Read Jackdaws by Ken Follett Online


In his own bestselling tradition of Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Ken Follett once again strikes Nazi pay dirt as a gang of all-female saboteurs go behind German lines....

Title : Jackdaws
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451219596
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Jackdaws Reviews

  • Maria Espadinha
    2019-02-24 00:41

    Sementes de VerdadePegaram em armas, planearam ataques, trataram dos feridos...Preservaram a sanidade numa guerra gerada por sementes de loucura!Lutaram numa guerra de homens, sem contudo deixar de ser mulheres!Mulheres corajosas!...Grandes Guerreiras que merecem ser recordadas com o maior respeito e admiração!É um 4+++Leiam! É uma ficção com sementes de verdade!!!

  • David
    2019-03-20 18:54

    Reading Jackdaws, like other Ken Follett titles I've read, is kind of like riding a moped. It's a lot of fun, but all the same you really don't want to be seen enjoying it. For me reading Follett is one of those guilty pleasures, where you know it isn't the best writing out there, the characters aren't particularly well developed, and in general the book isn't ground breaking or noteworthy in any way -- and yet you keep reading, because secretly it's kind of fun.If you like WWII fiction with lots of action and don't mind stereotypical characters, then Follett's your man.

  • StoryTellerShannon
    2019-02-21 21:37

    First off, I feel this is a 3.5 but I'm giving it 4, as some of the reviewers on here have been too harsh. JACKDAWS takes the standard D-Day spy stories but twists it by focusing on the Historical female agents, or, as they were known, something of the unsung heroes. This particular tale focuses on a female agent who is trying to knock down the phone lines of an SS HQ but needs to do it as cleaning ladies. So, after failing her first attempt, she heads back to the UK where she, and other govt officials, recruit several female agents for training. All of these women are untrained and have to do a crash course in spycraft. Thereafter, the next half of the book entails the women parachuting into France, some of them getting caught or killed and then moving in on the mission. Expect the usual "B" love story. Story is very good in pacing, and, while some of the characters have the archetypal element, I felt he did a good job creating a diverse selection. When he wrote EYE OF THE NEEDLE the market was less saturated with WWII stories. Now, they're all over the place, so, he has less of the market, the stories overlap more and expectations are higher for newer and newer stories. This one is above average to good but not quite either in definition. If you want to read him for the first time, I'd recommend EYE OF THE NEEDLE.

  • Kristen Schrader (Wenke)
    2019-02-25 20:58

    "Exactly fifty women were sent into France as secret agents by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. Of those, thirty-six survived the war. The other fourteen gave their lives. This book is dedicated to all of them."So. Damn. Good. Ken Follett is best known for his sweeping epics Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and Fall of Giants which span decades, but in Jackdaws he manages to apply his same talent for engrossing description into a story that takes 10 days. The novel is centered around Flick (aka Felicity) who leads a group of all female secret agents into occupied France to disable an all too important telephone exchange. And if that wasn't difficult enough - the Nazis know she's coming. It's emotional, heart-pounding, and incredibly descriptive. You'll swear you were there and you won't be able to put it down. Oh, yeah. And chicks rule. From the official history:"Women did not normally organize sabotage; but Pearl Witherington, a trained British courier, took over and ran an active Maquis of some two thousand men in Berry with gallantry and distinction after the Gestapo arrested her organizer. She was strongly recommended for an MC (Military Cross), for which women were held ineligible; and received instead a civil MBE, which she returned, observing she had done nothing civil."

  • Craig
    2019-02-28 20:34

    Jackdaws could have been a very good World War II novel. It's about a group of women operatives (most of them criminals or malcontents) who are given a chance to serve their country and clear their records if they undertake a dangerous mission in France to blow up a Nazi communications center just as the D-Day invasion begins. Yes, the premise is very much a female Dirty Dozen. The action and characterization of the book are okay but typical. There were just too many sex scenes. And the sad thing is those scenes were entirely unecessary. Follett has caved to the contemporary temptation of explicit sex. Too bad. Otherwise, it would have been better.

