Literature / Jackdaws
A 2001 novel by Ken Follett, Jackdaws
follows La Résistance
in Nazi occupied France on the eve of D-Day. Felicity "Flick" Clairet has been tasked to blow up a key telephone exchange, but finds herself up against a Nazi intelligence officer named Dieter Franck who is determined to stop her.
Contains examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: In the end, only two of the Jackdaws make it back, the rest dying during the mission or being carted off to a death camp.
- Boxed Crook: Ruby, though the SOE is very careful to make it so the charges have not been dropped to keep her from running away.
- Crossdresser: "Greta" is actually a gay man who can pass well enough to fool most people.
- Electric Torture: Dieter and Major Becker both make use of it.
- Eye Scream: Flick puts a knife in Dieter's eye, and while it doesn't kill him the epilogue strongly implies that it gives him brain damage.
- Girls Love: Maude and Diana
- Heroic Sacrifice: Greta distracts Franck by revealing that he's really a man just long enough for the charges to go off.
- Also Michel honks the horn of the car to warn Flick that the Nazis are in the field, and in the process gets shot.
- Historical-Domain Character: Erwin Rommel and Bernard Montgomery both make appearances.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Major Becker ends up being electrocuted by his own torture device.
- Les Collaborateurs: Stephanie is loyal to Dieter because he saved her from a death camp, and helps him root out the Resistance. Later she's Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves by Flick with a bullet to the head.
- Pet the Dog: Dieter's rescue of Stephanie, which arguably makes the other atrocities he commits all the more horrifying.
- Potty Emergency: One of Dieter's more creative forms of interrogation is to give Mlle. Lemas lots of tea, put her with a bunch of polite young radio operators and then refuse her access to the bathroom until she talks.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Jackdaws are composed mostly of women who were rejected from various branches of the military, and in Ruby's case are prisoners.
- Romani: Ruby is one. She's not particularly honest and was actually taken out of jail to help the unit, but she's one of the only members of the unit to make it out alive.
- Too Dumb to Live: Maude and Diana run off to The Ritz in Nazi occupied Paris in the middle of the mission to go on a date. Needless to say Flick is not amused.
- Torture Technician: Dieter Franck is a pro, and scoffs at the SS men's inefficient methods such as hitting the victim in the head, which he points out is extremely counter-effective since it'll most likely confuse or brain damage the person they're trying to interrogate.
- Wanted Poster: Dieter has one of Flick produced after he acquires her photograph.
- Wig, Dress, Accent: After Flick sees that Franck has plastered her photo all over Paris she pays a prostitute for her black wig and darkens her eyebrows with a makeup pencil.
- Your Cheating Heart: In the beginning of the book Flick discovers that Michel is cheating on her with Gilberte when she finds his razor in her apartment.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Discussed by the character, and Flick has no illusions that what she's doing is anything less than terrorism against the Nazis.