Synopses & Reviews
Ken Follett--the master of suspense--follows his bestsellers Jackdaws
and Code to Zero
with an extraordinary novel of the early days of World War II.
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.
"Follett starts out fast and keeps up the pace....He also paints a vivid and convincing picture of life in occupied Denmark, of easy collaboration with the Nazis and of the insidious, creeping persecution of the Jews." Publishers Weekly
"Spunky Danes spy and fly beneath the radar of their Nazi occupiers....Old fashioned derring-do done right." Kirkus Reviews
"The individual and collective roles these individuals play in supplying an answer to why Germany is aware in advance of British air raids are woven into the tense fabric of this consistently compelling novel." Brad Hooper, Booklist
"Follett sticks to WWII in his latest book, Hornet Flight, and the results are almost as much fun [as his previous novel, Jackdaws]....The story works, not just because Follett knows how to keep a plot moving and how to intercut the various strands of narrative for suspense, but because he has a solid talent for describing physical action. Harald's flight in the restored Hornet, with the inevitable malfunctions that almost spell disaster, is rendered with an admirable clarity. Follett achieves the verbal equivalent of the invisible craft you find in '40s Hollywood movies, and you read him for the same sort of pleasure you get from a WWII action melodrama like Carol Reed's Night Train to Munich. Follett is essentially a romantic...in love with derring-do. If Hornet Flight and Jackdaws feel familiar (that's part of their pleasure), they're also good arguments that there are still plenty of good stories left in World War II." Charles Taylor, Salon.com
"Ken Follett proves once again that he is the master of intrigue." Midwest Book Review
"The Second World War action sparkles as Follett develops the plot and stretches the suspense." David Hall, The Oxford Times
About the Author
Ken Follett is the author of fifteen novels, including most recently the New York Times bestsellers Jackdaws and Code to Zero.