Jackdaws

( 116 )

Overview

"D day is approaching. They don't know where or when, but the Germans know it'll be soon, and for Felicity "Flick" Clairet, 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 communication, and in the days before the invasion, no target is of greater strategic importance than the largest ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)
$7.37
BN.com price
(Save 7%)$7.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (260) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $4.00   
  • Used (251) from $1.99   
Jackdaws

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

"D day is approaching. They don't know where or when, but the Germans know it'll be soon, and for Felicity "Flick" Clairet, 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 communication, 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. Codenamed 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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Ken Follett is known for novels featuring exotic settings, stripped-down narratives, tight plotting, and breakneck pacing. In spare prose that sweats authenticity, he's given us tales that range from the Russian Revolution to experiments in genetic engineering. In each novel, Follett succeeds in pulling together layers of private and professional conflicts, unveiling both protagonists and villains whose personal histories are entwined with some of the largest international events of the modern world.

In the waning days before the Normandy invasion, saboteurs headed by British Special Operations agent Felicity "Flick" Clariet and her husband, a leader of the Resistance, fail in their attempt to destroy Europe's largest telephone exchange. The Allies then dispatch a six-woman team of operatives known as Jackdaws, who are assigned to pose as a custodial detail and sabotage German communications. Given a second chance to carry out her mission, Flick has very little time to assemble her "Dirty Half-Dozen" team, made up of a convict, a transvestite, a Gypsy, and an aristocrat, among other outcasts. The Jackdaws are opposed by the evil Major Dietrich Franck, a sadistic Nazi officer known for his ruthless use of torture. Flick must not only overcome her fiendish counterpart but also deal with a traitor in her own ranks and with the possibility that her philandering husband, who is now missing, may be concealing even greater secrets from her.

Although Follett is still best known for his brilliant Eye of the Needle, he's always managed to turn out complex and entertaining accounts that grip the reader, and his works remain entrenched in the substance and themes that create bestselling novels. Follet's writing style is vivid, rapid-fire, unpretentious, and completely engaging. Once again it's clear why he is a luminary in the suspense field, surrounded by legions of imitators. Jackdaws is another winning, all-out thriller that proves the master has not lost his extraordinary touch. (Tom Piccirilli)

Publishers Weekly
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 Sturmbannfuhrer 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. Majorad/promo; simultaneous abridged and unabridged audio from Penguin Audio. (Dec. 3) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Time is running out. With D-Day rapidly approaching, the Nazis are actively trying to quash the French resistance. Meanwhile, Britain's Special Operations branch is working hard to supply the resistance with intelligence, supplies and agents. Felicity "Flick" Clairet is one of England's most effective operatives in northern France. Having failed in an assault on the Nazis' main European telephone exchange, she regroups in England for another attempt, this time with an all-female team that will infiltrate the exchange under the guise of a French cleaning staff. Unfortunately, finding female agents fluent in French proves impossible and Flick resorts to crash-training nonprofessionals for the task. Imagine Charlie's Angels (minus the campiness) in The Guns of Navarone. Written in Follett's (Pillars of the Earth, etc.) riveting style and with his penchant for historical detail, the Jackdaws (the codename of the all-girl team) are given a heightened air of authenticity with Kate Reading's performance. She flavors her confident delivery with a wry cynicism that is inherent to Flick's character, and her use of international as well as regional accents keeps the rapid narrative flowing flawlessly. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Forecasts, Oct. 15, 2001). (Dec. 2001) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
It is days before the Allied invasion of Normandy, and the all-woman operation "Jackdaws" is set to infiltrate Europe's largest telephone exchange and sabotage German communications. Felicity "Flick" Clariet, one of the few British female operatives working in France, heads the team, but her confidence has taken a beating: the previous operation that she directed was a disastrous failure, and her philandering husband has gone missing. Flick's nemesis, the ruthless and sadistic Nazi officer Dieter Franck, occasionally regrets the terrible things he does, but it doesn't stop him from pressing on. Nor does our heroine regret executing traitors, all the while falling in love with American Paul Chancellor. An exciting look at the dangerous world of courageous souls who confronted the Nazi monster in its lair, Follett's latest (after Code to Zero) will not disappoint fans. For all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/01; BOMC main selection.] Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another plumpish thriller from the Follett factory (Code Zero, 2000, etc.), this time featuring a sort of distaff dirty (half) dozen. They don't come any tougher, smarter, braver, or, for that matter, deadlier than Major Felicity (call her "Flick") Clairet. Quintessentially female and sexy as all get out, she kills without compunction if that's the way the mission goes. The year is 1944, ten days before the Allied assault on Normandy, and Flick, a world-class saboteur, is attached to a British special operations unit. In France, near Paris, the largest telephone exchange in Europe has to be knocked out if Nazi communications are to be as impaired as the Allies need them to be. Eager for the assignment, Flick, being Flick, is only momentarily nonplussed when she learns she has but a mere two days to recruit a team of six French-speaking Englishwomen, train them to jump out of an airplane, and pass them off as a local custodial staff. In company with Flick, they will then slip by gulled Gestapo guards and into the telephone exchange building in order to blow it to smithereens. Code-named Jackdaw, the hastily assembled team includes a convict awaiting trial for murder, an ex-safecracker with a particular affinity for gelignite, and an engineer who is also a transvestite. Opposing the Jackdaws will be fiendishly clever Major Dietrich Franck, late of Rommel's staff, who is to captured British intelligence agents what Torquemada was to suspected heathens. And now the game's afoot: jackbooted Nazis against dissembling Jackdaws, devilish Dietrich versus tricky Flick. Bullets fly and blood flows while the fate of D-day hangs, obligatorily, in the balance. Ersatz characters, featurelessprose, departures from formula nil. But to the Follett faithful that's probably good news. Book-of-the-Month Club/Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild featured alternate selection
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451207524
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/26/2002
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 112,833
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Follett
Ken Follett is the international bestselling author of suspense thrillers and the nonfiction title On Wings of Eagles. He lives in England.

