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Summary

Two weeks before D-day, the French Resistance attacks a chateau containing a telephone exchange vital to German communications - but the building is heavily guarded, and the attack fails disastrously.

Flick Clairet, a young British secret agent, proposes a daring new plan: she will parachute into France with an all-woman team known as the Jackdaws, and they will penetrate the chateau in disguise. But, unknown to Flick, Rommel has assigned a brilliant, ruthless intelligence colonel, Dieter Franck, to crush the Resistance. And Dieter is on Flick's trail....

From Ken Follett, the master storyteller and best-selling author of Eye of the Needle and Code to Zero, comes this exciting thriller, set against the menacing backdrop of the Second World War and crackling with suspense and action.

Jackdaws is an irresistible novel of the Resistance and of love, courage and revenge.

©2018 Ken Follett (P)2018 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about Jackdaws

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping listen

I am not sure how one enjoys a book that at times is quite brutal, but this book greatly exceeded my expectations and I found it quite gripping. I loved the way the author switched between telling the story from different angles, so that the same scene could be reflected from opposing sides. Extremely well read by Emilia Fox.

12 people found this helpful

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Captivating

With perfect narration by Emilia Fox and Ken Folletts amazing ability to create engaging characters to share history with such clarity. Loved every minute of it.

6 people found this helpful

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Excellent

A must listen for any lover of WW2 drama. Very well written and incredibly well read.

4 people found this helpful

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A huge disappointment

I came to this after thoroughly enjoying Audible's recording of The Eye of the Needle, performed superbly by Samuel West. The drop in quality, both of Follett's writing and especially of the performance (here by Emilia Fox) is startling.

The story is set at exactly the same time as the Eye of the Needle - in the weeks running up to D-Day in 1944. Jackdaws has none of the tension and craft of the older book. Despite being a much less far-fetched idea it's a lot less plausible, mainly because of the Jackdaws themselves: a set of unlikely caricatures. It also seems to be written for a dopey audience; countless times we get plodding explanations of what a character is thinking when it's blindingly obvious from the context...'he was disappointed that she had escaped again, but still hoped to capture her later.' Well...duh.

There are similarities with The Eye of the Needle: the father-figure spymaster is called Percy again, there is an unnecessary warm n' fuzzy post-script to wrap up some characters' lives and there is a lot of very explicit sex. Follett just manages to make it erotic in TEotN but in Jackdaws it leaves you feeling like you need a good wash, and adds to the implausibility.

But the worst thing by far is the performance. Emilia Fox is a successful and accomplished actor but she's a disastrous choice for this job...she chooses to perform all the non-English characters in their respective accents, i.e. German and French. She lays these on with a trowel and the effect is amateurish and grating. Imagine a 17-hour episode of 'Allo Allo' without any funny moments and you'll have a good idea what it's like.

I've bought something like 120 titles on Audible and most of them have been fantastic. I've never given something such a bad review and I hope I never do again. I can't believe Jackdaws is so highly rated by most others so maybe it's just me...or maybe superstar thriller writers like Follett, Le Carré, Deighton, Forsyth et al can get away with a bad book every now and then with no apparent dip in ratings.

3 people found this helpful

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Love this author!

Ken Follett’s books work well in audio form. This is the third one I’ve listened to and it was just as good as the others. Great performance also!

2 people found this helpful

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A very enthralling listen

The story is so good that I found it difficult to put down, indeed at the end I was up until 2:40 am!
I like Emília Fox as an actress and her reading is superb. Her gentle cultured voice delivering some very gruesome and upsetting scenes made them all the more chilling.
Highly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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A slow burner, but always intruging

I enjoyed this book, but i must admit it took me a while to become gripped. A 17 hour book that probably could have been shortented to about 12 without losing the plot. Emilia Fox narrated well and I felt she grew into the book as i did. I like this author and this is a good story. Just wish he'd get to the point a bit quicker sometimes. Nonetheless, It's worth downloading and if you like WW2, Secret Agent, particularly SOE stories, Then it should be on your must listen list.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved every minute

This is the second Ken Follett audiobook i've listened to,the first one being Eye Of The Needle,which was read by Samuel West,this story which was read by Emilia Fox which was a thoroughly enjoyable story from my perspective,she really brought the story to life,although some of the character's were somewhat stereotypical of French and German character's it was a great listen,I'd throughly recommend this audiobook to those that like spy stories or WWII stories....

1 person found this helpful

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I love this SOE espionage adventure

I am fascinated by the amazing work and bravery of the Special Operations Executive in the WW2, particularly the role of women.

This is a well written , gripping, espionage thriller that had me hooked from the beginning. Emilia Fox's performance is fantastic as always.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Underwhelming

I really enjoy the subject matter covered by the book ordinarily however I found the storyline lacking. I also found the characters a little obvious and predictable.

I normally love Ken Follet’s books. They are usually full of intrigue, the storyline being full of surprises and the characters rounded and deep in detail.

It might be that I found Emilia Fox narration quite grating and that a different narrator may have interpreted the nuances of the book in a different way.

Disappointed