Bruce Fretts
January 05, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Code to Zero

Current Status
In Season
Ken Follett
Mystery and Thriller, Fiction

We gave it a B+

The spymaster’s latest thriller fluidly moves between 1941, when a quartet of Harvard students couple and uncouple on the eve of World War II, and 1958, when the group reunites as players in a Cold War espionage case. Follett lays on the techno-details, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to follow the plot, and the dovetailing of soapy love scenes with earthshaking events like Pearl Harbor and the space race lends the book a sense of both intimacy and import. Though artless, his prose is refreshingly unpretentious, and Code to Zero’s split-second suspense proves that nearly a quarter century after his breakthrough novel, Eye of the Needle, he’s still a hell of a storyteller. B+

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