Follett wastes no time in getting the action started in Jackdaws, his return to the time period that made him famous with Eye of the Needle. Felicity "Flick" Clairet, British S.O.E. agent, and Michel Clairet, local Resistance leader, launch an attack on a telephone exchange, one vitally important for German military communication throughout the region. The defenders prove to be too much for the Resistance fighters; though Flick and Michel escape, the bulk of the Resistance circuit is either killed or captured. Despondent, she returns to her superiors in England. Given her past successes and the importance of the telephone exchange, she is given another chance. She airdrops into France one week before D-day, with the same objective, but this time leading an unprecedented all-female team - the "Jackdaws."
Felicity "Flick" Clairet - S.O.E. agent. She is the most experienced member of the resistance (being married to one of its leaders) and has taken more missions than any agent in S.O.E
Dieter Franck - German Army Intelligence officer working for F.M. Erwin Rommel. Unlike his colleagues he is not anti-Semitic and admires French culture, but he is still a German stereotype of efficiency; a shrewd detective and a ruthless interrogator, well versed in torture.
Hans Hesse - Franck's right-hand man.
Willi Weber - A zealous but narrow-mindedGestapo officer, Dieter's former colleague in the German police force
Percy Thwaite - Senior S.O.E. agent, Flick's longtime superior and father figure.
Paul Chancellor - U.S. Army officer; aide to F.M. Bernard Montgomery; although he initially makes a bad impression on Flick, his admiration (and attraction) for her grows quickly.
Michel Clairet - French Resistance leader, Flick's French husband; he is unfaithful to her, but is devoted to his country
Mademoiselle Lemas - French Resistance sympathizer
Flick's team, the Jackdaws
Ruby Romain- an Anglo-French prison inmate who is uneducated, but cunning and tough as nails
Diana Colefield, daughter of Flick's mother's employer, grew up with Flick - an awkward aristocrat, but a brilliant markswoman.
Maude Valentine- an Anglo-French flirt, liar, and dreamer. She wants to see Paris.
Lady Denise Bowyer- another awkward aristocrat, recruited by one of Flick's fellow officers who is trying to steal credit from her team
Geraldine "Jelly" Knight - Canadian explosives expert, the oldest of the Jackdaws
Greta Garbo - an Anglo-German telephone engineer, has suffered much at the hands of the Nazis