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Steve M. Shepard
Jackdaws is my first forray into the world of Ken Follett. I was drawn by my deceased father's involvement in the liberation of France and was not disappointed with Mr. Follett's historical research. While happy to see that the screen rights have been purchased, I found it often difficult not to compare many facets of "Jackdaws", with E.M. Nathanson's "Dirty Dozen" which was made into an all-star vehicle in 1967. Mr. Follett is by no means bordering on plagiarism, I simply found that the group of 1/2 dozen "sociatal misfits" codenamed "Jackdaws" and led by Major Felicity "Flick" Claret, a young petite and handsome, albeit seasoned British Agent, had some interesting similarities to those "misfits" led by Major John Reisman (Lee Marvin), quite interesting. Mr. Follett's riveting novel is indeed deserving of it's "pageturner" label and I look forward to the Hollywood cast who may be chosen, should "Jackdaws" become a major American motion picture. Seattle, U.S.A. - 24 Feb 2003
Jackdaws is an extremely, high energy thriller that has nearly all the elements of an historical novel...it almost reads like an exciting piece of history.
The premise of five undercover female British spies attempting to blow up a communications center in occupied France may at first seem farfetched, but Ken Follet narrates this exciting story wonderfully, giving a true sense of the fear and danger with which the resistant French lived (and frequently died.) The evil Gestapo officers are portrayed in full malevolence and are realisitic in their bizarre compassion for their families while being devastatingly cruel to other humans...their inhumanity, all too real in history, is brought to full light here.
I found this book hard to put down...the author is to be congratulated for helping us gain some insight into an important piece of history. Even though the actual specifics are fictional, the Nazi occupation of France is not...likewise, even though the characters and actions are fictional, the evil occupation and tragic innocent murders by the Nazis are not.