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Lie Down with Lions [Mass Market Paperback]

Ken Follett
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 4 2003 Signet

Ellis, the American. Jean-Pierre, the Frenchman. They were two men on opposite sides of the cold war, with a woman torn between them. Together, they formed a triangle of passion and deception, racing from terrorist bombs in Paris to the violence and intrigue of Afghanistan—to the moment of truth and deadly decision for all of them…

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Lie Down with Lions + The Man from St. Petersburg + The Key to Rebecca
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Follett's new thriller (after Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca) involves cut-throat treachery and mixed-up romances. Jane and Ellis, Americans in Paris, are lovers, but she breaks with him when she learns he's a CIA agent, informing on terrorists. Ellis goes back to the U.S.; Jane marries Jean-Pierre Debout, a French physician, and goes with him to Afghanistan to care for rebel families holding out against the Russian army. Here is where the novel's real action, and its knife-edge tension, begin. After the birth of her baby, Jane discovers that Jean-Pierre is himself spying for the Russians and has caused a massacre of guerrilla fighters who were trapped at the foot of the mountains. Then Ellis reappears, bearing offers of American aid for Afghan leader Masud if the latter can unite his country's quarreling tribes. While Jean-Pierre is conspiring with the S oviet intruders to kill Masud, Ellis, Jane and even the infant girl, the story races to an explosive climax. 200,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour. Foreign rights: Writers House. January 31
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In his newest thriller, Follett updates the elements of his popular Eye of the Needle a spy fleeing desperately across a hostile landscape; a woman who must decide between her husband and her lover, opponents in a deadly struggleto contemporary Afghanistan. Jane Lambert discovers that her French doctor husband is really a KGB agent plotting to entrap a rebel leader. Ellis Thaler, spurned by Jane when she learned he was a CIA operative, arrives to conclude a treaty with that same leader. Soon Ellis, Jane, and her infant daughter are fleeing for their lives through treacherous mountain terrain, closely pursued by Russian patrols. As with Eye of the Needle , the implausibilities, the factual errors, and the sometimes trite writing do not slow the forward propulsion of the story. A page-turning escapist adventure that is sure to be a success.BOMC main selection. Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great readers Aug. 1 2002
By LadyT
Format:Audio Cassette
I purchased this book because the setting -- Afghanistan -- sounded interesting, I like spy stories, and I'd just read Jackdaws by Follett which I'd thoroughly enjoyed. This book exceeded my expectations.
Three characters are the main focus of the story -- Ellis, a CIA agent, Jane, the woman he loves and wants to marry (although she doesn't know it), and Jean-Pierre, the man who also wants Jane for himself.
From the beginning Jane and Ellis's relationship is rocky because she doesn't know he's a spy and some of his actions have her puzzled. She wants more of a commitment and he doesn't seem willing to cooperate. On the day he decides to come clean about what he does for a living and how he feels about her, all hell breaks loose. The next thing Ellis knows, Jane is gone and so is Jean-Pierre.
Ellis later accepts an assignment to Afghanistan and their paths cross again. The fact that Jane now has a child doesn't change the way he feels. He's still in love with her, but he expects no love in return. Aside from that, his mission could get him killed and he doesn't want to bring harm to her or her child. Besides that, Jean-Pierre, who's always been jealous of him, has no intention on losing Jane to a past rival.
What follows is a roller-coaster ride of action, danger, romance, and suspense. I listened to the unabridged audiobook version of this book and the cast of six readers were excellent. They changed their tone and pace to fit the scenes that they read. As a result, the characters seemed to come alive. Follett does a pretty good job of giving you enough of a description to help you envision the scenery and the dialog was good. To top it off, the action made sense and was interesting.
I don't know if the book accurately portrays the people of Afghanistan, so I didn't accept some of the characters' observations about how they are as a people. I mainly listened to the book to be entertained and it did that superbly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner May 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lie Down with Lions contains an excellent plot, employing an array of techniques that keeps the readers interest right from the start. From the beginning, the book is filled with scenes of passion, deceit, treachery, and action. These characteristics are all coupled together making for a page turner from start to finish.
The author keeps the readers interest through the first few chapters by detailing the end of the relationship between Jane and Ellis. Their relationship comes to a climatic end, which is a story in itself, but it gets better. After Jane weds the clear antagonist (Jean-Pierre) and the couple embarks on a volunteer mission to Afghanistan, Ellis heads to Afghanistan on a covert operation for the CIA. Soon Jane discovers Jean-Pierre is working for the KGB pitting them against each other, and Jane finds herself on Ellis's side working against her husband, this is where the book really takes off. The Cold War rivals are in a fight for Jane's heart, Afghanistan, and world supremacy. Follett takes the reader all over Afghanistan giving accurate descriptions of the people and landscape.
