The Day Of The Jackal by Frederick Forsythe is one of my top ten favorite thriller novels. This is one of the rare moments in film where the movie is equally, if not better than the novel.
The Day Of The Jackal is a brilliant and exciting historical fiction thriller. The premise is plausible – a recounting of actual assassination attempts on French President Charles De Gaulle by the French terrorist group,the OAS. Government officials discover that the OAS hired a foreigner (The Jackal) to assassinate De Gaulle.
Using the third-person omniscient form, Forsyth takes us into the minds and actions of the plotters, the police, and the Jackal. What makes this novel a shining star is Forsyth’s vivid descriptions of typically routine daily police work: checking records, passport photos, questioning hotel clerks, setting up road blocks, etc.
The reader follows the Jackal step by step as he arranges the creation of false identities, the design and production of the perfect weapon, extensively studies de Gaulle, selects the perfect time and place for the kill, and identifies his escape route. Forsythe keeps the reader entertained with his intricate details and clever plotting. The end result is a novel that is suspenseful, engaging and exciting.