  • Ana Filipa
    2019-03-12 17:32

    Em primeiro lugar começo por dizer que não só o autor, como também o livro me surpreenderam.Este foi o primeiro livro que escolhi para dar início às leituras de Ken Follett, pois nunca tinha lido nada deste autor. Fiquei um pouco de pé atrás quando li a sinopse, pois pensei ser mais um de tantos livros que iriam descrever espiões e situações horríveis passadas durante a Segunda Grande Guerra. No entanto, este livro surpreendeu-me pela positiva, uma vez que não entramos apenas na trama que se situa ao redor da Grande Guerra, mas também tomamos conhecimento da vida de cada uma das personagens, o que são e de onde vêm.Flick Clairet, uma agente secreta britânica, tem uma missão a cumprir que irá apaixonar o leitor. Com a Segunda Guerra Mundial como pano de fundo, somos levados a "presenciar" algumas das situações mais horrendas e sufocantes que jamais poderão ter acontecido na história da humanidade.O que poderia ser uma história aborrecida, tornou-se num turbilhão de emoções e aprendizagens. E aproveito para dizer que jamais se poderá comparar o trabalho de Ken Follett ao de Daniel Silva.

  • Kenny Bellew
    2019-02-18 16:55

    This is another historical fiction by Ken Follett. It was published about 15 years ago. This time, it's a about the women of the French Resistance who attempt to help the allied evasion by going after a highly-guarded military target. One of the women is gay man who works as a cross-dressing performer and identifies as a woman. The author calls her female for the whole book.

  • Leslie
    2019-02-21 23:59

    I picked this up on holiday because I'd read through the books I'd brought and this was the only one among the English-language secondhand paperbacks at the hotel I thought I could stand. It's okay, for what it is. Follett keeps the adrenaline going, but there's not much else here. The main characters are all impossibly good-looking and/or bursting with raw sexual energy (one can practically cast it with the appropriate Hollywood A-listers as one reads). The plot is full of twists, as one would expect, but the decision to connect it with the D-Day invasion limits the potential for suspense; I mean, we know the invasion happened and it worked, and if the destruction of this telephone exchange plays a role in it then it has to succeed, too, right? The only real question is exactly who will die along the way, and I didn't care about or believe in any of the characters enough to get too anxious about their survival, and most of the deaths were pretty predictable. The book is full of clunky writing. This is just one bad sentence in a book full of bad sentences: "Beautiful women were like the gorgeous French impressionist paintings he collected: having one did not stop you wanting another." Ugh. A stupid cliche, overloaded with adjectives, and quite typical of the book overall. If all you require is adrenalin and you don't care about character or writing or, well, anything else, it's adequate junk reading. Graham Greene and John Le Carre do spy thrillers far, far better, of course, but I'd have been pretty surprised to find a book by either of them in the stack in my Mexican hotel.

  • Becky
    2019-03-02 17:46

    Either KF is a dirty old man or he's taken the adage "sex sells" to heart. For a spy novel, there was an awful lot of flirting and crushes and sex — each instance intended to be more shocking than the last. Rather, each was more ridiculous than the last, resulting in sighs and eye rolling. Lots of eye rolling.When the author wasn't writing amateur porn and got around to writing the spy part of his spy novel, things didn't pick up as much as you'd think. The plot never gets any serious momentum. It's best described as a formulaic cliche: bad guys on the trail of the good guys (or girls in this case) with lots of close calls, but everything turns out just pat (a little too pat) in the end. All the right characters live, all the wrong characters get what's coming to them, and all the characters you feel neutral towards die. You know, to pull at the reader's heart strings and give the plot that necessary hint of realism. Bleh.A good novel keeps the reader guessing. It at least keeps the reader interested. This pile of cliche and predictability did neither. Only through misguided persistence could I slog through and finish this, and especially at the end, it was only to get it over with already.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-03-01 16:41

    Read by Kate Reading. Unabridged, on 9 1/2 Tapesblurb 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.Shamelessly nicking the tagline: the female dirty dozenIf I was cynical I could say this may be Follett's very own recurring wet dream:A dozen females in dress-upS & MGratuitous sexNazi goose-steppersSounds like that Mel Brookes filmscript doesn't it. And if not that, maybe it would have been a strong contender for the Benny Hill-esque Chase Scene or toned down this could be an assignment for Charlie's original trio.All that said, this was rather good, taut and exciting, however it was hard to keep concentrating with all these asides my brain wanted to fling at me.ETA - hah! scanning through the reviews here I'm not alone with the brain-swerve into jocularity as there is a reference to 'allo 'allo

  • Sarah
    2019-03-18 17:47

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Typically, war based stories are so full of minute details that they detract from the story for me. The plot sounded intriguing though, so I decided to give it a shot. It ended up being one of the better WWII stories that I have read. There was enough background information for me to underdstand the historical reference of the story, but it was balanced by a well developed plot. I like reading stories from a non-American perspective since it is a viewpoint that I am not normally exposed to. I do not recall learning in school anything about other countries efforts against the Nazi regime during WWII. While this is a fictional story, I think it serves as an interesting view into the role of the French resistance during the war. My only gripe is that the ending seemed a bit contrite. It was rather convenient that her husband that she no longer wished to be with but had too much respect to leave dies, leaving her able to the marry the man she falls in love with.

