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The Day of the Jackal

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Frederick Forsyth

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Author: Frederick Forsyth
1 review about The Day of the Jackal

A gripping and exciting thriller

  • May 29, 2010
"The Day of the Jackal" is one of the most famous political thrillers. The plot centers on an assassination attempt on the French president Charles De Gaul in the early 1960s by a group of right-wing extremists who were disillusioned by his "abdication" of Algeria. Their own plots invariably fail, so they decide to hire an outsider, a professional assassin for this enormously difficult task. The assassin, a British citizen, happens to be extremely good at what he does as well as extremely expensive. In order to ensure the highest level of secrecy even his contractors only know him by the codename "The Jackal." The Jackal is very professional and methodical in his approach, and seems to leave almost nothing to chance. The methods that he uses are described with an incredible attention to details, and according to some reports many of them had been used in various criminal endeavors. This provides the novel with a very high level of credibility that has rarely been matched before or since.

The novel overall has aged remarkably well. Aside from a few quaint details that can bring a slight smile (hardly anyone today thinks of international phone calls or travel as very glamorous or sophisticated), most of the technical and organizational details would not be out of place even now. The narrative style can at first seem a bit scholarly and somewhat detached, but as the novel progresses it starts to feel more and more natural and appropriate for the era at which the action takes place as well as for the plot line itself. The novel takes you on a very exciting and gripping ride, and after not too long becomes impossible to put down. It is certainly one of the best crafted thrillers that I had ever read.

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