It's World War II and the Allies are helping the French resistance take out important Nazi targets in France. Felicity, also known as Flick, is a British operative in France, orchestrating the sabotage of a phone exchange. Unfortunately the mission goes horribly wrong. They lose a few agents, Flick's husband is shot, and they have to retreat. They are also now on the radar of Nazi officer Dieter, who will stop at nothing to find Flick.
Retreating back to England, Flick decides to take another shot at the phone exchange but this time with an all-female team called the Jackdaws. The team is not trained military but a group of misfits, outcasts, and criminals. Flick has no idea how successful they will be but she has no choice.
Some of the best WWII fiction novels I've read in the past few years have been with a female as the lead. Specifically, I'm thinking of The Nightingale. Though this is more of a thriller than that book, the women of the story drive the plot forward with their strength. Flick was a great character. She had the right amounts of almost everything. She's smart, could get frustrated but wouldn't let those annoyances overshadow everything, wanted love and romance but not to the point of sickness, and incredibly resourceful. The person she's fighting against the whole novel is similar, but on the wrong side of the war.
I don't think I've ever gone wrong with a Ken Follett book and this was no different. A great story, what a page turner!
First Line: "One minute before the explosion, the square at Sainte-Cecile was at peace."