Ken Follett does not promise literary paradise. No glorious paeans of praise will be sung for his works, but he is the Deicide of WWII fiction. We have all the formulaic elements needed to make a thriller wor, in Jackdaws. There is the French resistance, comprised of brave people who are fighting for their beleaguered homeland in the dark year of 1941. We have the British helping out, in the shape of a ragtag bunch of women, a female Dirty Dozen, if you will. We have the Germans, complete with a classy interrogator who likes fine women and music, along with his boorish inferior who loves torture and is barely simian. And of course, no story of WW2 would be complete with a dashing Yank who storms his way into hearts, minds and beds, seemingly all at the same time.
The team is named Jackdaws and the women have to take out a communications exchange in France. The plot unfolds fast, after all, without speed, a thriller is anything but. There is some love interest and gasp, even public sex by the Brits. Follett leaves no stone unturned to satisfy the lascivious cravings of his readers, albeit with a gently restraining hand, given the era. The book ends as you might think it would and manages to entertain while it lasts.
Good for a skytrain ride or two.