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Hornet Flight

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  17,374 ratings  ·  841 reviews
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 ge ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 518 pages
Published November 25th 2003 by Signet (first published December 2nd 2002)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  17,374 ratings  ·  841 reviews

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Blaine DeSantis
I start by giving this a 3.5*** rating. Not the best of work by Follett, but at the same time the man knows how to write an interesting WW2/spy thriller. This book is set in Denmark and we follow the Danish resistance as it attempts to help the RAF figure out how the Germans knew where all their planes were flying, and how most every RAF bombing run ended up with about a 50% death rate.
I think it is important to realize that this was the last of Folletts WW2/Spy novels, and you can see that by
Alan Gallagher
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
I've read only one other book by Ken Follett. It was Pillars of the Earth and I really enjoyed reading that one. I had high expectations for this and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. It was my first spy novel, so I don't have much to compare it to.

Honestly, it was gripping and well written. The thing I like most about it, was the fact that Follett really does a great job with leaving out the details that your imagination can fill in. Where other authors might tell you all the details o
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book had a library sticker on the spine that said "Adventure". It really was an adventure masquerading as a WWII thriller set mostly in occupied Denmark. It focused on Danish efforts to share critical (but nerdy) German military secrets with the British.....and of course the sadistic, collaborator police detective nemesis. There is a bit more technical information than I like, but it was entertainingly told so I have temporary mental custody of Hornet Moth flight control terms and radar dete ...more
William Goyette
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent and exciting read from Follett
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
no deep, understandable characters; you hardly realised how serious the situation in Denmark was back when the Nazis occupied the Country; everybody was freakishly lucky in the end

I read this for book club at university. None of the clubbers loved it unfortunately.
Sophie Schiller
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hornet Flight is a fast-paced WWII thriller that centers on the adventures of Harald Olufson, an industrious, self-sacrificing Danish youth of eighteen, a classic Scandinavian blond with an ingrained love of tinkering with engines and getting things to work. It is this particular characteristic that drives the story forward. Harald is about to undertake a serious mission for the Allies that will have serious repercussions for the war effort. Harald must deliver sensitive photos of an ultra-secre ...more
Jul 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've been on a Ken Follett kick lately. He writes characters that I like, despite occasionally showing their stock-character seams. This story was especially good - Danish folks getting involved in the Resistance against Nazis, and the Danish police who are torn between doing their duty for their new bosses in funny pants or shirking responsibility. I had put off reading this because I have a hard time, in war stories, reading page upon page of descriptive on planes, trucks, guns, and the trappi ...more
Miquel Reina
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mistery, thriller
I'm a great fan of Ken Follet but in general, I don't like reading books set in twentieth-century wars (don't ask me why :D). But still this, I decided to read Hornet Plane because I'm a great fan of Ken Follet writing. l I have to say that the book was a great discovery for me. It's one of those books that the pages seem to turn on their own. I recommend it to fans of thrillers, spies, and course of novels set in the Second World War.

Spanish version:
Soy fan de los libros de Ken Fol
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. Ken Follet is one of my favorite authors and I am an avid fan of historical fiction, especially anything aviation, world war II, or espionage. I thought this book would be an instant favorite. Although it is written masterfully as only Follet can do, the context/plot just isn't there. I feel the story could have been told in 75 pages. It's almost as if the rest of the book is excess weight- padding- to give the book that 'classic' feel that Follet normally does so well.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was a great book about the resistance in Denmark! It also talked about Sweden's clandestine help in the WW11!!! My Father's cousin told me how they helped people go across to Norway They were in Arvika (Varmland). Near the border to Norway! I have visited many of the locations which were in the book, also making it special! Do read if you like Spy Stories about The 2nd WW!
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
“Fear could paralyse. Action was the antidote.”

The only bad thing about this story, is having no continuation...
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that takes place in occupied Denmark during World War 2 in 1941 and involves a German radar station and a network of spies trying to get the warning to the British.
The British are losing a high percentage of bombers, and it’s almost as though the Germans know where they’re going to be. It is thought that the Germans’ progress on developing radar can’t be the explanation, but a young Dane discovers otherwise. Getting the info into Allied hands proves to be dicey, because the
Larry Bassett
I thought this was a bit of a feel good spy thriller. I listened to it on audible. It mostly takes place in early war time Denmark. I thought the most interesting part was thinking about local law-enforcement in a country occupied by the Nazis. In this case police are actively assisting the Nazis track down Danish spies. The book doesn’t actually go much into the dynamics of this reality. The Nazis are of course easy bad guys. And two of the relatively accidental spies are young lovers. Several ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I can't understand why Follett named this thriller 'Hornet Flight.' Already from one third through the book we know it is going to end with a flight by the Hornet Moth and from half way through we know who will be flying. It would have been so much better if he had given it a neutral title which most of his other books have. The Nazi iron cross on the cover begs the question "why?" German Nazis play a minor role in the story and no German will be awarded the cross for valour as a result of event ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is another classic Ken Follet, a suspenseful historical fiction.
The book was excellent and worth the read, however, it is not an analysis I want to share.

There were a few moments of humor. This was for me, my favorite quote, between a classy English lady Hermia (seperated by war from her fiance) and her would be suitor.

