2001 | Thriller | 624 pages

Jackdaws is an irresistible novel of the French Resistance, love, courage and revenge set in the Second World War.

A Failed Mission

Two weeks before D-Day, the French Resistance try to destroy a telephone exchange vital to Nazi communications. Heavily defended, the mission fails disastrously.

A Daring Plan
With invasion looming, Flick Clairet, a British secret agent, proposes a daring but perilous new plan. She, along with an all-female team – the Jackdaws – will infiltrate and neutralize the exchange before Allied Forces land in France.
A Race Against Time
However, unbeknownst to Flick, Rommel has assigned a brilliant spy-catcher – Dieter Franck – to crush the French Resistance. And now Franck is closing in . . .
First chapter

Sunday, 28 May 1944

One minute before the explosion, the square at Sainte-Ce´cile 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 worshippers to the service with little enthusiasm. To Felicity Clairet it sounded like a countdown. The square was dominated by the seventeenth century
chateau. 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. Continue reading

Ken's view
Britian sent fifty women agents into France and Occupied Europe during the Second World War. They were very brave – many were captured and tortured. I wanted to write about women agents, and the role they played. In Jackdaws, their job is to destroy a big telephone exchange that is vital to the German’s defences. It can’t be bombed, as it is in a bomb-proof bunker, and the French Resistance can’t get near it, as it is too well guarded. So a team of women, disguised as cleaners, is sent to destroy the exchange…

“The book’s celebration of uncommon courage and unlikely heroes couldn’t be better timed . . . a distaff Dirty Dozen.” – People


“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 . . . adventure, romance, derring-do. . . . [Jackdaws] promises to be one of Follett’s most popular novels ever.” – Publishers Weekly


“Compelling reading . . . great entertainment” –
Baltimore Sun