Ken Follett Popular Books

Ken Follett Biography & Facts

Kenneth Martin Follett, (born 5 June 1949) is a British author of thrillers and historical novels who has sold more than 160 million copies of his works.Many of his books have achieved high ranking on bestseller lists. For example, in the US, many reached the number-one position on the New York Times Best Seller list, including Triple (1979), The Key to Rebecca (1980), Lie Down with Lions (1985), A Dangerous Fortune (1993), World Without End (2007), Fall of Giants (2010), Winter of the World (2012), and Edge of Eternity (2014). Early life and education Follett was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales. He was the first child of Martin Follett, a tax inspector, and Lavinia (Veenie) Follett, who went on to have two more children, Hannah and James. Barred from watching films and television by his Plymouth Brethren parents, he developed an early interest in reading but remained an indifferent student until he entered his teens. His family moved to London when he was ten years old, and he began applying himself to his studies at Harrow Weald Grammar School and Poole Technical College. He won admission in 1967 to University College London, where he studied philosophy and became involved in centre-left politics. He married Mary, in 1968, and their son Emanuele was born in the same year. After graduation in the autumn of 1970, Follett took a three-month post-graduate course in journalism and went to work as a trainee reporter in Cardiff on the South Wales Echo. In 1973 a daughter, Marie-Claire, was born. Career After three years in Cardiff, he returned to London as a general-assignment reporter for the Evening News. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually left journalism for publishing and became, by the late 1970s, deputy managing director of the small London publisher Everest Books. He began writing fiction during evenings and weekends as a hobby. Later, he said, he began writing books when he needed extra money to fix his car, and the publishers' advance a fellow journalist had been paid for a thriller was the sum required for the repairs. Further successes Success came gradually at first, but the 1978 publication of Eye of the Needle, which became an international bestseller and sold over 10 million copies, made him both wealthy and internationally famous.Each of Follett's subsequent novels has become a best-seller, ranking high on the New York Times Best Seller list; a number have been adapted for the screen. As of January 2018, he had published 44 books. The first five best sellers were spy thrillers: Eye of the Needle (1978), Triple (1979), The Key to Rebecca (1980), The Man from St. Petersburg (1982) and Lie Down with Lions (1986). On Wings of Eagles (1983) was the true story of how two of Ross Perot's employees were rescued from Iran during the revolution of 1979. 1 The next three novels, Night Over Water (1991), A Dangerous Fortune (1993) and A Place Called Freedom (1995) were more historical than thriller, but he returned to the thriller genre with The Third Twin (1996) which in the Publishing Trends annual survey of international fiction best-sellers for 1997 was ranked no. 2 worldwide, after John Grisham's The Partner. His next work, The Hammer of Eden (1998), was another contemporary suspense story followed by a Cold War thriller, Code to Zero (2000). Follett returned to the Second World War era with his next two novels, Jackdaws (2001), a thriller about a group of women parachuted into France to destroy a vital telephone exchange – which won the Corine Literature Prize for 2003 – and Hornet Flight (2002), about a daring young Danish couple who escape to Britain from occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane with vital information about German radar. Whiteout (2004) is a contemporary thriller about the theft of a deadly virus from a research lab. Kingsbridge series Follett surprised his readers with his first non-spy thriller, The Pillars of the Earth (1989), a novel about building a cathedral in a small English village during the Anarchy in the 12th century. The novel was highly successful, received positive reviews and was on The New York Times Best Seller list for eighteen weeks. It topped best-seller lists in Canada, Britain and Italy, and was on the German best-seller list for six years. It has sold 26 million copies so far. On 16 August 2017, it was published as a computer game adaptation by German developer and publisher Daedalic Entertainment.Its much-later sequel, World Without End (2007), returns to Kingsbridge 157 years later, and features the descendants of the characters in Pillars. It focuses on the destinies of a handful of people as their lives are devastated by the Black Death, the plague that swept Europe from the middle of the 14th century. The next novel in the series, A Column of Fire, was published in September 2017. Beginning in 1558, the story follows the romance between Ned Willard and Margery Fitzgerald over half a century. It commences at a time when Europe turns against Elizabethan England, and the queen finds herself beset by plots to dethrone her.A fourth novel, The Evening and the Morning (2020), is a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth. Set in the decade around 1000 AD – in the so-called Dark Ages – the story "concerns the gradual creation of the town of Kingsbridge and of the many people – priests, nobles, peasants, the enslaved – who played significant roles". As such, the book provides "a solid underpinning to the later installments of the Kingsbridge series".A fifth novel, The Armour of Light, is scheduled to be released in September 2023. The novel is set to open in 1792, around the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.The series has been described as being "as comprehensive an account of the building of a civilization – with its laws, structures, customs and beliefs – as you are likely to encounter anywhere in popular fiction". Century trilogy Follett's novels, Fall of Giants, Winter of the World and Edge of Eternity, make up the Century Trilogy. Fall of Giants (2010) followed the fates of five interrelated families – American, German, Russian, English and Welsh – as they moved through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for women's suffrage. Fall of Giants, published simultaneously in 14 countries, was internationally popular and topped several best-seller lists.Winter of the World (2012) picks up where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of Nazi Germany, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, to the explosions of the American and Soviet atom bombs and the beginning of the long Cold War. The final novel in the 'Century' trilogy, Edge of Eternity, which follows those families through the events of the second half of the 20th century, was published on 16 September 2014. Like the previous two books, it chroni.... Discover the Ken Follett popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Ken Follett books.

