Looking for intelligent historical fiction with a dash of dirty bits? Ken Follett is your man. He’ll educate you up good while throwing in some Nazi/lonely Englishwoman sex for good measure.
“Our whole strategy must be to prevent the Allies from securing a beachhead, because once they achieve that, the battle is lost…perhaps even the war.”
The Eye of the Needle takes place during World War II. Our Nazi is a spy, occasionally called Faber, who has discovered the truth behind Calais. Basically, the Allies tricked the Germans into thinking that Calais would be their main target on what became known as “D-Day”, rather than Normandy. Faber finds this out, and tries to rendezvous with his superiors before it’s too late.
Slowing him down are two English code-breakers, Broggs and Godlimen (who as actually a medieval history professor and I kind of adored him). This dynamic duo chases him across Europe. Faber also comes in contact with our lonely married Englishwoman, who slows him down in other ways.
It’s a fun, fast read full of action and love and Nazis and a couple of cameos by Hitler. I love Follett’s writing, and if you have ever enjoyed anything of his, you’ll probably like this, too. If you haven’t ever read anything of Follett’s, this is a good introduction. Then set aside a week or two to devour The Pillars of Earth.