Hornet Flight

by Ken Follett

Hardcover, 2002



Fiction. Literature. Thriller. Historical Fiction. HTML:Ken Follett and the intrigue of World War II�??"a winning formula" (Entertainment Weekly) if ever there was one. With his riveting prose and unerring instinct for suspense, the #1 New York Times bestselling author takes to the skies over Europe during the early days of the war in a most extraordinary novel. . . .  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. Meanwhile, across the North Sea, eighteen-year-old Harald Olufsen takes a shortcut on the German-occupied Danish island of Sande and discovers an astonishing sight. He doesn't know what it is, but he knows he must tell someone. And when he learns the truth, it will fall upon him to deliver 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 to ever get off the ground . . . even if Harald knew how to fly it. Look out for Ken's newest book, A Column of Fire, available now.… (more)


½ (489 ratings; 3.6)

User reviews

LibraryThing member damcg63
Interesting read about Danish resistance and their operation by England in 1941. A number of implausible events take away from the story and the book is a bit choppy. A decent story, but no where near Follet's best.
LibraryThing member AshRyan
Another good World War II spy thriller from Follett. This time around, the story centers on a young Danish student's efforts to help England discover how the Germans are able to shoot down so many British bombers.

Thematically, Follett explores the difference between a life (and a society) run
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according to duty, rules, and order---whether it's a Danish police detective cooperating with the occupying Nazis, or an evangelical minister destroying his son's dreams for one youthful mistake---and one of principle, liberty, and the individual pursuit of happiness---from listening to jazz music and riding a converted steam-powered motorcycle to get around wartime petrol rationing, to pursuing the deeper values of career, politics, and romance. Interesting and inspiring.
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LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
An interesting if a little by the numbers World War II spy drama with a little bit of romance thrown in for spice. Fun read although it did drag occasionally. The details were as I'd expect from Ken Follett and I plan to pass this one on to my husband to add to his pile as it's really more his
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mileage than me.
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LibraryThing member Joycepa
It's early in 1941, and the Luftwaffe is shooting down RAF bombers with frightening accuracy; losses are 50% and higher. No one in the British High Commanc can understand how the Germans are doing it--it's as if they have prior knowledge of where the RAF is going to strike so as to scarmble their
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fighters at the best possible moment for interception. The British are working on radar but are convinced that the Germans do not have it yet. But the mystery remains--how are the Germans determining the RAF targets?

Enter Harald Olufsen, an 18 year old Danish schoolboy with a gift for mechanics and engineering. Harald dreams of studying physics with Neils Bohr, the Nobel Prize-winning Danish physicist. But Denmark is occupied by the Nazis and life is hard. Harald's older brother Arne is a pilot in what remains of the Danish Air Force, and Harald also yearns to fly.

There is a small, incipient Danish Resistance movement, and Harald inadvertently becomes involved when one night he discovers a German radar installation on his home island of Stande. Along with a young Danish woman, Karen Duchwitz, Harald must get vital information about the radar back to England before a critical bombing raid by the RAF.

Very nicely written action-adventure story starring mainly the two Danish teenagers, Harald and Karen. But there are quite a few others in the credible supporting cast, including a sadistic Danish policeman, a female English spy, and Winston Churchill.

Well written and highly entertaining even if somewhat predictable.
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LibraryThing member Grandeplease
Hornet Flight is an interesting and entertaining Ken Follett spy thriller WWII tale. Several characters are well developed, leaving the reader sad or perhaps relieved when one or more predictably dies in the course of the war time novel.

The story is simple but believable and does not require the
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reader to completely ignore history to enjoy the book. The length of the paperback is 500 + pages and provides hours of escape to a time most readers are glad they never lived.

This book is definitely not Follet's most detailed or intense, but well worth reading if you enjoy war novels, spy thrillers with light romance.
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LibraryThing member miyurose
Ken Follett is one of those authors I wish I'd discovered earlier. His books are so engaging that you hardly notice how far along you are in it. The last two I've read (this one and Jackdaws) were set in WW2, which probably makes me enjoy them a little bit more. It's been one of my favorite eras to
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read about since I've started reading. I really enjoyed this one.
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LibraryThing member BoomChick
I liked this one because its about foiling Nazis. I try to read every Ken Follett book I can get my hands on. Usually second hand stores have a lot of them.
LibraryThing member GailL
Gripping suspense, full of tension and excitement as well sadness. 2nd Ken Follett book I've read. Will certainly read more. Couldn't put it down
LibraryThing member edwardsgt
This book is based on a true story and shows Follett's usual immaculate research, creating a rich tapestry across which his characters play out their drama during WWII in occupied Denmark. Although you're faily sure of the ending in general terms it is an enjoyable ride seeing how the author gets
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you there.
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LibraryThing member Neilsantos
Follett is my new Griffin. 400 page books I can read in one sitting! I liked it, I am very fond of his wartime stories (knowing me, go figure). After reading this one I am tempted to take flying lessons. The bad thing about reading spy thrillers is that it REALLY goads me into wanting a silencer.
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At least I think its a bad thing. Mmmmm, silencer...soon.
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LibraryThing member dannN
A great read! War time, flying, Nazis, spies, love and passion - all the ingredients are there for a real adventure.
I enjoy Ken Follet's stories.
LibraryThing member Ameise1
It's an enthralling fiction which is set in the beginning of WWll in Denmark. A young fellow was stumbling across a German military secret. During the plot he is trying to bring this secret to England. Until he could reach his target he, his family and his friends had to suffer mistrust and death.
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With the help of his love and his knowledge how to mend machines, he was able to reach his goal. The story is very fast-paced and in some parts I was holding my breath because I couldn't bear the twists and turns.
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LibraryThing member moonfleur
Very interesting and heart rendering story on Danish's anti Nazi movement. Beautifully written with interesting and clever plot, not to be missed.
LibraryThing member Carl_Alves
In The Hornet Flight, young Harald Olufsen, a physics student in Nazi occupied Denmark, comes across a German radar installation on his island. This radar equipment has been instrumental in the Nazis gunning down British nighttime bombers. Harald latches onto a Danish resistance group that his
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older brother is associated with. He gets critical photos of the installation and tries to pass it along to the British, but the police crush the resistance movement that he is part of. Harald, along with his Jewish girlfriend now must make a harrowing escape using an old plane to England.

Reading a Ken Follett novel set in World War 2 is like wearing a comfortable pair of shoes. He has an enjoyable writing style that is easy to read. He also creates compelling characters, which come across in this novel. The pace in the early part of the novel was a bit slow, but really picks up later in the novel. His villains aren’t your stereotypical villains. They have their own story and believable motivations. All together, this was a well written and fun novel to read.

Carl Alves – author of Two For Eternity
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LibraryThing member busterrll
Very poor - By chapter 5 I knew exactly how it would end Very disappointing
LibraryThing member taylorsteve
Follett develops his characters really well. The action and intrigue moves slowly.
LibraryThing member john257hopper
A good Follett page turner. He is particularly strong on thrillers set in WWII and this does not disappoint.
LibraryThing member jtsolakos
A wonderful read about the Danish resistance during WWII. It was good to read about the Danish Resistance during the war instead of the Americans or the British. Ken Follett kept this book moving along with great writing. A must read.


Dutton Adult (2002), Edition: First Edition, 416 pages

Original publication date





0525946896 / 9780525946892


Original language

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