1978; Arbor House publishers, New York; Book Club Edition; hardbound in black textured boards with red lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket quite good with minimal fading - see pics.
Eye of the Needle is a spy thriller novel written by Welsh author Ken Follett. It was originally published in 1978 by the Penguin Group under the title Storm Island. This novel was Follett's first successful, best-selling effort as a novelist, and it earned him the 1979 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. The revised title is an allusion to the "eye of a needle" aphorism.
The book was made into a motion picture of the same title in 1981, starring Donald Sutherland, with a screenplay adapted by Stanley Mann and directed by Richard Marquand.
As noted in the foreword, Operation Fortitude was an Allied counter-intelligence operation run during World War II. Its goal was to convince the German military that the planned D-Day landings were to occur at Calais and not Normandy. As a part of Fortitude the fictitious First United States Army Group (FUSAG) was created. FUSAG used fake tanks, aircraft, buildings and radio traffic to create an illusion of an army being formed to land at Calais. So far – actual history. Follet then reminds the reader that had even a single German spy discovered the deception and reported it, this entire elaborate plan might have been derailed and the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe would have become far more difficult and risky. The book's plot is built around this issue – however, it begins at a far earlier stage of the war.
In 1940 Henry Faber is the alias used by a German spy, nicknamed 'die Nadel' ('The Needle') due to his preference for the use of a stiletto as his trademark weapon. He is working at a London railway depot, collecting information on troop movements. Faber is halfway through radioing this information to Berlin when his widowed landlady stumbles into his room hoping for intimacy. Faber fears that Mrs. Garden will eventually realise that he was using a transmitter and that he is a spy, so he kills her with his stiletto, then resumes his transmission.
The book then introduces David, a trainee RAF pilot, and his bride Lucy. On their honeymoon David and Lucy are involved in a car crash. David loses the use of both his legs. Unable to fly in during the Battle of Britain, David grows embittered as he and Lucy retire to the isolated Storm Island off the east coast of Scotland.
Meanwhile, British Intelligence has executed or recruited all German spies...