Biography

As a young boy growing up in Cardiff, Wales, Ken Follett's love for all things literary began early on. The son of devoutly religious parents who didn't allow their children to watch television or even listen to the radio, Follett found himself drawn to the library. It soon became his favorite place -- its shelves full of stories providing his escape, and ultimately, his inspiration.

Follett's more formal education took place years later at London's University College, where he studied philosophy -- a choice that, as he explains on his official Web site, he believes guided his career as an author. "There is a real connection between philosophy and fiction," Follet explains. "In philosophy you deal with questions like: ‘We're sitting at this table, but is the table real?' A daft question, but in studying philosophy, you need to take that sort of thing seriously and have an off-the-wall imagination. Writing fiction is the same."

After graduating in 1970, a journalism class touched off Follett's career as a writer. He started out covering beats for the South Wales Echo, and later wrote a column for London's Evening News. Becoming more and more interested in writing fiction on evenings and weekends, however, Follett soon realized that books were his true business, and in 1974 he went to work for Everest Books, a humble London publishing house.

After releasing a few of his own novels to less than thunderous acclaim --including The Shakeout (1975) and Paper Money (1977) -- Follett finally hit it big with 1978's Eye of the Needle. The taut, edgy thriller with more than a dash of sex appeal flew off the shelves, winning the Edgar award and allowing Follett to quit his job and get to work on his next book, Triple. Showing no signs of a sophomore slump, Triple went on to spark a string of bestselling spy thrillers, including The Key to Rebecca (1980), The Man from St. Petersburg (1982), and Lie Down with Lions (1986). 1983's On Wings of Eagles was an interesting departure -- a nonfiction account of how two of Ross Perot's employees were rescued from Iran in 1979.

Follett changed direction even more sharply in 1989, surprising fans with The Pillars of the Earth -- a novel set in the Middle Ages many critics considered his crowning achievement. "A novel of majesty and power," said The Chicago Sun-Times of Follett's epic story. "It will hold you, fascinate you, surround you."

Follett's next three books were a trio considered to be more suspenseful than thrill-filled -- Night Over Water (1991), A Dangerous Fortune (1993) and A Place Called Freedom (1995), but The Third Twin (1996) and The Hammer of Eden (1998) marked a return to Follett's trademark capers. The wartime novels Code to Zero (2000) and Jackdaws (2001) showcased Follett's "unique ability to tell stories of international conflict and tell them well," according to Larry King in USA Today.

Follett "hits the mark again" (Publishers Weekly) with his latest story of international intrigue, Hornet Flight (2002) -- the WWII story of a young couple trying to escape occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane who become unwitting carriers of top-secret information.

In a way, Follett's smash-hit success has allowed him to give back to the library of Cardiff, Wales -- by filling its shelves with his own transporting tales.

