The Third Twin

The Third Twin

The Third Twin

1996 | Thriller | 656 pages

A thrilling, chilling story of hidden evil, The Third Twin is a heart-stopping, spine-tingling story from master of suspense, Ken Follett.

An Impossible Result
Jeannie Ferrami, a scientific researcher investigating the behaviour of identical twins who have been raised separately, uncovers a perplexing mystery; identical twins who were born on different days, to different mothers, in different places.
A Blossoming Love
One, Steve, is a law student and the other, Dennis, a convicted murderer. As Jeannie works with Steve on her project she finds herself falling in love with him, but their world is shattered when he is accused of a monstrous crime.
A Terrible Secret
Jeannie cannot believe that Steve committed the crime, but proving it means she will be forced to question everything she believes. And as she digs deeper, her investigation uncovers a terrifying conspiracy – and it becomes clear the plotters will kill to keep it hidden.
First chapter

A heatwave lay over Baltimore like a shroud. The leafy suburbs were cooled by a hundred thousand lawn sprinklers, but the affluent inhabitants stayed inside with the air-conditioning on full blast. On North Avenue, listless hookers hugged the shade and sweated under their hairpieces, and the kids on the street corners dealt dope out of the pockets of baggy shorts. It was late September, but fall seemed a long way off. Continue reading

Ken's view

Everyone is interested in twins. There are lots of twins in literature: Shakespeare, for example, used them. The idea that there is someone who looks exactly like you is very intriguing and dramatic. Clones are just like twins. Everyone is worried about cloning and something that makes people anxious is the ideal background subject for a thriller.


Steve, the hero of The Third Twin, is troubled when he finds he has an identical twin who is a murderer. He’s led to examine himself and he worries that he is like his brother. He asks, “do my genes make me what I am? Or is it my upbringing and my environment?”


He comes to the conclusion that, in the end, he himself is responsible for what he is. That isn’t really a philosophical answer, but it is a personal answer, and it is one that I believe in. I don’t think that after about the age of 25 you can carry on blaming either your parents or your DNA for anything that you do. My readers don’t buy my books to learn about philosophy, of course, but they like a story to have a thoughtful side.


“Follett infuses the book with an irresistible energy.” – People


“A provocative, well-paced, and sensational biotech thriller.” – Variety