2002| Thriller | 608 pages
Europe in Darkness
A Glimmer of Hope
A Dangerous Mission
On the last day of May 1941, a strange vehicle was seen on the streets of Morlunde, a city on the west coast of Denmark. It was a Danish-made Nimbus motorcycle with a sidecar. That in itself was an unusual sight, because there was no petrol for anyone except doctors and the police and, of course, the German troops occupying the country. But this Nimbus had been modified. The four-cylinder petrol engine had been replaced by a steam engine taken from a scrapped river launch. Continue reading
I came across an extraordinary story about two Danes who wanted to escape from German-occupied Denmark in 1941. They wanted to get to England, but of course would have to cross the Channel. They decided to do this in a delapidated Hornet Moth – a small fabric-and-wood biplane. So they fixed it up, stole parts and petrol for it, and eventually took off and flew across the Channel, which was a very hazardous journey in such a small plane… Needless to say, several RAF fighters were scrambled to investigate, but the young men hung a white towel out of the window, and managed to land safely in a field.
Hornet Flight is loosely based on this tremendous “Boy’s Own”-type adventure, but the characters are different: it’s a young man and a young woman. They have a reason for wanting to get to England – they have information about a German radar system that will be vital to the Allies, who were losing bombers at an alarming rate. So I’ve really combined two real elements from history to create a novel.
“Zips along to an exhilarating climax.” - Entertainment Weekly
“An intricately woven espionage yarn . . . a gritty picture of the spy game and wartime Europe.” - People
"One of the great bestselling novelists." - Sunday Telegraph
“Buzzing with intrigue. . . . Follett is in the habit of writing bestselling World War II thrillers, and Hornet Flight continues the trend.” - New York Daily News