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The Third Twin

Cover of The Third Twin

The Third Twin

The study of twins and the genetics of aggression totally consumes research scientist Jeannie Ferrami. An accomplished and headstrong researcher, Jeannie has developed a sophisticated software program to identify identical twins reared apart. But Jeannie's breakthrough project is threatened by the appearance of a sudden impossibility—identical twins born weeks apart to different mothers at separate locations. When Jeannie's research assistant, Lisa, is raped, Steve Logan, a young law student who is one of Jeannie's research subjects, is identified in a police lineup as Lisa's attacker. Logan's genetic tests reveal no violent behavior patterns. Then Jeannie stumbles upon the beginnings of a stunning revelation. Logan is unaware of the existence of a criminal twin brother in jail. Jeannie is convinced of Steve's innocence, yet her judgment may be clouded by her growing emotional attachment to him. By now Jeannie's problems are mounting. Berrington Jones, Jeannie's arrogant and intimidating boss, is a world-renowned authority on biotechnical engineering. He and his partners are involved in devious but lucrative negotiations to sell Genetco, their biogenetic research company. Jeannie's research poses a major threat to their impending millions. Jones arranges to have Jeannie fired.
Stunned and feeling helpless, Jeannie doesn't understand why this has happened to her. With Steve and his brother in jail, who is committing these sex crimes? While acting on a hunch that might solve the mystery surrounding Steve and his brother's birth, Jeannie is violently attacked by yet another twin who looks exactly like Steve. Determined to protect her research program and convinced her former boss has something important to hide, a terrified Jeannie has no other choice but to find out why Jones and his partners will stop at nothing to discredit her work.
The study of twins and the genetics of aggression totally consumes research scientist Jeannie Ferrami. An accomplished and headstrong researcher, Jeannie has developed a sophisticated software program to identify identical twins reared apart. But Jeannie's breakthrough project is threatened by the appearance of a sudden impossibility—identical twins born weeks apart to different mothers at separate locations. When Jeannie's research assistant, Lisa, is raped, Steve Logan, a young law student who is one of Jeannie's research subjects, is identified in a police lineup as Lisa's attacker. Logan's genetic tests reveal no violent behavior patterns. Then Jeannie stumbles upon the beginnings of a stunning revelation. Logan is unaware of the existence of a criminal twin brother in jail. Jeannie is convinced of Steve's innocence, yet her judgment may be clouded by her growing emotional attachment to him. By now Jeannie's problems are mounting. Berrington Jones, Jeannie's arrogant and intimidating boss, is a world-renowned authority on biotechnical engineering. He and his partners are involved in devious but lucrative negotiations to sell Genetco, their biogenetic research company. Jeannie's research poses a major threat to their impending millions. Jones arranges to have Jeannie fired.
Stunned and feeling helpless, Jeannie doesn't understand why this has happened to her. With Steve and his brother in jail, who is committing these sex crimes? While acting on a hunch that might solve the mystery surrounding Steve and his brother's birth, Jeannie is violently attacked by yet another twin who looks exactly like Steve. Determined to protect her research program and convinced her former boss has something important to hide, a terrified Jeannie has no other choice but to find out why Jones and his partners will stop at nothing to discredit her work.
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  • From the cover A heat wave 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.

    A rusty white Datsun, the broken lens of one headlight fixed in place with an X of electrician's tape, cruised through a white working-class neighborhood north of downtown. The car had no air-conditioning, and the driver had rolled down all the windows. He was a handsome man of twenty-two wearing cutoff jeans, a clean white T-shirt and a red baseball cap with the word Security in white letters on the front. The plastic upholstery beneath his thighs was slippery with his perspiration, but he did not let it bother him. He was in a cheerful mood. The car radio was tuned to 92Q "Twenty jams in a row!" On the passenger seat was an open binder. He glanced at it occasionally, memorizing a typed page of technical terms for a test tomorrow. Learning was easy for him, and he would know the material after a few minutes of study.

    At a stop light, a blonde woman in a convertible Porsche pulled alongside him. He grinned at her and said: "Nice car!" She looked away without speaking, but he thought he saw the hint of a smile at the corners of her mouth. Behind her big sunglasses she was probably twice his age: most women in Porsches were. "Race you to the next stop light," he said. She laughed at that, a flirtatious musical laugh, then she put the stick shift into first with a narrow, elegant hand and tore away from the light like a rocket.

