Friday, October 23, 2015

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth



4 of 5 stars  ****

Forsyth writes a compelling thriller based on a true story about an organization, the OAS, composed of angry soldiers who feel French patriots died needlessly in Algeria when French president, Charles DeGaulle, pulls the troops out of that country without victory in a frustrating war. The OAS hires the world's deadliest killer, code name, "Jackal", to assassinate DeGaulle, who is the most protected man in the world. 

The story delves into the preparation of guns, credentials, and consorts useful to the Jackal's plans. Forsyth then elaborates on the French security team's efforts to thwart the Jackal once they learn about his existence. DeGaulle's arrogance makes the story more tense when he refuses to change any of his public appearances on his schedule. 

The detail of the plausible schemes with their alterations due to unexpected events are enough to hold the reader's interest. This reader saw the acclaimed 1973 movie before reading this highly recommended 1963 book. The movie seemed so dated and dry lacking the action which today's audience is so accustomed. I gave the movie a three out of five stars. The writing of Frederick Forsyth adds another star for this audience proving that, almost always, the book is better than the movie.