Night of the Fox

by Jack Higgins

Hardcover, 1986

Collection

Description

American Colonel Kelso, aware of the most crucial secret of the war, must be snatched from under the Germans' noses, or else ruthlessly silenced. A number of different people become involved in Kelso's rescue for German occupied Jersey.

Rating

(71 ratings; 3.5)

User reviews

LibraryThing member DavidLErickson
I was beginning to get tired of reading Jack Higgins novels as the last few were knock offs of previous novels, but Night of the Fox proved the exception. This is indeed one of Higgins best novels and I rank it right up there with Cold Harbor.

In a nutshell: in WWII, SOE agents set out to rescue an American who knows the date and time of D-Day before the Nazis discover him.

Every character was well crafted, the story line credible and the writing enthralling. In this world of tough guys comes a young beauty who steals the protagonist’s heart, supported by a cast you’d love to call your friends and a host of Nazi evil doers.

In fact, I’d rate this as on par with Alistair Maclean’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’ which turned into an excellent movie. Why some script writer hasn’t turned this into a movie yet is beyond me. Hollywood is missing out on this one.

What else needs to be said? If you enjoy WWII stories of espionage and believable characters caught up in an elaborate charade, this is it.
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LibraryThing member BDartnall
kay - uneven characterizations and gaps in some scenes - awkward, unfinished feeling between scenes. BUT a good fast "airport" type read w/WW II espionage and interesting setting: Jersey (British Channel Islands) which is now German occupied, with D Day plans looming to add even more suspense. I did like the characters but definitely given broad strokes only - and a frame story beginning that didn't seem to help much, but a way to introduce the past? Meh.… (more)
LibraryThing member BDartnall
kay - uneven characterizations and gaps in some scenes - awkward, unfinished feeling between scenes. BUT a good fast "airport" type read w/WW II espionage and interesting setting: Jersey (British Channel Islands) which is now German occupied, with D Day plans looming to add even more suspense. I did like the characters but definitely given broad strokes only - and a frame story beginning that didn't seem to help much, but a way to introduce the past? Meh.… (more)
LibraryThing member Bridgey
Night of the Fox - Jack Higgins ****

Higgins is easily my favourite author, he may not be the most talented or refined writer in the world but when he is on form he is easily the best of the action/boys own adventure, with intricate plots and action dripping from every page he really knows his subject matter. But what really sets him apart from many of his fellow authors is his ability to weave fact into fiction, leaving the reader wondering if his story was ever reality. Higgins first successfully used this formula in The Eagle Has Landed and carried on developing it over the next decade or so, for those unfamiliar, it involves a modern reporter/historian digging into missions of the second world war that have been buried for decades, only to find that the truth was much stranger than they ever could have imagined.

What is it about?
It is quite difficult to write about the plot without spoiling any of the twists throughout the novel, but if I had to sum it up it would be this: Britain is on the threshold of the D Day landings, a select group of officers have been briefed on the invasion plans, however when one of these (Colonel Hugh Kelso) is injured over the English Channel and washed up in Jersey all plans could be destroyed if the Nazis manage to get their hands on him. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen the British send in Harry Martineau accompanied with Sarah Drayton to either rescue or silence Kelso. Meanwhile on the other side of the channel the Desert Fox (Rommel) has his own agenda to sway the progression of the war, part of which involves a visit to Jersey. With deception and subterfuge on both sides, will either complete their mission or will the missions be destroyed unknowingly by the others enemy?

What did I like?
What is there not to like? If you are a lover of books set during wartime then this is for you. Who doesn’t like reading about Nazi’s, undercover missions and men that would put a bullet between your eyes before they even give you a second look. I love the way Higgins builds the intrigue and leaves you second guessing what is going to happen next. He is truly one of those writers where I keep promising myself one more chapter and I will turn out the light, only to find the whole book has been eaten up.

What didn’t I like?
As mentioned Higgins tends to get ‘stuck’ on a formula now and again, and even though it has proved to be his success over the years, regular readers may find events repeated. Night of the Fox is no exception, and a number of the characters are rehashed. We have the tough Irish man, the girl who falls in love at the drop of a hat, the military man who having suffered personal tragedy no longer cares if he lives or dies and the ever present bad guy who is tired of the war and could possibly be a good guy underneath it all.

Would I recommend?
As an introduction to Higgins I would have to say look elsewhere first (my own personal favourites are The Eagle has Landed and Prayer for the Dying), having said that this novel is easily in the top 25% of his works and was written probably just as his creativity was starting to decline. Any fans of the author should lap this book up and I am sure than anyone unfamiliar to him will use this as a stepping stone to discover his 70+ other novels.
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Genres

Publication

Simon & Schuster (1986), Edition: First Edition, 320 pages

Original publication date

1986 (orig. eng.)

Pages

320

ISBN

0671637274 / 9780671637279

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Language

Original language

English
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