  • Donald Gallinger
    2019-03-03 22:37

    Ken Follet achieves the nearly impossible task of creating genuine suspense about an event that is well-known, with fresh characters, clever plotting, and surprising twists on an old story. You will enjoy this book on a long plane flight, or just sitting out on your porch during the lazy days of summer. I always enjoy Ken Follet's approach to history--crackerjack pacing, strong dialogue, and a deep desire to entertain. If only all writers cared as much about their audience's enjoyment as Follet does, TV would become obsolete.

  • Sara Jesus
    2019-03-04 21:35

    Thriller histórico empolgante, baseado em factos reais. É um romance sobre a segunda guerra mundial, e que conta a história de quatro de mulheres que tem a coragem de porem em risco a sua própria vida para destruir uma central telefónica alemã. Felicity é uma agente secreta, casada com Michael que pertence a resistência, que vive em Paris e possui a missão de destruir uma central telefónica. Mas o seu plano dá errado, e ela é obrigada a voltar a Grã-Bretanha. Não querendo desistir, ela tem a ideia de líder uma operação só de mulheres. O objectivo é disfarçarem-se de mulheres de limpeza e explodir a central.É a primeira experiência de leitura deste autor inglês, um livro repleto de informação relativamente a espionagem e a tortura nazi. Foi chocante os relatos dos interrogatórios... O modo como os alemães utilizavam-se dos prisioneiros para infligir dor. " Nome de código Leoparda" foi um livro que me surpreendeu, apesar de ser obra que fala de guerra, aborda também a coragem e o sacrifício. Estaríamos dispostas a riscar a nossa vida em prol do nosso país?

  • Alfonso D'agostino
    2019-03-21 18:29

    Dedicato dall’autore alle cinquanta spie al femminile inglesi che si dedicarono a opere di sabotaggio dietro le linee durante la seconda guerra mondiale, ed in particolare alle 14 che perirono in azione, Le gazze ladre è un romanzo solido, storicamente ben ambientato, che si legge (come direbbero gli apneisti) d’un fiato (io l’ho completato in una notte insonne fra toni, lampi e motociclisti che sgasavano sotto le finestre di un convento, ma questa è un’altra storia). Azione pagina dopo pagina, la giusta dose di suspense e l’unica pecca di indugiare eccessivamente su aspetti sentimental-romantici che a un bruto come me, a caccia di semplici sparatorie del ’40, sono apparse un filo melense. Tutto sommato promosso.

  • Cathy Sites
    2019-03-04 16:52

    Quite good, story line keeps you engaged making it a quick read. Yet another reference to Ravensbruck, a part of WWII history that should receive more attention.

  • J.F. Penn
    2019-03-19 19:44

    Full video review here : have always found Ken Follett too verbose but this book was an excellent fast read with a great female lead character. Flick Clairet is one of a select group of women helping the French Resistance during the final years of the Second World War. She is married to a French man, the leader of the resistance in Reims and in the opening sequence we see a group of them fail to overcome a telephone exchange that is crucial to the Germans. 

Several of the local resistance members are captured, tortured and a German intelligence officer is able to start unravelling the underground team there. He is a ruthless torturer although we also see his cultured side and his love for a Jewish mistress. He even gets terrible migraines when he has to torture people so Follett manages to create a villain who is still believable and not a caricature of the evil Nazi.After the failure of the team, Flick is determined to get back to the exchange and blow it up, creating a critical gap in communications at the same time as the Allied forces invade. The timing is crucial and the book is basically her mission back to Reims in order to accomplish this task. The only way in is to recruit other women to act as an all-female team disguised as cleaners. In that way they can get into the exchange and blow up the communications. The women Flick recruits have been rejected by other services and are generally unsuitable, a ragtag bunch including a convicted murderer, a Cockney explosives expert thief, a lesbian aristocrat and a transvestite whose lover had been killed by the Germans. The journey the women take, the danger they get into is the crux of the story. No spoilers but as in real life, they don’t all make it.Flick is characterized as a hard soldier in that she is able to shoot a traitor and and fight in hand to hand combat, but she also has a softer side and is able to love and think about marriage. I like these types of characters and she made the story believable. She and Dieter, the Nazi interrogator are by far the strongest characters in the book and it really was a battle between these two throughout the book.Although you know that of course the Allies will win in the end, you still don’t know until the last pages whether the team will survive. I enjoyed the book, reading it on a windy, wild Auckland day in pretty much one sitting. It’s a thriller with an intelligent female heroine. Recommended!

