Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Code to Zero, by Ken Follett
Something I grabbed off the library shelf because he had about a dozen titles right there at eye level. Not a bad story. A guy wakes up in a train station restroom with a cracker of a hangover and no clue who he is or how he got there. Once he head clears, he notices that a couple of men are following him. For all appearances, he's a bum living on the streets. What would two guys be following HIM for. Strangely, he instinctively knows how to dodge his shadows, hotwire a car, steal a suitcase in a crowded train station and break into a house with little evidence as to what happened. Is he a criminal or a spy? All he knows is what his fellow hobo had called him - "Luke". But is that his real name, or some nickname he picked up on the street?
As he slowly unravels his identity, Luke is reintroduced to old friends from his now unaccessible memories and he has to reevaluate whom he can trust, and whom he can't. And he has to make sure America's first satellite launch is successful to boot.
I thought this ended up a pretty good story. Unfortunately, there is profanity aplenty and some sex scenes with a few graphic details. I can't really recommend such a novel to a teen for all the lax morals that run rampant throughout. Sad, because I love a good Cold War espionage yarn. Al Qaeda just doesn't have the sophistication that the KGB had.