1979 | Thriller | 528 pages

Triple is the story of the most successful espionage coup – and best-kept secret – of this century. This taut espionage thriller comes from master of the genre, Ken Follett.

A Frightening Discovery
1968. The fledgling nation of Israel is threatened when the intelligence services find out that Egypt is only months away from developing nuclear weapons. An untimely end awaits the young nation unless a source of uranium for Israeli bombs can be obtained in complete secrecy. Impossible, of course, unless someone as improbable as the plan can be found to steal it.
A Daring Mission
Working alone, Israeli agent Nat Dickstein concocts an ingenious scenario for the biggest, and quietest, hijacking in history. A task made all the more difficult by the factions trying to stop him.
Time is Running Out
Dickstein plans to steal the uranium and fool the Russian KGB, Egyptian Intelligence and the Arab extremists, the Fedayeen. As the nuclear arms race in the Middle East escalates to frightening proportions, the fate of millions of lives hangs in the balance in this fictionalized account of one of the best-kept secrets of the twentieth century.
First chapter

The public-address system at Cairo airport made a noise like a doorbell, and then the arrival of the Alitalia flight from Milan was announced in Arabic, Italian, French and English. Towfik el-Masiri left his table in the buffet and made his way out to the observation deck. He put on his sunglasses to look over the shimmering concrete apron. The Caravelle was already down and taxiing. Continue reading

Ken's view

I was very worried about this book. It was my first after the success of Eye of the Needle and I was afraid I might not be able to do it again. It happens to quite a lot of writers. They write one terrific book, the next one doesn’t sell quite so well, the third is a flop and they never write a fourth.


So I worked very hard on Triple. It is based on a true story about the Israelis stealing uranium to make their own nuclear bomb. I was intrigued by how the Israeli’s had gone about this and I saw the potential for a very good action climax where a bunch of commandos take over a ship. The style was known as “faction,” meaning fiction very closely based on fact, and it was fashionable in the 1970’s.


I didn’t really know how the Israelis had gone about stealing the uranium, but I read everything that had been written about the incident and came up with an educated guess. After the book was published, I found out that the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, was asking people where I had got my information from so maybe I guessed right! Triple sold world-wide and got to number one on the American best-seller list.


But even then I didn’t feel secure. I thought that if I could do three best-sellers in a row, maybe I could be a writer.


“Highly imaginative . . . fascinating.” – The Washington Post


“A literally earth-shaking confrontation.” – The New York Times


“Masterful . . . first-class . . . a grand slam home run.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer