The Eye of the Needle – Ken Follett

His weapon is the stiletto, his codename: The Needle.

I love a good spy story and have been trying to squeeze The Eye of the Needle into my reading pile for a while. I was delighted to discover it had won The Edgar Award for best novel in 1979 and I could read it guilt free for the Book Awards challenge!

I expected it to be excellent and it was. A classic spy story set in WWII. Henry Faber is Die Nadel (The Needle), Germany’s best agent having been planted and firmly established in England for years. He has survived for so long because he trusts nobody including his superiors in Germany. He is sophisticated, clever and ruthless – trusted implicitly by Hitler himself.

His role is to find out the Allies plans for the D Day invasion and get that information back to Germany. Calais or Normandy? The outcome of the war is in the balance. Germany waiting for the word of one man, the Allies relying on one man and his small team to stop him.

I found it to be perfectly paced with an exciting plot, well developed characters and not too many of them, time for a bit of romance which I don’t generally like in this sort of book but it was part of the plot so that was ok. The main appeal was the character of Faber. It was impossible not to respect him. He was the enemy but an attractive and inspiring enemy.

I loved it and read it in a little over a day – it was impossible to put down. Also read for the War Through the Generations – WWII challenge.

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9 responses to “The Eye of the Needle – Ken Follett

  1. I had no idea Ken Follet had won The Edgar. I’ll keep it in mind for next year, because your review definitely makes me want to read this.

  2. Fleur – I had no idea either and was so excited to see it. On the Edgar list is also The Day of the Jackal which is another one of my favourites. I’m defintely going to be looking at this list for the challenge next year!

  3. I’m just getting into spy novels, so I’m adding this one to my to-read list. We’re plugging along with updates to the war challenge blog, and we’ll get your review posted soon.

    –Anna

  4. Thanks Anna – I can imagine there are lots of reviews coming in as the year comes to an end and I see next years has been posted as well. How exciting!

  5. Great review! I loved ‘The Eye of the Needle’ when I read it long time back! Spy novels are good!

  6. Pingback: Holiday reading… « A Book Sanctuary

  7. Pingback: 2010: #88 – The Eye of the Needle (Ken Follett) | Confessions of a Bibliophile

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