In 1866, tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School. A young student drowns in a mysterious accident involving a small circle of boys. The drowning and its aftermath initiates a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many loves... From the exclusive men's club and brothels that cater to every dark desire of London's upper classes to the dazzling ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the manipulators of the world's wealth, Ken Follett conjures up a stunning array of contrasts. This breathtaking novel portrays a family splintered by lust, bound by a shared legacy... men and women swept toward a perilous climax where greed, fed by the shocking truth of a boy's death, must be stopped, or not just one man's dreams, but those of a nation, will die...
About Ken Follett
Before Ken Follett burst onto the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, he was a little-known novelist who had written ten books, all under pseudonyms, in his spare time. Eye of the Needle became an international bestseller, won the Edgar Award, and was made into a major film starring Kate Nelligan and Donald Sutherland.
The critical and popular success of that novel and its follow-ups, Triple (1979), The Key to Rebecca (1980), The Man from St. Petersburg (1982), and Lie Down with Lions (1986), moved Follett to the forefront of the world's espionage novelists. The Key to Rebecca was made into a mini-series starring Cliff Robertson and David Soul. Follett's first nonfiction venture, On Wings of Eagles (1983), an account of the 1978 rescue of two American business executives employed by Ross Perot, became a huge bestseller and was made into a mini-series with Richard Crenna and Burt Lancaster.
Follett then surprised readers by radically changing course with The Pillars of the Earth , a novel about the building of a cathedral in the middle ages. Published in September 1989 to rave reviews, it was on The New York Times best-seller list for eighteen weeks, substantially outselling Follett's previous hardcover books. The Pillars of the Earth also reached the #1 position on lists in Canada, Great Britain, and Italy, and it was on the German bestseller list for two years.
Although he has abandoned the straightforward spy genre, Follett's novels are still characterized by suspense, intrigue, strong female characters, and a commanding narrative. Following Pillars , his next novel, Night Over Water (1991), took place in 1939 aboard a trans-Atlantic flying boat, while his 1993 bestseller, A Dangerous Fortune , a turn-of-the-century murder mystery, centered around the rise and fall of a powerful Victorian banking family.
Ken Follett lives in Chelsea, London, in a 200-year-old house overlooking the River Thames, with his wife, Barbara. He is a lover of Shakespeare and an enthusiastic amateur musician who plays bass guitar in a blues band. He is also passionately involved in politics (although he wrote a book with Ross Perot, Follett is a committed liberal), and authored a pamphlet about injustice in the British immigration laws. His wife is currently running for a seat in the British Parliament.
"Political and amorous intrigues, cold-blooded murders and financial crises...old-fashioned entertainment!" -- San Francisco Chronicle.
"Breathlessly plotted...relentlessly suspensenseful." -- The New York Times.
"Gripping, complex plot.. sexual intrigue...fascinating characters...you won't be able to put down this exciting page-turner!" -- Lexington Herald-Leader.