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Ken Follett follows his bestsellers Jackdaws and Code to Zero with an extraordinary novel of early days of World War II...
It is June 1941 and the war is not going well for England. Across the North Sea, eighteen-year-old Harald Olufsen takes a shortcut on the German-occupied Danish island of Sande an discovers an astonishing sight that will change the momentum of the war. He must get word to England-except that he has no way to get there. He has only an old derelict Hornet Moth biplane rusting away in 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.
a knife would easily cut the treated linen, but he found a sharp chisel on the tool shelf. “Where should we cut?” “Near the struts.” He pressed the chisel into the surface. Once the initial breach had been made, the chisel cut the fabric relatively easily. Harald made an L-shaped incision and folded back a flap, making a sizable opening. Karen pointed a flashlight into the hole, then put her face down and peered inside. She took her time looking around, then withdrew her head and put her arm
our next move?” “I think he’s staying with friends—don’t you?” “Makes sense.” She would not look at him. He sighed. She was in a bad mood with him. So be it. “This is what you do,” he said in a tone of command. “Call the Politigaarden. Send Conrad to Jansborg Skole. Get a list of the home addresses of all the boys in Harald’s class. Then have someone call at each house, ask a few questions, snoop around a bit.” “They must be all over Denmark. It would take a month to visit them all. How much
Harald felt breathless, and did not know whether the cause was anxiety or desire. The doctor was kneeling in front of her, wrapping a bandage around her right ankle. Mrs. Duchwitz rushed to Karen, saying, “My poor baby!” She put her arms around Karen and hugged her. It was what Harald would have liked to do. “Oh, I’m all right,” Karen said, though she looked pale. Mr. Duchwitz spoke to the doctor. “How is she?” “She’s fine,” the man said. “She’s sprained her wrist and ankle. They’ll be
conscious fear of diving to the ground was making him pull back on the stick. He pushed it forward infinitesimally, and had the satisfaction of seeing the horizon line slowly rise to Poul’s ears. The aircraft lurched sideways and banked. Harald felt he had lost control and they were about to fall out of the sky. “What was that?” he cried. “Just a gust of wind. Correct for it, but not too much.” Fighting back panic, Harald moved the stick against the direction of bank. The aircraft lurched in
haven’t got a look,” he said tetchily. She laughed. “Your teeth are clenched, your mouth is turned down at the corners, and you’re frowning.” He was forced to smile, and in truth he was pleased that she noticed his expression. “That’s better,” she said. He began to study the Hornet Moth with an engineer’s eye. When he first saw it, he had thought its wings were broken, but Arne had explained that they were folded back for easy storage. Harald looked at the hinges by which they were attached