A great read, Follett will put you in a trance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good FICTION but ... Feb. 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was excellent reading in terms of FICTION. It should by no means, however be used as a basis for learning about the Afghan people. My main objections are with regard to his character's sweeping statements about the "cruelty" of the Afghans and how almost all of the men are portrayed as chauvanists and almost all of the women as weak and subservient. Also, if one is going to borrow the persona of a real man to use as one of his characters, he could at least have researched the man's character a little more. Ahmed Shah Masud was by no means the cruel, impassive commander who would order the casual execution of a Russian captive. In fact there were several young Russian fighters who actually ended up joining his forces.
I could go on and on about the depth of character of Masud and the Afghans that were missing from this book, but I realize that the purpose of this book was mainly for entertainment.
For a real taste of Afghanistan and her people, there are many other great books out there. ...
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan began on Christmas Eve 1979. The inhabitants of this geographically isolated land, rose up to defend their country. They armed themselves with whatever was on hand, gathered into loose formations and began to attack and sabotage the Soviet Union's personnel, installations, depots and transports with any available weapons. Scattered guerrilla bands, with fierce pride, and a tremendous ability to endure, fought against the far superior and more numerous Soviet forces and sophisticated weaponry.
"Lie Down With Lions" opens in Paris in 1981. John Ellis, an American CIA agent, is working undercover and living with a politically active Englishwoman, the sensual, lovely Jane Lambert, who he plans on proposing marriage to as soon as he completes his assignment. Jean-Pierre Debout, a French doctor and member of the Communist Party, is going to Afghanistan, ostensibly to provide medical assistance to the rebel forces fighting against the Soviets. He has, however, another agenda. Jean-Pierre also loves Jane and wants her to accompany him to Afghanistan as his nurse-assistant. Ellis, after capturing an important KGB agent, is exposed as CIA. Jane leaves him in disgust, not only because of his job, but because he lied to her.
The Valley of Five Lions, a place of ancient legend, lies deep in the Afghan mountains, far removed from civilization. Jane and her husband, Jean Pierre have been working here, in a rebel village, for a year. They minister to the local inhabitants, who have never seen a doctor before, and patch together and stitch-up the wounded warriors. An American visits the valley with an important message for Masud, a famous and effective guerrilla leader, from the White House. The messenger is John Ellis.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
An interesting and tense story, interesting characters and the setting Afghanistan 80s during the conflict with the Soviet Union. I like it.
Published 5 months ago by Luka Grzincic
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome reading
Only deserved a high rating. Was enlightened about spy activity. Recommend to all.Must read to get the full impact.Exciting read
Published 5 months ago by Carol Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Interesting Follett Novel
This is the 15th novel by Ken Follett that I have read in the past year, so you might say that I'm a fan of his writing! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Gary F. Dunn
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Follett Ever
I like Ken Follett's work (well, most of it), but this one was a huge disappointment. His best books are those that take place during WW2; that's when he's at his best. Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by Suzanne G. Bowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner
Lie Down with Lions contains an excellent plot, employing an array of techniques that keeps the readers interest right from the start. Read more
Published on May 19 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A good adventure stoy...
That relates to world events now in 2004.A must read if you're into learning about Afghanistan and her people.A real page turner! See for yourself!
Published on April 6 2004 by T. A Molina
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting read
If you like excitment and action you will love this book. Believable characters lead into a plot of mystery and action in a stark landscape. Read more
Published on March 22 2004 by G. Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars cut to the chase
this is one of the dumbest novels i have ever read but it has one of the most explosive sex scenes in the history of writing. Read more
Published on May 21 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars An electrifying, thrilling... SEEDY ROMANCE NOVEL?!
Sure, the plot clips along (read the other reviews for voluptuous praise of that point) but Lie Down With Lions is a romance novel in an action novel's clothing. Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003 by P. Kingsriter
3.0 out of 5 stars I Had High Expectations
I think he has put out much better books and this one was the first to really disappoint me. The book is an average book, but I had just read Pillars of the Earth so this one was... Read more
Published on April 8 2002 by John G. Hilliard
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