Good To Know

Eye of the Needle was made into a major motion picture, and four of Follett's books have been made into television mini-series: The Key to Rebecca, Lie Down with Lions, On Wings of Eagles and The Third Twin -- the rights for which were sold to CBS for the record sum of $1,400,000.

A very civic-minded soul, Follett is quite involved in his Hertfordshire community, serving as President of the Dyslexia Institute, Council Member of the National Literacy Trust, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Chair of Governors of the Roebuck Primary School & Nursery, Patron of Stevenage Home-Start, director of the Stevenage Leisure Ltd. and Vice-President of the Stevenage Borough Football club.

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Hertfordshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 5, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cardiff, Wales
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Philosophy, University College, London, 1970

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


ONE MINUTE BEFORE the explosion, the square at Sainte-Cécile was at peace. The evening was warm, and a layer of still air covered the town like a blanket. The church bell tolled a lazy beat, calling worshipers to the service with little enthusiasm. To Felicity Clairet it sounded like a countdown.

    The square was dominated by the seventeenth-century château. A small version of Versailles, it had a grand projecting front entrance, and wings on both sides that turned right angles and tailed off rearwards. There was a basement and two main floors topped by a tall roof with arched dormer windows.

    Felicity, who was always called Flick, loved France. She enjoyed its graceful buildings, its mild weather, its leisurely lunches, its cultured people. She liked French paintings, French literature, and stylish French clothes. Visitors often found the French people unfriendly, but Flick had been speaking the language since she was six years old, and no one could tell she was a foreigner.

    It angered her that the France she loved no longer existed. There was not enough food for leisurely lunches, the paintings had all been stolen by the Nazis, and only the whores had pretty clothes. Like most women, Flick was wearing a shapeless dress whose colors had long ago been washed to dullness. Her heart's desire was that the real France would come back. It might return soon, if she and people like her did what they were supposed to.

    She might not live to see it—indeed, she might not survive the next few minutes. She was no fatalist; she wanted tolive. There were a hundred things she planned to do after the war: finish her doctorate, have a baby, see New York, own a sports car, drink champagne on the beach at Cannes. But if she were about to die, she was glad to be spending her last few moments in a sunlit square, looking at a beautiful old house, with the lilting sounds of the French language soft in her ears.

    The château had been built as a home for the local aristocracy, but the last Comte de Sainte-Cécile had lost his head on the guillotine in 1793. The ornamental gardens had long ago been turned into vineyards, for this was wine country, the heart of the Champagne district. The building now housed an important telephone exchange, sited here because the government minister responsible had been born in Sainte-Cécile.

    When the Germans came they enlarged the exchange to provide connections between the French system and the new cable route to Germany. They also sited a Gestapo regional headquarters in the building, with offices on the upper floors and cells in the basement.

    Four weeks ago the château had been bombed by the Allies. Such precision bombing was new. The heavy four-engined Lancasters and Flying Fortresses that roared high over Europe every night were inaccurate—they sometimes missed an entire city—but the latest generation of fighter-bombers, the Lightnings and Thunderbolts, could sneak in by day and hit a small target, a bridge or a railway station. Much of the west wing of the château was now a heap of irregular seventeenth-century red bricks and square white stones.

    But the air raid had failed. Repairs were made quickly, and the phone service had been disrupted only as long as it took the Germans to install replacement switchboards. All the automatic telephone equipment and the vital amplifiers for the long-distance lines were in the basement, which had escaped serious damage.

    That was why Flick was here.

    The château was on the north side of the square, surrounded by a high wall of stone pillars and iron railings, guarded by uniformed sentries. To the east was a small medieval church, its ancient wooden doors wide open to the summer air and the arriving congregation. Opposite the church, on the west side of the square, was the town hall, run by an ultraconservative mayor who had few disagreements with the occupying Nazi rulers. The south side was a row of shops and a bar called Café des Sports. Flick sat outside the bar, waiting for the church bell to stop. On the table in front of her was a glass of the local white wine, thin and light. She had not drunk any.

    She was a British officer with the rank of major. Officially, she belonged to the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, the all-female service that was inevitably called the FANYs. But that was a cover story. In fact, she worked for a secret organization, the Special Operations Executive, responsible for sabotage behind enemy lines. At twenty-eight, she was one of the most senior agents. This was not the first time she had felt herself close to death. She had learned to live with the threat, and manage her fear, but all the same she felt the touch of a cold hand on her heart when she looked at the steel helmets and powerful rifles of the château guards.

