Summary and book reviews of Jackdaws by Ken Follett

Jackdaws

by Ken Follett

Jackdaws by Ken Follett X
Jackdaws by Ken Follett
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2001, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2006, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

'Follett delivers a very entertaining, very cinematic thriller about a ragtag, all-female band of British agents, code-named Jackdaws, sent to blow up a key telephone exchange in France on the eve of D-Day.'

D-Day is approaching. They don't know where or when, but the Germans know it'll be soon, and for Felicity "Flick" Clariet, the stakes have never been higher.

A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) responsible for sabotage, Flick has survived to become one of Britain's most effective operatives in Northern France. She knows that the Germans' ability to thwart the Allied attack depends upon their lines of communications, and in the days before the invasion no target is of greater strategic importance than the largest telephone exchange in Europe.

But when Flick and her Resistance-leader husband try a direct, head-on assault that goes horribly wrong, her world turns upside down. Her group destroyed, her husband missing, her superiors unsure of her, her own confidence badly shaken, she has one last chance at the target, but the challenge, once daunting, is now near-impossible. The new plan requires an all-woman team, none of them professionals, to be assembled and trained within days. Code-named the Jackdaws, they will attempt to infiltrate the exchange under the noses of the Germans--but the Germans are waiting for them now and have plans of their own. There are secrets Flick does not know--secrets within the German ranks, secrets among her hastily recruited team, secrets among those she trusts the most. And as the hours tick down to the point of no return, most daunting of all, there are secrets within herself....

Filled with the powerful storytelling, unforgettable characters, and authentic detail that have become his hallmarks, Jackdaws is Ken Follett writing at the height of his powers.

The First Day
Sunday, May 28, 1944

Chapter 1

One minute before the explosion, the square at Sainte-Cècile was at peace. The evening was warm, and a layer of still air covered the town like a blanket. The church bell tolled a lazy beat, calling worshipers to the service with little enthusiasm. To Felicity Clairet it sounded like a countdown.

The square was dominated by the seventeenth-century château. A small version of Versailles, it had a grand projecting front entrance, and wings on both sides that turned right angles and tailed off rearwards. There was a basement and two main floors topped by a tall roof with arched dormer windows.

Felicity, who was always called Flick, loved France. She enjoyed its graceful buildings, its mild weather, its leisurely lunches, its cultured people. She liked French paintings, French literature, and stylish French clothes. Visitors often found the French people unfriendly, but Flick had been speaking the language since she ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishing News
Starred Review. [Flick's] team (all women bar one) are the jackdaws of the title. This unusual idea is carried off with the kind of galvanic skill that was the hallmark of Follett's early books, and Flick is a memorable, complex heroine.

Kirkus Reviews
Another plumpish thriller from the Follett factory (Code Zero, 2000, etc.), this time featuring a sort of distaff dirty (half) dozen. They don't come any tougher, smarter, braver, or, for that matter, deadlier than Major Felicity (call her Flick) Clairet.... Ersatz characters, featureless prose, departures from formula nil. But to the Follett faithful that's probably good news.

Publishers Weekly
Follett delivers a very entertaining, very cinematic thriller about a ragtag, all-female band of British agents, code-named Jackdaws, sent to blow up a key telephone exchange in France on the eve of D-Day.

Library Journal
An exciting look at the dangerous world of courageous souls who confronted the Nazi monster in its lair, Follett's latest will not disappoint fans.

Reader Reviews

Chase

Excellent read
This was my first read from this author and I was really impressed. I couldn't put the book down once I got a feel for Ken's writing style. The characters are believable, and the twist and turns in this book are edge of your seat thrilling. I didn't ...   Read More

Manz

Loved it thoroughly

Justin

As a fan of World War Two based literature, I find Mr. Follett's book, Jackdaws, to be an excellent piece of writing that adequately represents France and its Nazi occupation in the 1940s. I am extremely impressed with this book and it has quickly ...   Read More

Dave

The author generally has very good character development in his novels. To me, the characters in this book were so real that I could actually visualize them as I read. I thought the story was a little bit of a stretch but the characters made the book...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Ken Follett

If you liked Jackdaws, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Treeborne
    Treeborne
    by Caleb Johnson
    The Treeborne family has lived on The Seven – the local sobriquet for a seven-acre stretch of ...
  • Book Jacket
    Grace
    by Paul Lynch
    Harrowing. Gorgeous. Epic. Grace, Paul Lynch's coming of age novel about a young woman, is set ...
  • Book Jacket: The Perfectionists
    The Perfectionists
    by Simon Winchester
    We seek precision in our lives every day. We want to drive from home to work and work to home safely...
  • Book Jacket: Beauty in the Broken Places
    Beauty in the Broken Places
    by Allison Pataki
    Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are "strong at the broken places," and Allison Pataki found that to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson

An audacious American epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Clock Dance
    by Anne Tyler

    A delightful novel of one woman's transformative journey, from the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Tabor
    by Cherise Wolas

    Wolas's gorgeously rendered sophomore novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.