Best Seller Ken Follett Books of 2023

  • The Doomsday Testament synopsis, comments

    The Doomsday Testament

    James Douglas

    From bestselling author James Douglas, a gripping and enthralling historical conspiracy thriller a must read for fans of Dan Brown, James Becker and Chris Kuzneski.READERS ARE LOV...

  • Notre-Dame synopsis, comments


    Ken Follett

    “The wonderful cathedral of NotreDame de Paris, one of the greatest achievements of European civilization, was on fire. The sight dazed and disturbed us profoundly. I was on the ed...

  • The Man from St. Petersburg synopsis, comments

    The Man from St. Petersburg

    Ken Follett

    "Ken Follett has done it once more . . . goes down with the ease and impact of a wellprepared martini." New York Times Book ReviewHis name was Feliks. He came to London to commit a...

  • Never synopsis, comments


    Ken Follett

    New York Times BestsellerThe new mustread epic from master storyteller Ken Follett: more than a thriller, it’s an actionpacked, globespanning drama set in the present day.   “...

  • Whiteout synopsis, comments


    Ken Follett

    "Everyone likes a pageturner, and Follett is the best." The Philadelphia Inquirer"A hell of a storyteller" (Entertainment Weekly), #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett ...

  • Triple synopsis, comments


    Ken Follett

    A New York Times bestselling novel of international suspense and terror from the author of The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, A Column of Fire, and The Evening and the Mo...

  • Jackdaws synopsis, comments


    Ken Follett

    In his own bestselling tradition of Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Ken Follett delivers a breathtaking novel of suspense set in the most dangerous days of World War II. ...

  • Night over Water synopsis, comments

    Night over Water

    Ken Follett

    #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett takes to the skies in this classic novel of international suspense. Set in the early days of World War II, Night over Water capture...

  • Third Twin synopsis, comments

    Third Twin

    Ken Follett

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERUsing a restricted FBI database, genetic researcher Jeanie Ferrami has located identical twins born to different mothers. Frightened by her bizarre discove...

  • The Isis Covenant synopsis, comments

    The Isis Covenant

    James Douglas

    Jamie Saintclair embarks on another actionpacked historical adventure, guaranteed to have you gripped from page one! Perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Chris Kuzneski and Scott Mariani...

  • Hornet Flight synopsis, comments

    Hornet Flight

    Ken Follett

    Ken Follett and the intrigue of World War II"a winning formula" (Entertainment Weekly) if ever there was one. With his riveting prose and unerring instinct for suspense, the #1 New...