  • Irene
    2019-03-02 00:31

    The problem I have with historical fiction is that I always figure there must be plenty of amazing true stories from the same time period, so why not read about those? Jackdaws brings attention to the Special Operations Executive, the British military division responsible for secret operatives sent behind enemy lines. According to a note in the book, fifty women really were sent into France as spies during World War II. So what are their stories? I'm sure they're as fascinating, or even more so, than anything anyone could make up.Well, putting my own prejudices aside, the book was good. It held my interest enough that I looked forward to reading it each night, but not so much that it kept me up later than I wanted. It's the kind of book that does well as a TV substitute. It reads like a movie, it's entertaining, and it's a bit suspenseful. Just like a movie, though, there was what I would consider superfluous romance that distracted from the action and actual plot. Frequently when a book includes foreign words or references to political or military organizations, I'm annoyed that the reader is assumed to have sufficient knowledge of the references; I appreciate it when additional context is given, or when a foreign phrase is subtly translated. However, I dare say that Ken Follett goes overboard: Is it really necessary to explicitly define the word "suffragette"?Finally, near the end, I think the main character Flick made two uncharacteristic moves - she made a decision against her better judgment, and she didn't react quickly enough given the circumstances. I wonder why Follett weakened her character after spending so much time before and after developing her character. Maybe just to show that she's human and makes mistakes, too.Anyway, I wasn't blown away by the book, but it's easy reading and the kind of book that's good for passing the time. Since Ken Follett is such a prolific writer, I'll probably pick up more of his books from the library from time to time.

  • Rachael
    2019-02-20 22:32

    That's the last time I take a book recommendation from the head cashier at Barnes. The fact that she also recommended The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks should have been warning enough. I think I'll be pulling the fluff out of my eyes for days. Good try, Mr Follet, with your Nazi insignia designed cover and scattering of knowledge about code breaking and writing of LGBT characters. It was not a story about women fighting in the war effort so much as women arguing with each other and hooking up, sometimes with one anither, a Nazi with a twisted love of torture and Judas doors (No, really, we get interogation is about betrayal). I'll always have a special place in my heart for Pillars and World Without End, but no lasting love for Jackdaws.

  • Mr. Gottshalk
    2019-03-16 00:53

    A team of six women are sent from England to France just before the Allied invasion of Normandy in June, 1944. Their job is to destroy a German communications system that sends information for the bad guys from France back to Germany. The problem is, it's not that easy. They are parachuted on to enemy soil and have to work very, very hard to avoid all the traps laid for them. A terrific character named Flick Claret is opposed by an evil Gestapo torture master by the name of Dieter Franck. You can count on Ken Follett for a rollicking historical fiction saga, but when compared to two of the top ten best books I have EVER read, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, this one just doesn't measure up. Can't quite give it four stars.

  • Jacki
    2019-02-27 18:32

    I am an avid reader. My husband, not so much. This is one of the few books that he brought into our married bookshelves, and that's because he had to read it for a class. I read anything I can get my little hands on, so I grabbed this one up.I loved it. I loved the main characters, the gathering of the team, the constant action, all that friction.... everything. It kept me excited and I couldn't put it down. I love tough, unique, women characters and this was full of them. I feel like it'd be a great movie- spy/war stuff for the guys and several little romances and girl power for the gals. Now that I've read Pillars of the Earth and this one, I won't hesitate to read others by Ken Follett because I've really enjoyed both of these.

  • Maricel Edwards
    2019-03-12 22:56

    I don't think I'm cut out for thrillers and espionage. All throughout this book, I kept grimacing and wincing and putting it down because I simply couldn't stand the suspense. In a two-hour movie, I'm dandy; but I don't have the nerves for a 400+ page book. I guess that means this was a good read? Depends on your perspective, right?

