"Surprise gave him a few second's grace and he ran freely along the street toward the church. He felt the scorch of the midday sun on his face and heard the pounding of his men's boots behind him and noted with a weird sentiment of gratitude that such sensations meant he was still alive."
Oh, Ken Follett. If you are looking for a solid page tuner, albeit a long, long, solid page turner...check out the latest installment of the Fall of Giants trilogy, Winter of the World. While I really do enjoy Ken's ability to craft an interesting story, my favorite aspect of his books is the historical context he uses to paint and shape his plot. In this novel, the curtain rises in Europe during the tumultuous year of 1933. Hitler is on the on rise, a revolution is brewing in Russia and the United States of America is in the midst of some "slight" industrial changes of our own.
Follett's equation for success may be a dash on the predictable side, but it works and well. Start with several families of different cultures. Sprinkle them out over a major historical event, having them unsuspectingly intersect here and there. Splash in some romance, knock off a couple characters, work in a truly despicable villain....and viola: BEST SELLER. Yes, his books may lack depth, but they certainly do not fall short on the entertainment side of matters. Reading his work is the equivalent of watching a reality show marathon on Bravo. It is not going to change the world or make you a better Earthling, but it will reel you in and sweep you up into the lives of these people he has penned. I would probably say get this one on your Kindle or iPad, as lugging around this little tank is less than optimal. So far it has been a very enjoyable series that has spanned both World Wars. I will be looking forward to finishing this series sometime next year when the last book is released, most likely staged around the events of the Cold War. It is a long haul, so you had better get started. Kaboom.