  • A Place Called Freedom synopsis, comments

    A Place Called Freedom

    Ken Follett

    NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   Scotland, 1766. Sentenced to a life of misery in the brutal coal mines, twentyoneyearold Mack McAsh hungers for escape. His only ally: the beautifu...

  • Crusader synopsis, comments


    Ben Kane

    KING. POLITICIAN. WARRIOR. CONQUEROR.1189. Richard the Lionheart's longawaited goal comes true as he is crowned King of England. Setting his own kingdom in order, he prepares to em...

  • A Column of Fire synopsis, comments

    A Column of Fire

    Ken Follett

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“Absorbing . . . impossible to resist.” The Washington PostAs Europe erupts, can one young spy protect his queen? #1 New York Times bests...

  • The Excalibur Codex synopsis, comments

    The Excalibur Codex

    James Douglas

    Jamie Saintclair embarks on another actionpacked historical adventure, guaranteed to have you gripped from page one! A must read for fans of Dan Brown, Chris Kuzneski and Scott Mar...

  • The Key to Rebecca synopsis, comments

    The Key to Rebecca

    Ken Follett

    Ken Follett’s The Key to Rebecca took readers and critics by storm when first published forty years ago. Today, it remains one of the best espionage novels ever written. A bri...

  • The Evening and the Morning synopsis, comments

    The Evening and the Morning

    Ken Follett

    #1 New York Times BestsellerAn Amazon Best Book of 2020 The thrilling and addictive prequel to The Pillars of the Earthset in England at the dawn of a new era: ...

  • Scourge of Rome synopsis, comments

    Scourge of Rome

    Douglas Jackson

    Bestselling author Douglas Jackson expertly brings the Roman Empire to life in this riveting historical adventure of fire, blood and battle. Perfect for fans of Simon Scarrow, Ben ...

  • The Second Life of Mirielle West synopsis, comments

    The Second Life of Mirielle West

    Amanda Skenandore

    The glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she’s forcibly quarantined at the Carville Lepers Home in this pageturning story of courage, resilience, and...

  • World Without End synopsis, comments

    World Without End

    Ken Follett

    #1 New York Times BestsellerIn 1989, Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, a sweeping epic novel set in twelfthcentury England centered on t...

  • The Book of Secrets synopsis, comments

    The Book of Secrets

    Tom Harper

    From the pen of prizewinning author Tom Harper, this is a highoctane adventure thriller in the bestselling tradition of The Da Vinci Code. Jampacked with murder, mystery and mindbl...

  • On Wings of Eagles synopsis, comments

    On Wings of Eagles

    Ken Follett

    #1 bestselling author Ken Follett tells the inspiring true story of the Middle East hostage crisis that began in 1978, and of the unconventional means one American used to save his...

  • Fled synopsis, comments


    Meg Keneally

    The outlaw who became a folk hero for her courage and her daring escape by sea: “An epic story of love and liberty" (Elizabeth Cobbs, bestselling author of The Hamilton Affair...

  • The Final Minute synopsis, comments

    The Final Minute

    Simon Kernick

    Simon Kernick, the UK's answer to Harlan Coben, has written a thriller jampacked withaction, tension and twists and turns. A heartstopping read from page one, this is perfect for f...

  • The Samurai Inheritance synopsis, comments

    The Samurai Inheritance

    James Douglas

    Jamie Saintclair embarks on another fullthrottle historical adventure an absolute pageturner! If you love Dan Brown, Chris Kuzneski and Scott Mariani you will love this! READERS ...

  • House of the Rising Sun synopsis, comments

    House of the Rising Sun

    James Lee Burke

    Bestselling author James Lee Burke’s “stunning” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) masterpiece is the story of a father and son separated by war, circumstance, and a race for the ...

  • A Dangerous Fortune synopsis, comments

    A Dangerous Fortune

    Ken Follett

    A breathtaking thriller featuring "political and amorous intrigues, coldblooded murder, and financial crises" (San Francisco Chronicle), from the #1 New York Times bestselling auth...

  • Betrayal synopsis, comments


    Will Jordan

    If you are looking for an adrenalinfuelled, bloodpumping, breakneck speed thriller then look no further than Will Jordan's third novel featuring British CIA agent Ryan Drake. Compe...

  • Sword of Rome synopsis, comments

    Sword of Rome

    Douglas Jackson

    Bestselling author Douglas Jackson expertly brings the Roman Empire to life in this brutal and bloody historical adventure. Perfect for fans of Simon Scarrow, Ben Kane and Conn Igg...

  • The Payback synopsis, comments

    The Payback

    Simon Kernick

    A gripping thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from Sunday Times bestselling author Simon Kernick, the UK's answer to Harlan Coben."Pace, pace pace is what Kernick...

  • The Modigliani Scandal synopsis, comments

    The Modigliani Scandal

    Ken Follett

    A highspeed, highstakes thriller from Ken Follett, the grand master of international action and suspense. A fabulous "lost masterpiece" becomes the ultimate prizefor an art histori...

  • Winter of the World synopsis, comments

    Winter of the World

    Ken Follett

    "This book is truly epic. . . . The reader will probably wish there was a thousand more pages." The Huffington PostPicking up where Fall of Giants, the first novel in the extraordi...

  • Scorpion Trail synopsis, comments

    Scorpion Trail

    Geoffrey Archer

    Alex Crawford has been out of MI5 and the combat zone for twenty years, but now fate has thrust him back into the front line.Though he is an aid worker, the secret service minders ...

  • El umbral de la eternidad synopsis, comments

    El umbral de la eternidad

    Ken Follett

    El umbral de la eternidad cierra esta gran trilogía y la crónica de un siglo turbulento. En ella vivimos la historia íntima y personal de tres generaciones de cinco familias cuyas...

  • Redemption synopsis, comments


    Will Jordan

    Introducing Ryan Drake think Jason Bourne meets Jack Reacher...If you like Lee Child, Vince Flynn and David Baldacci, you will love this riveting and unputdownable thriller from b...

  • El universo de Ken Follett synopsis, comments

    El universo de Ken Follett

    Ken Follett

    eBook gratuito con material inédito sobre la trilogía de Ken Follet «The Century»Este eBook contiene material extra sobre la aclamada trilogía de Ken Follett «The Century»: entrev...

  • Sacrifice synopsis, comments


    Will Jordan

    Let bestselling author Will Jordan take you on a breakneck speed ride with CIA agent Ryan Drake in this compelling and unmissable thriller. Fans of Lee Child, Vince Flynn and David...

  • The Incendium Plot synopsis, comments

    The Incendium Plot

    A D Swanston

    'A fantastic tale of spies, deceit and murder in the Elizabethan age' S. D. Sykes'Colourful and gripping' The TimesEngland in 1572 is a powder keg of rumour, fanaticism, treachery ...

  • Code to Zero synopsis, comments

    Code to Zero

    Ken Follett

    In this classic Cold War thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett puts his own electrifying twist on the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. As the ...

  • Fall of Giants synopsis, comments

    Fall of Giants

    Ken Follett

    Ken Follett’s magnificent historical epic begins as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the strugg...

  • The Pillars of the Earth synopsis, comments

    The Pillars of the Earth

    Ken Follett

    #1 New York Times BestsellerOprah's Book Club SelectionThe “extraordinary . . . monumental masterpiece” (Booklist) that changed the course of Ken Follett’s already phenomenal caree...

  • Eye of the Needle synopsis, comments

    Eye of the Needle

    Ken Follett

    The worldwide phenomenon from the bestselling author of The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, A Column of Fire, and The Evening and the MorningHis code name was “The Needle....

  • Edge of Eternity synopsis, comments

    Edge of Eternity

    Ken Follett

    Ken Follett's extraordinary historical epic, the Century Trilogy, reaches its sweeping, passionate conclusion.In Fall of Giants and Winter of the World, Ken Follett followed the fo...