    Three years ago, her greatest ambition had been to become a professor of French literature in a British university, teaching students to enjoy the vigor of Hugo, the wit of Flaubert, the passion of Zola. She had been working in the War Office, translating French documents, when she had been summoned to a mysterious interview in a hotel room and asked if she were willing to do something dangerous.

    She had said yes without thinking much. There was a war on, and all the boys she had been at Oxford with were risking their lives every day, so why shouldn't she do the same? Two days after Christmas 1941 she had started her SOE training.

    Six months later she was a courier, carrying messages from SOE headquarters, at 64 Baker Street in London, to Resistance groups in occupied France, in the days when wireless sets were scarce and trained operators even fewer. She would parachute in, move around with her false identity papers, contact the Resistance, give them their orders, and note their replies, complaints, and requests for guns and ammunition. For the return journey she would rendezvous with a pickup plane, usually a three-seater Westland Lysander, small enough to land on six hundred yards of grass.

    From courier work she had graduated to organizing sabotage. Most SOE agents were officers, the theory being that their "men" were the local Resistance. In practice, the Resistance were not under military discipline, and an agent had to win their cooperation by being tough, knowledgeable, and authoritative.

    The work was dangerous. Six men and three women had finished the training course with Flick, and she was the only one still operating two years later. Two were known to be dead: one shot by the Milice, the hated French security police, and the second killed when his parachute failed to open. The other six had been captured, interrogated, and tortured, and had then disappeared into prison camps in Germany, Flick had survived because she was ruthless, she had quick reactions, and she was careful about security to the point of paranoia.

    Beside her sat her husband, Michel, leader of the Resistance circuit codenamed Bollinger, which was based in the cathedral city of Reims, ten miles from here. Although about to risk his life, Michel was sitting back in his chair, his right ankle resting on his left knee, holding a tall glass of pale, watery wartime beer. His careless grin had won her heart when she was a student at the Sorbonne, writing a thesis on Molière's ethics which she had abandoned at the outbreak of war. He had been a disheveled young philosophy lecturer with a legion of adoring students.

    He was still the sexiest man she had ever met. He was tall, and dressed with careless elegance in rumpled suits and faded blue shirts. His hair was always a little too long. He had a come-to-bed voice and an intense blue-eyed gaze that made a girl feel she was the only woman in the world.

    This mission had given Flick a welcome chance to spend a few days with her husband, but it had not been a happy time. They had not quarreled, exactly, but Michel's affection had seemed halfhearted, as if he were going through the motions, and she had felt hurt. Her instinct told her he was interested in someone else. He was only thirty-five, and his unkempt charm still worked on young women. It did not help that since their wedding they had been apart more than together, because of the war. And there were plenty of willing French girls, she thought sourly, in the Resistance and out of it.

    She still loved him. Not in the same way: she no longer worshiped him as she had on their honeymoon, no longer yearned to devote her life to making him happy. The morning mists of romantic love had lifted, and in the clear daylight of married life she could see that he was vain, self-absorbed, and unreliable. But when he chose to focus his attention on her, he could still make her feel unique and beautiful and cherished.

    His charm worked on men, too, and he was a great leader, courageous and charismatic. He and Flick had figured out the battle plan together. They would attack the château in two places, dividing the defenders, then regroup inside to form a single force that would penetrate the basement, find the main equipment room, and blow it up.

    They had a floor plan of the building supplied by Antoinette Dupert, supervisor of the group of local women who cleaned the château every evening. She was also Michel's aunt. The cleaners started work at seven o'clock, the same time as vespers, and Flick could see some of them now, presenting their special passes to the guard at the wrought-iron gate. Antoinette's sketch showed the entrance to the basement but no further details, for it was a restricted area, open to Germans only, and cleaned by soldiers.

    Michel's attack plan was based on reports from MI6, the British intelligence service, which said the château was guarded by a Waffen SS detachment working in three shifts, each of twelve men. The Gestapo personnel in the building were not fighting troops, and most would not even be armed. The Bollinger circuit had been able to muster fifteen fighters for the attack, and they were now deployed, either among the worshipers in the church, or posing as Sunday idlers around the square, concealing their weapons under their clothing or in satchels and duffel bags. If MI6 was right, the Resistance would outnumber the guards.

    But a worry nagged at Flick's brain and made her heart heavy with apprehension. When she had told Antoinette of MI6's estimate, Antoinette had frowned and said, "It seems to me there are more." Antoinette was no fool—she had been secretary to Joseph Laperrière, the head of a champagne house, until the occupation reduced his profits and his wife became his secretary—and she might be right.

