KEN FOLLETT, author of Fall of Giants, answers Ten Terrifying Questions

The Booktopia Book Guru asks


bestselling author of Fall of Giants, The Pillars of the Earth and many more…

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Cardiff, the capital city of Wales.  Cardiff and London. Harrow Weald Grammar School, Poole Technical College, and University College London.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve: A missionary, to convert heathens to Christianity. At eighteen: An advertising copywriter, to make a lot of money. At thirty:  A better writer.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That I know a lot.

4. What were three works of art – book or painting or piece of music, etc – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

Peterborough Cathedral made me ask why and how the cathedrals were built. Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming showed me how exciting literature could be. The Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm inspired Fall of Giants. Continue reading

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

OK, it is the time of year for the block buster. Ken Follett is gracing our shores with Fall of Giants, Bryce Courtenay is doing his Christmas thing with Fortune Cookie, Lee Child is Worth Dying For. But what about Ms Cornwell? Well, Our Patricia is back to her brilliant best with Port Mortuary. How do I know?  Not only did our customers beat down our doors with pre-orders, but we are continuing to sell it strongly week after week.

Of course, Cornwell has her die hard fans:

This from Shelley Adams of Thursday Island:

My favourite crime fiction author is definitely Patrictia Cornwell. When I read her outstanding novels, she is the only author who makes me feel like I am in the story as one of her well defined and scripted characters. One minute I’m Lucy, Benton or Dr Scarpetta. Words can not describe how much I enjoy reading her novels. Can’t wait for her next one.

So what is Port Mortuary all about? In this novel, Patricia Cornwell brings Scarpetta together with Marino, Benton, and Lucy in an intimate way that is reminiscent of the early novels. The point of view is Scarpetta’s, and this is her story.

A treacherous path from Scarpetta’s past merges with the high tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she accepted a military scholarship and found herself ensnared in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa.

Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship to master the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy–a procedure the White House has mandated that she introduce in the private sector.

As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta’s new Cambridge home.

Read more….

Now the good news. We had two Patricia Cornwell libraries to give away. One is going up to Shelley on Thursday Island, and the other, is going to Robert Jordan in East Ballina, NSW. How could we resist a comment like this?

I wanted to be one of the first to take up this offer and the chance to get my hands on the Scarpetta backlist, because Patricia Cornwell was the first crime writer I ever read, and from the age of 15 I lovingly collected each new book every year. I absolutely loved them – long before CSI came along! I was disappointed when she stopped writing in first person, although the stories were still okay – but I think thats why I really love Kathy Reichs so much and why this should be good to hear Scarpetta’s voice again!
I’m also about to have my first holiday break in over 5 years and would love to spend some time ‘feet up’ catching up with Scarpetta, Marino and Lucy again!
Please pick me!

Your wish is my command Robert!

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett



A huge novel that follows five families through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women.

It is 1911. The Coronation Day of King George V. The Williams, a Welsh coal-mining family, is linked by romance and enmity to the Fitzherberts, aristocratic coal-mine owners. Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German Embassy in London. Their destiny is entangled with that of an ambitious young aide to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and to two orphaned Russian brothers, whose plans to emigrate to America fall foul of war, conscription and revolution.

In a plot of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty.

Author Information:

Ken Follett was twenty-seven when he wrote Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. After writing several more successful thrillers he surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages, which continues to captivate millions of readers all over the world. His last book was the long-awaited sequel, World Without End.


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