"But you know I have to get in touch with my fiance. He is the only person I can trust to help us."
"And I'll probably see him all th
Frederick Bingham
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of the Danish resistance during WWII. The Germans have occupied Denmark, and the police, goaded by the Gestapo, are on the prowl for spies. Harald Olufssen is a student at a boarding school when he gets drunk and paints an anti-Nazi slogan on a kiosk in Denmark. He is led from there to a police interrogation to an active role in the resistance.Hermia Mount is a british daughter of a diplomat who speaks Danish and helps to organize the resistance. Peter Fleming is a Danish boyhood ...more
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, wwii, espionage
A good story based partly on fact. Set in Denmark in 1941, the protagonist, 19 year old Harald Olufsen stumbles across a German radar system on the Danish Island of Sande. This experimental radar installation enables the Germans to pinpoint the flight of the allied bombers early and to direct the Luffwaffe fighters to their target accurately. As a result the allies lose an unacceptably large number of bombers. With London trying to get information from the Danish contacts of Hermia Mount, and th ...more
Carl Alves
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 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 ...more
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story was excellent and I enjoyed reading about WW 2 again in an exciting and engaging book that was taken from the prospective of the Danes instead of the American's and British. The one thing I did not like was all of the sex, it did nothing for the story although it was interesting to watch the progression of Peter's downhill ride as he became more and more obsessed with catching his countrymen who were against the occupation by Germany. As he became more set on power and glory and recogn ...more
Another great historical read by Ken Follett, this tells the story of the Danish joining the Resistance against the Nazis. This is a book near the end it got so good I just couldn't put it down. Anyone who hasn't read this book and likes historical fiction about World War II, you won't be disappointed with this book.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I've been a long-time fan of WWII historical fiction. In particular, I like behind the lines stories of espionage. A very long time ago I read the author’s Eye of the Needle and liked it. I decided to reacquaint myself with the author’s recent work. I was disappointed. While the story had some good stretches, they were overshadowed by its defects. The story was: riddled with continuity errors and awkward passages, plot holes existed large enough to fly a biplane through, and incongruous events were used to ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I recommend the book.
Is there any possibility that the events in this book could be true? From the first page to the last, I was a naysayer. Then I began to think about miracles happening everyday, and I realized I was reading about a pocketful of miracles that could have happened to people dedicated to free Europe which was under Nazi control. The author described the characters in looks and in action. I especially liked Harald. This book is now one of my favorite Ken Follett books. His w
Joe Stamber
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Another enjoyable wartime thriller from Ken Follett. Not as good as Eye of the Needle but too good for a 3 star rating. The setting of 1940s occupied Denmark was a new one for me and seemed authentic, although I was never there! Follett certainly created the right atmosphere for his novel. The characters were good, although there was an occasional tendency for one of them to panic about something happening that the reader knew wasn't going to... but that's a minor quibble. A great story, genuinely exc ...more
Michael Llewellyn
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Colorful and engaging although far from Follett's best spy caper. (The plot is thoroughly explained in other Goodreads reviews so no need to reiterate.) Unfortunately much of the suspense is undone by the promo copy on the fly leaf, so the reader knows too much before picking up the book. That being said, it's still fun to follow the well-defined characters to a foregone conclusion. Follett throws enough curve balls to keep things moving and has certainly done his homework about life and the res ...more
Debbie Evancic
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up this audiobook because I love Ken Follett. Although completely different than Pillars of the Earth and many of his other books, I still loved it.

The story unfolds in Denmark during WWII. Due to the hatred of the Nazis, Harold and Karen flew an old biplane over water, with hardly enough fuel for the journey. All of this was to expose The Nazis Radar Installation, by handing over the formation code. The Nazis were using the Radar to shoot down planes and breaking the formation code wa
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Since I love Follett's Pillars of the Earth duo and the more recent Century Trilogy, I thought I read his older books too. He wrote a number of good thriller types simply as a way to make some money to support his real interest of studying cathedrals which led to Pillars of the Earth (which everyone should read sometime). He didn't think much of his WWII thriller genre but he is such a great story teller that they are still really fun to read when you just want simple entertainment. Key to Rebec ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, warfare
It would be fair to say that I could not put this book down. But it was worse than that, I couldn't stop reading it even after I should have stopped! The chapters were variable length and dealt with different characters at different parts of the story, and used cliffhangers and plot devices to great effect. I've found that these "We must get this information to the other side" stories to be a bit hit and miss, but this one for me was an enormous hit.
Laura JC
I enjoyed this Follett book more than the last one I read. It's set in Denmark, a country I like, and I have visited the Museum of Danish Resistance in Copenhagen, so the story attracted me. Interesting epilogue ending.
(I've been picking up novels at accommodations where I've been staying while travelling, so the choice hasn't been conducive to checking books off my To Read list.)
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read.

For a starter historical fiction set during world war II always fascinates me, it was a time of courage, heroes, spies, patriotism, and sacrifice … Well this book has it all!

Plus the narration is gripping and full of suspense, in a perfect Follett’s style.

This is simply one of those books you just can’t put down.

Loved it.
Dec 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
Really enjoyed this book, but then I've never read anything by Ken Follett that I haven't liked. This is the story of a teenager faced with having to fly an old plane from Denmark to England to deliver top-secret intelligence during WWII.
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Goodreads Librari...: Corrections 1 11 Sep 15, 2019 11:34AM  

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Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 165 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.
Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of
“Fear could paralyse. Action was the antidote.” 11 likes
“There’s a time and place for spontaneity,” 1 likes
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