    Michel had been unable to resolve the contradiction between the MI6 estimate and Antoinette's guess. He lived in Reims, and neither he nor any of his group was familiar with Sainte-Cécile. There had been no time for further reconnaissance. If the Resistance were outnumbered, Flick thought with dread, they were not likely to prevail against disciplined German troops.

    She looked around the square, picking out the people she knew, apparently innocent strollers who were in fact waiting to kill or be killed. Outside the haberdashery, studying a bolt of dull green cloth in the window, stood Geneviève, a tall girl of twenty with a Sten gun under her light summer coat. The Sten was a submachine gun much favoured by the Resistance because it could be broken into three parts and carried in a small bag. Geneviève might well be the girl Michel had his eye on, but all the same Flick felt a shudder of horror at the thought that she might be mowed down by gunfire in a few seconds' time. Crossing the cobbled square, heading for the church, was Bertrand, even younger at seventeen, a blond boy with an eager face and a .45 caliber Colt automatic hidden in a folded newspaper under his arm. The Allies had dropped thousands of Colts by parachute. Flick had at first forbidden Bertrand from the team because of his age, but he had pleaded to be included, and she had needed every available man, so she had given in. She hoped his youthful bravado would survive once the shooting started. Loitering on the church porch, apparently finishing his cigarette before going in, was Albert, whose wife had given birth to their first child this morning, a girl. Albert had an extra reason to stay alive today. He carried a cloth bag that looked full of potatoes, but they were No.36 Mark I Mills hand grenades.

    The scene in the square looked normal but for one element. Beside the church was parked an enormous, powerful sports car. It was a French-built Hispano-Suiza type 68-bis, with a V12 aeroengine, one of the fastest cars in the world. It had a tall, arrogant-looking silver radiator topped by the flying-stork mascot, and it was painted sky blue.

    It had arrived half an hour ago. The driver, a handsome man of about forty, was wearing an elegant civilian suit, but he had to be a German officer—no one else would have the nerve to flaunt such a car. His companion, a tall, striking redhead in a green silk dress and high-heeled suede shoes, was too perfectly chic to be anything but French. The man had set up a camera on a tripod and was taking photographs of the château. The woman wore a defiant look, as if she knew that the shabby townspeople who stared at her on their way to church were calling her whore in their minds.

    A few minutes ago, the man had scared Flick by asking her to take a picture of himself and his lady friend against the background of the château. He had spoken courteously, with an engaging smile, and only the trace of a German accent. The distraction at a crucial moment was absolutely maddening, but Flick had felt it might have caused trouble to refuse, especially as she was pretending to be a local resident who had nothing better to do than lounge around at a pavement café. So she had responded as most French people would have in the circumstances: she had put on an expression of cold indifference and complied with the German's request.

    It had been a farcically frightening moment: the British secret agent standing behind the camera; the German officer and his tart smiling at her, and the church bell tolling the seconds until the explosion. Then the officer had thanked her and offered to buy her a drink. She had refused very firmly: no French girl could drink with a German unless she were prepared to be called a whore. He had nodded understandingly, and she had returned to her husband.

    The officer was obviously off-duty and did not appear to be armed, so he presented no danger, but all the same he bothered Flick. She puzzled over this feeling in the last few seconds of calm and finally realized that she did not really believe he was a tourist. There was a watchful alertness in his manner that was not appropriate for soaking up the beauty of old architecture. His woman might be exactly what she seemed, but he was something else.

    Before Flick could figure out what, the bell ceased to toll.

    Michel drained his glass, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

    Flick and Michel stood up. Trying to look casual, they strolled to the café entrance and stood in the doorway, inconspicuously taking cover.


Excerpted from JACKDAWS by Ken Follett. Copyright © 2001 by Ken Follett. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 116 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(59)

4 Star

(32)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 116 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Jackdaws - A unique perspective

    A thrill ride with an unusual spin. Almost all world war 2 spy books have male leads with female subordinates. This book flips that scenario around and unlike most books written by men starring women the inner voice of the charachters is not stilted and does in no way feel contrived. You hang on for the whole ride not caring one iota if its a man or woman, just your hero. You are taken into occupied France with descriptions that place you there. Even the anatgonist is written in a manner that you almost empathize with his motivation. I would highly recommend this book to all out for elevating their heart rate!

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2001

    Six Slick Chicks.

