In his own bestselling tradition of Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Ken Follett delivers a breathtaking novel of suspense set in the most dangerous days of World War II. Look out for Ken's newest book, A Column of Fire, available now.
D-Day is approaching. They don’t know where or when, but the Germans know it’ll be soon, and for Felicity “Flick” Clariet, the stakes have never been higher. A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) responsible for sabotage, Flick has survived to become one of Britain’s most effective operatives in Northern France. She knows that the Germans’ ability to thwart the Allied attack depends upon their lines of communications, and in the days before the invasion no target is of greater strategic importance than the largest telephone exchange in Europe.
But when Flick and her Resistance-leader husband try a direct, head-on assault that goes horribly wrong, her world turns upside down. Her group destroyed, her husband missing, her superiors unsure of her, her own confidence badly shaken, she has one last chance at the target, but the challenge, once daunting, is now near impossible. The new plan requires an all-woman team, none of them professionals, to be assembled and trained within days. Code-named the Jackdaws, they will attempt to infiltrate the exchange under the noses of the Germans—but the Germans are waiting for them now and have plans of their own. There are secrets Flick does not know—secrets within the German ranks, secrets among her hastily recruited team, secrets among those she trusts the most. And as the hours tick down to the point of no return, most daunting of all, there are secrets within herself. . . .
Filled with the powerful storytelling, unforgettable characters, and authentic detail that have become his hallmarks, Jackdaws is Ken Follett writing at the height of his powers.
Returning to the WWII setting of the novels that made him famous, Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Follett (Code to Zero) delivers a very entertaining, very cinematic thriller about a ragtag, all-female band of British agents, code-named Jackdaws, sent to blow up a key telephone exchange in France on the eve of D-Day. Well, not quite all female: one "woman" recruited for the job by heroine Felicity Clairet, aka Flick, a major with the British Special Operations Executive, is a transvestite and that's just one among many twists that make this novel such fun. Opposed to Flick and her team are two Nazi villains whose escape from central casting doesn't keep them from playing their parts with zest: suave and urbane Maj. Dieter Franck, a master of psychological and physical torture, charged with breaking the Resistance in northern France, and Sturmbannf hrer Willi Weber, brutal guardian of the chateau that houses the telephone exchange. The action runs over 10 days. After a failed assault by the Resistance on the chateau, an assault that introduces the novel's key players, Flick returns to England, racing the clock to recruit a team of women who can infiltrate the chateau by posing as its French domestics; among her selections are an imprisoned murderess, an aristocrat and that transvestite. The English scenes are interesting enough but lack suspense, which Follett supplies in spades by cutting to France, where Major Franck tracks Resistance members and gets wind of Flick's mission which, when at last underway, will enthrall readers. Adventure, romance, derring-do and a bit too much nasty violence crowd the pages of what promises to be one of Follett's most popular novels ever. Major ad/promo; simultaneous abridged and unabridged audio from Penguin Audio.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Mr. Follett delivers an exciting look into the behind the scenes activities that took place during WWII. As usual, he has given us a wonderful story which not only entertains us but also helps us understand an important time in world history. His characters are so real and unforgettable. I can't wait to read another one of his novel. I would strongly suggest you read Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, a Dangerous Fortune, and Fall of Giants. All excellent reads!