Eye of the Needle

by Ken Follett

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Who are the main characters in Eye of the Needle, and what are their major characteristics?

Quick answer:

Henry Faber is a German spy who gets shipwrecked on Storm Island. He starts an affair with Lucy there, who is married to David. David finds out about the affair, and Henry kills him. Lucy realizes Henry killed David and kills Henry. Henry is a killer with a conscience, and his love for Lucy leads to his downfall. Lucy is smart, resourceful, and brave. Meanwhile, Bloggs is a loyal British military agent who is passionate about capturing Henry.

Expert Answers

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There are many interesting characters in Ken Follett’s novel Eye Of The Needle. The main character is named Henry Faber. He is a German spy with the nickname “die Nadel,” which means “the needle” in German. This is his nickname because his trademark weapon is a slender blade called a stiletto. Although he is a killer, he is a complex character with a guilty conscience. In the end, his feelings for Lucy stop him from protecting himself and get him killed.

Lucy is a woman who lives with her husband David on an isolated island called Storm Island. David is paralyzed and they are unhappily married. During a bad storm, Henry gets stuck on Storm Island and he and Lucy begin having an affair. Eventually, David finds out that Henry is a spy and that he is sleeping with his wife, so Henry kills him. He lies to Lucy and tells her it is an accident, but Lucy learns the truth and ultimately kills Henry. She is a passionate, smart, and brave woman.

Meanwhile, Fred Bloggs is a smart ex-policeman who is working as a British Military Intelligence Agent to catch Faber. His wife died in a German raid on London, so his dedication to his mission is in part informed by his fervent hatred of the Germans. He is ultimately successful in tracking down Faber, but he recognizes that catching this one spy is just a small victory in a much larger battle.

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