    I was reminded of the poem 'The Jackdaws of Rheim' by Richard Barbam. 'He peer'd in the face Of his Lordship's Grace, With a satisfied look, as if he would say, We two are the greatest folks here to-day! And the priest, with awe, As such freak's they saw, Said, 'The Devil must be in that little Jackdaw!!' Barham had it right, the devil was in the little jackdaw. Six little jackdaws, according to Ken Follet's story anyway. A story I would not have normally read, until I saw it was a story about six women. (In my mind, a woman would have to be a freak to want to be an OSE agent.) Charlie's Angels meets The Dirty Dozen meets The Guns of Navarone, I thought. It seems there have been so many stories about select groups of British agents whose mission it was to blow up a critical bridge, or chateau, or super-gun, that I tend to yawn when I see yet another. But this one seemed different, because it was about six women. My curiosity ran rampant. I knew I had to read this book. Turns out, by Follet's decriptions anyway, these six gals were something akin to Charlie's Angels grandmothers. They were beautiful, daring, sexy, and smart. And the politically correct Follet covered all of his bases by offering us a lesbian or two and a transvestite in the mix. A savy editor knows that it is almost impossible for a writer to cross gender lines and write from the perspective of the opposite sex. Women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Men and women are not wired the same. I wondered how, male, Ken Follet would pull this off? Actually he didn't. He avoided it by going light on the characterization and hit hard on what he does best, write action. The female perspective is reducded to that of how Lara Croft of 'Tomb Raider' or, Angel, Dylan might view the action. And so we don't know what made these little she-devils tick. Sad. I rated this book five stars and would recommend it to any that asked for my opinion. For historic action, writing, and detail, Ken Follet is the best. Cammy Diaz-lawyer

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    One of The Best Book's I've Ever Read!

    Jackdaws is an amazing book, and one of Ken Follet's Best Books. If you have read Hornet Flight, then you'll will enjoy this book much more than Hornet Flight even though hornet flight is also a good book. It is full of suspense, and gripping action, even more entertaining then a movie. Once you start, you will be unable to put it down.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2012

    Excellent -- Again

    Lots of intrigue and fear for the characters, caught in a do or die exploit in Nazi-occupied France. Plausible scenarios, believable characters. Haven't read a bad one by him yet.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't put it down!!!

    Captivating historical fiction story about a behind the lines female character in Natzi captured France before the invasion. Great for someone who loved historical fiction and with a strong female lead.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 24, 2014

    Fast paced and gripping!

    Fast paced and gripping!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Excellent read

    This was the first Follett book I've read and I was very impressed. The Jackdaws were a group of French resistance fighters during WWII. This story takes place in the week prior to the D-Day invasion. Excellent story and well written. Kept my attention throughout. A lot of my reading involves espionage type thrillers and this one didn't let me down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    Exelent story, well told, about women spys in world war two.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2011

    hard to put down

    This is the second book I have read of Follett's and I was not disappointed. I was entertained from beginning to end. This book showed a different perspective of WW2 and those who were fighting in the middle of it. A great historical fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    Amazing

    One of my favorite books of all time, and trust me I read ALOT.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Highly recommended

    What a great read. Wonderful writing! I loved this book and recommend this author to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    A page turner

    Lots of twists and turns. I learned a lot about the French Resistance, the brutality of war and the characters dealing with reality that war brings...and why the war exists. Well done!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic historical fiction!

    Man, I love Ken Follett. His wartime novels are always so good. Here, he introduces a fantastic female lead in Flick Clairet. She's interesting, flawed, courageous, and brilliant. She and her female squad named the Jackdaws set out on an impossible mission to help the Allies during WWII. The book is laced with real history and is an example of great storytelling. Overall, a great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    Jackdaws

    Awesome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Excellent!

    Another great read by Ken Follett. I couldn't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2012

    An abdolute musdt read from a master storyteller!

    Ken Follett continues his great stories with a suspense thriller that will keep you guessing right up to the surprise ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Engaging

    Enjoyed the WWII setting and characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    Could Not Put This Book Down!

    Suspense, action, love, sex, spies, escapes, this fast-paced book tells an amazing story and packs in everything you could want. What I liked was that it told the story from both the protagonist and the antagonist's perspective. Excellent read - should be a movie! But not until you've read the book of course.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    A Good Read

    I really liked this book. Ken Follett does a great job making his characters human and believable. Good plot with lots of twists and turns and the ending surprised me. Highly reccomended

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Terrible title for enjoyable book

    Another interesting book by Follett. I continue to be amazed that he has so many stories to tell from so many different voices during World War II.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 116 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)