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From Barnes & NobleThe 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)