  • Aditya Harikumar
    2019-03-07 23:52

    This book just AWESOME .One of the best thrillers I have ever read .Right from the start Follett has ensured that the readers keep turning the pages,eager and impatient to know what happens.I was so engrossed by this book that I lost track of time reading it.Reading it transported me back to the time of Nazis and the world war 2 . There were unexpected twists and turns, whenever you thought things were going smoothly for the both the protagonists.The way one of the main characters tries to capture the other while the other(main character) tries to avoid capture adds to the excitement.The chases made my adrenaline go dangerously high as I got this feeling that I was the one being chased. The torture techniques are a bit gruesome but as they say anything is fair in love and war.The book ends in a nail biting climax.The climax was just mind blowing.The best part was unlike some other thrillers like the Robert Langdon series where you know that Robert will triumph in the end no matter what,this book had me guessing.Both the rivals are just as smart as each other making it impossible to decide who actually will ' win the battle'. All in all it is a really good book .

  • Kevin
    2019-03-14 18:47

    This book felt like it was written for the screen. You could almost hear the dramatic music scoring the action and see the montage where the protagonist goes around to assemble a rag-tag bunch of rejects for one last mission behind enemy lines. Aside from that, the story is entertaining and the pace is uptempo from start to finish. Some of the characters aren't quite fully fleshed out enough to give the reader a chance to understand them more than as a thumbnail sketch of someone (you have The Leader, The Demolitions Expert, The Woman Who Is Actually A Man, The Aristocrat, The Other Aristocrat(?), and The Convict... together, they are The Jackdaws).One of the major positives of this book is the research that was clearly done to support all of the actions and choices. And, unlike some authors who seem to believe that if they learned something in the course of writing the book that they have to include it, this book feels well-grounded without drowning you in examples of how different life was during the War. Follett really understands that the details and research are set dressing to make the action stand out which he does excellently here.

  • Antonio
    2019-03-01 00:41


  • Alicja
    2019-03-05 00:53

    rating: 3/5 Days before D-Day there is a high priority Nazi target on French soil that needs to be destroyed. However, there is a catch, only an all-female team can gain access to it. Flick is put in charge of this quickly formed, ragtag team as they attempt to fulfill their dangerous mission.Loved the action, the plot, and the kick-ass female protagonist. The POV mostly alternated between Flick, the British agent on French soil, and Dieter, a Nazi commander. I had chills from viewing through a window into Dieter's head, especially during the torture scenes which left me feeling uncomfortable; he seemed to be the best developed and most complex character in the entire novel. Most action occurred as Flick commanded a female unit in an attack on a Nazi target while Dieter pursued them. The plot revolved around a topic I've never read about before, British agents working with the French resistance during WWII. The plot was exciting, quick, fun to read, and kept me turning the page.It's a great fast-paced action book; however, the character development mostly just wasn't there. There is a huge supporting cast of secondary characters but they are all two-dimensional (with two characters behaving in such an idiotic way that just didn't seem believable). Some of the characters are LGBT, they are badly written and stereotypical, but the straight characters seemed like they were taken from a stereotype encyclopedia so I didn't take offense. I couldn't connect with any of them. Additionally, the romance element seemed like something lifted from a Harlequin novel. The sex scene was the most awful thing I've ever read and completely unnecessary. And the ending was too neat, wrapping up everything just oh so perfectly.If you are looking for a non-cognitively involving but fast-paced action-y quick read, then this is the novel to pick up.

  • Emily
    2019-03-07 19:29

    As this book opens in 1944, Flick Clairet, an experienced British agent working with the French Resistance, fails to blow up a crucial piece of infrastructure. She returns to England and argues for a another shot at it; she is given leave to take a group of inexperienced female agents back to France with her and try again. Meanwhile, a German officer has captured the remnants of the original force and infiltrated the Resistance cell Flick expects to meet. Now Flick has to escort a group of rank amateurs against a wily and determined opponent, with no time for mistakes.In this book, Follett again shows his mastery of pacing. He sets up a number of rendezvous and escapes for Flick and her team that are consistently entertaining, while using the known facts of the D-Day invasion as a ticking clock that highlights the importance of their mission. I was especially impressed to consider the pacing of this book, which takes place over about a week, in comparison with Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, which take place over decades. There were a few moments when I found it hard to take the story seriously because it reminded me so much of "Allo Allo," a British sitcom about Occupied France. But on the whole it was a good, quick read. If you enjoy WWII thrillers, do yourself a favor and read Alan Furst. There may not be as much shooting as in this novel, but Furst's work is more atmospheric, detailed, and involving.

