Book Review: The Day of the Jackal

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you want to assassinate the President of France, who do you employ?

The Jackal.

Someone who does the job for money and leaves no traces. Mercenary not a missionary. A true professional, detail oriented, polymath, no nonsense guy.

This is a classic story of police and thief. I would argue it cant get better than this.

This book has been on my bucket list for more than 25 years. I watched the Malayalam movie called ‘August One’ based on this novel during early 90s. It was a gripping thriller with out of the world characters. My dad then remarked ‘If you think the movie is good, you should read the book’. And thats exactly what I did after 25 years. He could not have been more correct.

The story takes you to 60’s France in all its glory and gore. France is seen through the lens of a policeman who is on an epic man hunt. It throws light on the politics of the time, the attitudes of people and shows off France. The novel is full of grand characters with unique personalities and strikingly different styles. Though the novel starts slowly, it steadily gathers velocity and makes it unputdownable towards the end.

I loved the storytelling, the depiction of 1960s Europe and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the age before technology took over. It is a 400+ page novel and not necessarily an easy read. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys classic thrillers.

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