, and opened the rear door. The vendor got into the car and Ali quickly closed the door.

So that's him, Tamara thought. Well, the disguise is certainly effective. It fooled me.

She was relieved. At least he was still alive.

She looked around. No one in the village had taken any notice of the vendor's getting into the car. He was now out of sight, hidden by the tinted windows.

Tamara nodded with satisfaction and went back inside Kiah's house.

Kiah asked her: "Is it true that all white women have seven dresses and a maid to wash a different one every day?"

Excerpted from Never by Ken Follett. Copyright © 2021 by Ken Follett. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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