Summary and book reviews of Hornet Flight by Ken Follett

Hornet Flight

by Ken Follett

Hornet Flight
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2002, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2003, 416 pages

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Book Summary

It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Somehow, the Germans are anticipating the RAF's flight paths, and shooting down British bombers with impunity. Old fashioned derring-do done right.

It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Somehow, the Germans are anticipating the RAF's flight paths, and shooting down British bombers with impunity. Hermia Mount, an intelligence analyst with MI6, wonders if the Germans could have perfected a radar system like the one the British themselves are struggling to achieve--but that notion itself is shot down, by her own bosses. Preposterous, she is told; stick with what she knows. But, still, she wonders.

Across the North Sea, eighteen-year-old Harald Olufsen takes a shortcut across the German-occupied Danish island of Fano on his homemade motorcycle, and comes across an astonishing sight. He doesn't know what it is, but he knows he must tell someone.

In Copenhagen, police detective and collaborator Peter Flemming searches his list of known troublemakers. The Germans are determined to discover who is smuggling information, and an idea has just come to him. This could even mean a promotion....

In the weeks to come, their lives and the lives of those close to them will intertwine, and for Harald in particular, it will be a time of trial. For when he finally learns the truth, it will all fall upon him to deliver the word to England--except that he has no way to get there. He has only an old derelict Hornet Moth biplane rusting away in the nave of a ruined church: a plane so decrepit that it is unlikely ever to get off the ground . . . even if Harald knew how to fly it.

Filled with knife-edge suspense and rich, tantalizing characters, this is Ken Follett writing at the top of his form--unforgettable storytelling from an unforgettable writer.

Prologue

A man with a wooden leg walked along a hospital corridor.

He was a short, vigorous type with an athletic build, thirty years old, dressed in a plain charcoal gray suit and black toe-capped shoes. He walked briskly, but you could tell he was lame by the slight irregularity in his step: tap-tap, tap-tap. His face was fixed in a grim expression, as if he were suppressing some profound emotion.

He reached the end of the corridor and stopped at the nurse's desk. "Flight Lieutenant Hoare?" he said.

The nurse looked up from a register. She was a pretty girl with black hair, and she spoke with the soft accent of County Cork. "You'll be a relation, I'm thinking," she said with a friendly smile.

Her charm had no effect. "Brother," said the visitor. "Which bed?"

"Last on the left."

He turned on his heel and strode along the aisle to the end of the ward. In a chair beside the bed, a figure in a brown dressing gown sat with his back ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Bestselling Welsh author Follett has made a career out of the WWII suspense thriller (Eye of the Needle; Jackdaws), and he hits the mark again with this dramatic and tragic tale of amateur spies pursued by Nazi collaborators in occupied Denmark in 1941.

Library Journal

Have the Nazis perfected radar? Intelligence analyst Hermia Mount thinks so, but a Danish teenager named Harald Olufsen has proof. If only he could figure out how to fly the creaky old Hornet Moth biplane to England.

Kirkus Reviews

Spunky Danes spy and fly beneath the radar of their Nazi occupiers....Old fashioned derring-do done right.

Booklist - Brad Hooper

[A] consistently compelling novel.

Reader Reviews

jennie

A exciting page turner!

Nic

A great story... enjoyed it all the way! Highly recommended

Deborah4967

Strange language
Just ran across this story on vacation and took it since I had read and enjoyed Follett's other books. But it felt strange. The story itself is interesting and compelling, but the language is oddly simplistic, sentences are broken up, emotions are ...   Read More

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