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Jackdaws Mass Market Paperback – November 26, 2002
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It is 1944 and the Allies are preparing for the invasion of Europe. In the occupied town of Sainte-Cecile, the French Resistance is preparing to blow up the chateau that now houses the crucial telephone exchange connecting the French telephone system to that of Germany. Bombers have been unable to inflict enough damage on the chateau to disrupt communications for more than a few hours at a time, but the Allies need to make sure that communications is down for longer so that there will be as little warning of the invasion as possible.
Felicity Clariet, known as Flick, is a British secret agent patrolling the streets around the chateau waiting for the first explosions that will give the signal for the attack to begin. She is married to Michel, a Resistance fighter. When the operation goes horribly wrong, they barely escape with their lives and Flick returns to her home in London--but not for long. When Flick returns to France it will be as part of an audacious, quickly assembled plan to put female spies in the chateau as telephone operators and cleaners, enabling the Allies to destroy the ability of the Exchange to warn Germany in advance of the landing on the beaches of Normandy. The twists and turns of the plot will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Follett tells us that Jackdaws is based on a true story. The Special Operations Executive sent 50 women into France as secret agents. Thirty-six survived. --Otto Penzler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a substantial work offering readers well over 400 pages of taught writing that unfolds over a little more than a week prior to D-Day. Like all books of this event it contains heroes, however they play against the background here, as a heroine takes charge of the story as well as the events in the book. The book begins with a notation that states that 50 women worked as secret agents in France for The Special Executive during the war. The book never seems to reach the moniker of historical fiction, although comments at the end strongly insinuate there was a real woman who, at the very least provided the inspiration for the heroine, "Flick". The women who volunteered to serve behind enemy lines in occupied France, and repeatedly traveled back and forth across The Channel during the war were clearly remarkable women, and were as fearless as any of their male counterparts.
This novel is a bit scattered in its tone. The changes in the mood of the book work well as a whole, however they can seem a bit jarring and out of place as the book is read. If very graphic descriptions of the most brutal interrogation of both men and women are an issue, several areas of this book will be troublesome to read. I don't feel the length to which Mr.Read more ›
Jackdaws, based on a true story, needs to be made into a blockbuster movie. It tells the story of how people thrust into dire situations can do amazing things. Felicity Clairet, aka Flick, is a strong main character, operating behind enemy lines in occupied France. On her trail is Dieter Franck, Gestapo agent. What ensues is one of the best cat- and- mouse chases I personally have ever read in modern fiction.
During the entirety of the book, I kept saying to myself, This is a master at work! There were several interesting supporting characters. At times you need a card to keep track of these characters, but they are thoroughly believable and well written.
This is easily one of my all-time favorite books. Think of The Fugitive during Nazi WWII occupied France and you are getting the idea of just how impressive this novel is!
This is a very familiar setting and theme. Fifteen years ago, Larry Collins' "Fall from grace" did an excellent job of creating for the reader a cat-and-mouse game of spies, agents, and Resistance fighters attempting to pave the way for D-Day. It remains a definitive piece of Resistance fiction. And the "Dirty Dozen" film earned worldwide popularity with its collection of misfits taking on the German elite in their lair.
"Jackdaws" is a rich blend of both of these, with the usual dashing, handsome and beautiful, sexy, multilingual, heroic, tormented yet highly motivated characters on both sides of the conflict. Follett makes full use of our fascination and respect for people who for the right reasons put themselves into terrible situations, fictional, semi-fictional or historically accurate.
Some readers have and will decry the chauvinist or simply politically incorrect use of the strange group of women Follett assembled to sabotage the critical German communications link immediately before D-Day. For me, it is another interesting twist on an old, oft-worked theme. Sure, Follett's lesbian characters are drawn with a man's hand, but authors have always struggled to reach outside their own experiences, even if stereotypes necessarily result. And scenarios stretch reality, but fiction has that right as well.
Jack Higgins used to do a good job with this genre, before he went over to more modern times and the IRA. Follett remains a first-class writer of World War-based fiction. And "Jackdaws" will not disappoint.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Have great respect for French Resistance. A very good read. My husband just sent a resistance flag to their museum in Auxerre that his Dad (American GI) was given in 1945. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
I thought this book was excellent. I'm a lover of Historical Fiction, and after a string of poor choices, I'm glad I made a good one. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Caitmc
Another good one from Follet. Keeps up the tempo to the very end. A good read.Published 20 days ago by Ranjit Abraham
Fillet never fails to write a long novel that seems to go by so fast. GreatPublished 21 days ago by Timothy M. McGilloway
As usual the author weaves a suspense filled story. This will keep Follett fans coming back for more of his novels.Published 29 days ago by Len Hammond
Ken Follett does a wonderful job of unfolding history through the eyes and actions of fictional characters that we can relate to. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Hettick