The first time I read The Key to Rebecca was more than a quarter of a century ago. I thought about it again after reading German Field Marshall Erwin Rommel exploits in Disciples of Fortune. So I got it again, and behold, it captivated me like the first time. That is what truly great novels do. There is always something new to find in them each time you pick the book up and read it again. Centered on the fascinating character of the German spy codenamed "Sphinx", whom Rommel slips into Cairo, so that he could send back classified information needed for his final push to conquer what was left of North Africa (Egypt) that was not under Nazi control, Follet through this fascinating and well-developed character and other remarkable characters who got drawn into his world, tells the story of the last phase of Nazi Germany's North African campaign in a manner that sets him apart from other writers for the details provided and the way he crafted the plot.
Though complex, the plot in the hands of Follet the master storyteller is well-developed so that it comes out as a smooth flowing, fast-paced, colorfully-set and character-rich story. The descriptions are masterly presented, and the narrative and dialogue are used effectively to make this story one of the best classic spy stories I have read.