  • Philip Walker
    2019-02-24 22:30

    I am quite new to Ken Follett, having only recently read Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, both of which really caught my imagination. Jackdaws while it is more superficial than the epic Pillars of the Earth, is a very good engrossing story. An all female (well female-ish) team of special operative made up of the deluded, the dangerous and the brave, all of who would never be considered suitable for general duties or have already been rejected, parachute into France having trained for just a few days, with a mission to destroy a vital hub that could cripple the effective communication of the Nazis. These women, some of become close (very much so..) have to bond, and work together, each having their own reasons for wanting to be there, knowing it is unlikely all will return alive.Each of the characters are well described and as a reader I found myself becoming quite attached to each, even the villains, which I think is quite clever of Follett, to make the villain just as human as the hero.Some reviewers have mentioned that the story is unrealistic, fantasy in fact. I couldn't disagree more. The fact remains there is much evidence to show operations like this took place, put together in little or no time, with characters that make those in this book seem like the Women's Institute tea ladies in comparison. So have an open mind, but rest assured stories like this exist in the reality of the Second World War even more so than in today's historical fiction.An enjoyable book, with some great colourful characters and an exciting attention grabbing story.

  • Sean
    2019-02-18 18:53

    The plot of Jackdaws is pretty straightforward--in the days leading up the Allied invasion of France in 1945, British spies, working with the French resistance, are trying to blow up a crucial telephone exchange in Nazi-occupied France. The first attempt fails, with much of the team being captured and tortured. One of the members of that team, a skilled female operative named Flick, escapes back to London and argues for a follow-on team. The British government agrees, given the importance of the target, but spies are in short supply at this point in the war, so Flick ends up forming an all female team of highly inexperienced women to make a second attempt on the target. They will parachute into France, and infiltrate the castle housing the telephone exchange by posing as cleaning women. The book also tells the parallel story of the German officer who makes it his mission to capture Flick and force her to give up her contacts in the resistance.Despite my intense interest in history and the compelling subject of this book, I found it an incredibly boring, and predictable, read. The story never really comes to life and just sort of plays out to the ultimate conclusion--the completion of the mission, the daring escape, set against the backdrop of the well-known Allied invasion and ultimate German defeat.I've heard good things about other Follett books, so one should look elsewhere for a first Follett book to read.

  • StoryTellerShannon
    2019-02-26 21:50

    First off, I feel this is a 3.5 but I'm giving it 4, as some of the reviewers on here have been too harsh. JACKDAWS takes the standard D-Day spy stories but twists it by focusing on the Historical female agents, or, as they were known, something of the unsung heroes. This particular tale focuses on a female agent who is trying to knock down the phone lines of an SS HQ but needs to do it as cleaning ladies. So, after failing her first attempt, she heads back to the UK where she, and other govt officials, recruit several female agents for training. All of these women are untrained and have to do a crash course in spycraft. Thereafter, the next half of the book entails the women parachuting into France, some of them getting caught or killed and then moving in on the mission. Expect the usual "B" love story. Story is very good in pacing, and, while some of the characters have the archetypal element, I felt he did a good job creating a diverse selection. When he wrote EYE OF THE NEEDLE the market was less saturated with WWII stories. Now, they're all over the place, so, he has less of the market, the stories overlap more and expectations are higher for newer and newer stories. This one is above average to good but not quite either in definition. If you want to read him for the first time, I'd recommend EYE OF THE NEEDLE.OVERALL GRADE: B.

  • Ed
    2019-03-21 00:47

    This offering of Ken Follett, while not up to Eye of the Needle or The Pillars of the Earth was nevertheless a good book to have on a trip with many delays due to weather and mechanical problems.It chronicles the travails of a group of British women who are tasked to destroy a German telephone exchange just before D-Day, important because it was the main conduit for most of the military phone traffic between France and Berlin .The plot is well-developed but I find Follett's characterizations to be a little less than believable. I like my heroes to have more warts. My two biggest problems with the story are the incredible number of coincidences that work in the saboteurs' favor and the various love interest sub-plots that add melodrama but very little else to the narrative.While certainly better than some of his later offerings like Code to Zero, This book did not motivate me to read more of Follett's work than I have already read.