    He shrugged. He was only practicing.

    He drove by the wooded campus of Jones Falls University, an Ivy League college much swankier than the one he attended. As he passed the imposing gateway, a group of eight or ten women jogged by in running clothes: tight shorts, Nikes, sweaty T-shirts and halter tops. They were a field hockey team in training, he guessed, and the fit-looking one in front was their captain, getting them in shape for the season.

    They turned into the campus, and suddenly he was overwhelmed, swamped by a fantasy so powerful and thrilling that he could hardly see to drive. He imagined them in the locker room the plump one soaping herself in the shower, the redhead toweling her long copper-colored hair, the black girl stepping into a pair of white lace panties, the dykey team captain walking around naked, showing off her muscles—when something happened to terrify them. Suddenly they were all in a panic, wide-eyed with dread, screaming and crying, on the edge of hysteria. They ran this way and that, crashing into one another. The fat girl fell over and lay there weeping helplessly while the others trod on her, unheeding, as they tried desperately to hide, or find the door, or run away from whatever was scaring them.

    He pulled over to the side of the road and put the car in neutral. He was breathing hard and he could feel his heartbeat hammering. This was the best one he had ever had. But a little piece of the fantasy was missing. What were they frightened of? He hunted about in his fertile imagination for the answer, and gasped with desire when it came to him: a fire. The place was ablaze, and they were terrified by the flames. They coughed and choked on the smoke as they milled about, half naked and frenzied. "My God," he whispered, staring straight ahead, seeing the scene like a movie projected on to the inside of the Datsun's windscreen.

    After a while he calmed down. His...
About the Author-
  • Ken Follett is one of the world's best-loved authors, selling more than 160 million copies of his thirty books. Follett's first bestseller was Eye of the Needle, a spy story set in the Second World War.

    In 1989 The Pillars of the Earth was published, and has since become the author's most successful novel. It reached number one on bestseller lists around the world and was an Oprah's Book Club pick.

    Its sequel, World Without End, proved equally popular, and the Kingsbridge series has sold 38 million copies worldwide. The third book, A Column of Fire, will be published by Viking in Fall 2017.

    Follett lives in Hertfordshire, England, with his wife Barbara. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren, and three Labradors.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 2, 1996
    After three consecutive historical sagas (A Dangerous Fortune, etc.), Follett returns to the threshold of the 21st century with a provocative, well-paced and sensational biotech-thriller about the genetic manipulation of human embryos. Striving to prove that offspring genetically predisposed toward aggression can learn to sublimate their combative nature through childhood conditioning by socially responsible parents, a feisty and brilliant young university researcher, Jeannie Ferrami, develops software to identify identical twins who have been reared apart. When she stumbles across what seems to be an impossibility--identical twins born to different mothers at separate locations on different dates, Jeannie runs into serious trouble. Pitted against her is, foremost, her own faculty mentor, Berrington Jones, a world-renowned authority on biotechnical engineering. In devious partnership with another scientist and a bigoted U.S. senator with presidential aspirations, Jones is co-founder of Genetico, a small company that pioneered biogenetic research. The trio is now in the final stages of a lucrative friendly buyout by a corporate giant--and they don't take kindly to Jeannie's diggings. Multiples created by genetic manipulation aren't new to thrillers (e.g., Ira Levin's The Boys from Brazil), but Follett puts a clever spin on the concept. And despite entwining outlandish plot strands of biotechnical skullduggery, a neo-Nazi candidate for president, academic politics and corporate greed with a steamy romance between Jeannie and one of the twins, the novel shines with the authenticity that's Follett's trademark as it explores the Internet and the mind-boggling data banks of personal statistics maintained by insurance empires, the Pentagon and the FBI. This isn't Follett's most sophisticated novel--it's heavy on the melodrama and on sexual violence--but its wicked narrative energy and catchy theme will likely propel it quickly onto the charts. Major ad/promo; simultaneous Random House audio and large-print editions; author satellite tour;

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The Third Twin
The Third Twin
Ken Follett
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