The Eagle Has Flown by Jack Higgins

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Eagle Has FlownQuite a story about an event that supposedly happened during World War II. It is fiction but all the happenings could have taken place unbeknownst to the world at the time.

An attempt was made to kidnap Winston Churchill by a segment of the German Army. There seems to have been a difference of opinion among the higher-ups as to whether it would be a good idea or not. However not only did it not work but in the end a very well- known and highly respected colonel in the German Army was captured. He was then supposedly put into the Tower of London but this too was not a publicized event. In fact both the Germans and English kept that part of the operation a secret. The Germans especially wanted it kept quiet because it was a plot by Himmler and not by Hitler.

Sometime thereafter a group of Germans decide to retrieve Colonel Kurt Steiner from captivity. Himmler pretty much had his own group that was somewhat loyal to Hitler and the Fascists. However another group including a General Schellenberg, was more loyal to Germany and not so much to Hitler.

Without knowledge of all the ties Himmler basically commands Schellenberg to put together an operation to get Colonel Steiner out from captivity and back to

Schellenberg decides that to do this he will need the brains and creativity of Liam Devlin, an Irishman, who has done work for Germany (as well as England as long as the reimbursement is adequate). So using plans pretty much put together by Devlin, Schellenberg gets a small task force together for the job.

He already has help from Himmler’s crew who have spies in England telling him what, when, and where Steiner is and what he is doing.

From there The Eagle Has Flown becomes a series of events that occur as Devlin begins gathering the crew he needs to do this monumental task. He decides the best way is to have a plane fly into the correct vicinity of where they determine Steiner is now being held prisoner. The plane has to be flown by one of the most experienced and devil may care individuals to make it all work out. Devlin’s choice, a man named Asa, is perfect for the job and in the end does a tremendous job of flying across the Channel under the worst possible foggy conditions.

Once Devlin is sure that the getaway plane is where it is supposed to be he works out his part of the whole plan by in fact kidnapping Steiner from his captors.

This whole story is in fact made up of small stories or incidents that occur while the top dogs on both sides (England and Germany) are completely unsure what is going on and when or how it is going on. Many small characters play parts and Higgins has developed quite a crew that is not only credible but very readable.

A different story from today’s spy thrillers but truly a great story that is told perfectly by Jack Higgins. Bravo!!