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Comment: Previously loved and 100% satisfaction guaranteed. Item may show significant wear, library markings, noticeable creases, scuffs, bends, or small tears, inscriptions, notes/highlights, spots, or yellowing. Dust jacket may be missing
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Jackdaws Mass Market Paperback – November 26, 2002

4.3 out of 5 stars 528 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Penzler Pick, November 2001: Each book by Ken Follett, one of the most successful suspense writers of our time, is a welcome event. With Jackdaws, he returns to his most successful era, the darkest days of World War II.

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

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).
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451207521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451207524
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (528 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the earliest books in this genre that I read was the, "Eye Of The Needle". The author has since ranged widely amongst a variety of subjects, however with, "Jackdaws", Mr. Follett returns to World War II just prior to the Invasion Of Normandy. And like his previous efforts with this historical setting it is very well done, and will bring fond memories to those readers who were waiting for him to turn his pen once again to this theme.
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Jackdaws", Ken Follett returns to the form of "Eye of the Needle" and "The Key to Rebecca", spinning a tale that if a bit melodramic and not quite believable, is still entertaining and well worth the time. "Jackdaws" is reportedly based (very loosely, one would assume) on the true story of female allied spies operating in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. It "stars" Felicia 'Flick' Clairet, a British agent married to a French resistance fighter. As with many of Follett's novels, the sub plot of a love affair is woven into the story line, likely to insure additional appeal for broader audience, as well as the attraction for a possible screen play. Follett at his best is a master story teller, and he is in top form with "Jackdaws". He crafts a suspense that is palpable and engrossing, set with just enough history to establish some credibility. But while the plot and story development are superb, the same level of depth falls short in the character development. The characters appear to come straight from central casting: the brave but irreverent hero/spy, the sadistic Nazi officer, a female crew of ally agents reminiscent of "The Dirty Dozen". On balance, a good book for the beach or a long plane trip: mindless entertainment that will neither make you think nor disappoint.
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Format: Hardcover
I have just read my first, but definitely not last Ken Follett novel. I received Jackdaws as a Christmas present. What a present it turned it out to be!
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!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At a time when the CIA and Special Forces are fighting the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and terrorists, patriotism and heroism is back in style. Ken Follet takes us back to a romanticized version from fifty years ago, with a thriller about espionage, Resistance fighters, SOE, MI5, Gestapo, and the SS.
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.
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