The Eagle Has Landed

Author: Jack Higgins
ISBN: 0-425-17718-1
Reviewer: C. Peter Chen
Review Date: 23 Mar 2005

"Higgins is the master", so said Tom Clancy, one of the best selling fiction authors of our time. He was not exaggerating. Jack Higgins achieved a top rate thriller with this landmark novel that instantly boasted him to stardom.

The Eagle Has Landed started with a meeting of top Nazi officials in September 1943, including Hitler himself. The Allies had just landed on continental Europe via Italy, and Hitler started to feel the pressure. The insane Hitler, jealous of the skills of British commandos, fueled on with Himmler's political manipulations, ordered a special operations mission to England to kidnap Winston Churchill. In the twisted mind of Adolf Hitler, it would bring England to its knees, and Germany to total domination of western Europe.

Jack Higgins' thrilling narratives takes you from the dark dungeons of SS Headquarters to the serene seaside of England. This is a novel that had me turning pages deep into the night, unwilling to stop until the story had ended. The characters were developed in enough detail for you to truly understand the actions of the main characters from each side of the war. A favorite character was perhaps Liam Devlin, a member of the IRA who took the role as the man who sat on the fence during the war; perhaps mercenary would be a good word to describe him. His righteous integrity tainted by his dealings with Germany gave him a strangely likeable personality that almost made me want to compare him with George Lucas' Han Solo character from Star Wars.

This novel was written thirty years ago and has certainly stood the trials of time. The Eagle Has Landed continues to be a favorite among WW2 enthusiasts when it comes to fiction, while the story had been made into both audio books and a film in 1977 starring Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, and Donald Sutherland. The best part of the novel is the believability, adding enough fact to the fiction so that the readers fall deep into the carefully thought out plot.

As Himmler sat in his office in Berlin on 6 Nov 1943, he received the message "The Eagle Has Landed". What happened next would be a complex plan to kidnap one of the most visible and popular figures in England. Don't you wish to turn the page to find out for yourself exactly how these German commandos carried out their mission?



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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. anthony engelen says:
    2 Jul 2007 07:24:55 AM

    One of the best books I have
    ever read.
  2. Anonymous says:
    30 Nov 2007 10:02:33 AM

    Amazing book and book review
  3. Ron Schramm says:
    4 Dec 2007 02:16:45 PM

    I read this book when I was in grade school, and at the same time saw the movie. As often is true, the movie did not quite do justice to the book. TEHL shines in setting historical figures as the basis for introducing the actual central characters. Upon reading TEHL originally, the references to the Britische Freikorps (British Free Corps) started me on researching WW2 in depth, just to see if such an organization did exist. In addition, after reading more about Adolph Hitler and his obsession with the Gran Sasso rescue of Mussolini, Heinrich Himmler, and other prominent German figures of WW2, as well as their individual mental processes, it seems apparent that the premise behind TEHL would not be too farfetched. I would like to see a decent remake of the movie with more of the backstory and characters added back in (such as Harvey Preston.)
  4. Anonymous says:
    3 Jan 2008 10:36:43 PM

    ...I have got the book recently ... trying to check whether its BIG or really a **** .. but ill go through it.. i have heard its gr8
  5. Kevin Craske says:
    21 Jul 2009 03:23:14 PM

    I was born in the Stud, and now live near melton Constable. My local church is All saints and i could go on. Hmmmmmmm
  6. abdullah says:
    24 Oct 2009 09:12:59 PM

    i have started it now.
    Lets check how it is.
  7. d.sugumaran. says:
    12 Dec 2009 09:45:30 PM

    brilliant plot,excellent script.i have read this book three times,each at an interval of 7 or 8 years.the movie is a let down.germans are not portrayed villains as usual.
  8. Anonymous says:
    31 Dec 2009 11:14:14 PM

    i thought the film was practically hilarious, with Larry Hagman ("wait'll my daddy hears about this!") and the Mallory character (the deadpanned "we're getting clobbered."). Colonel Shafto seemed to me to be a Jack D. Ripper (Dr. Strangelove) type of alphamale, whilst Devlin, the consummate Paddy with the bony white killing face: hopeless romantic simultaneously bumping off English gangland figures. i daresay those are only a smattering of characters in this gem that could easily be made into a miniseries, a la "The Winds of War." personally i find it one of the most spellbinding war novels ever. kudos to Mr. Higgins.
  9. Anonymous says:
    24 Jun 2010 10:50:41 AM

    working on the review presently reading it going great so far
  10. Anonymous says:
    27 Dec 2010 04:47:47 PM

    this is one of the best bokk which i have read the topic which he choosed was very nice
  11. Jhonny says:
    13 Jun 2013 04:17:46 AM

    One of the best books that I have read. Superb storyline, plot and ending.
    Brilliant!!!
  12. Anonymous says:
    14 Nov 2013 04:03:32 PM

    Farcical nonsense. The plot is as ridiculous as a Jeffrey Archer novel.

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US generals Omar Bradley, George Marshall, and Henry Arnold at Normandie, France, 12 Jun 1944




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