“It is cold at six-forty in the morning on a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.”
One of the best opening lines ever.
This was a re-read for me, and I am glad I re-read this one.
While the descriptions of the police work are now dated, this is still a great thriller. And I guess, it could even pass as historical fiction now since Forsyth gives a great overview of the political tension between France and Algeria in the 1960s and the presidency of Charles de Gaulle. For this alone this is a fascinating book.
But there is more, the description of the police work trying to collaborate with international agencies was fascinating – no internet, no cell phones, no fax. I swear I laughed in admiration when Forsyth described how they tapped phones and identified a number that was called by the time it took for the dial to return to 0. Yes! Phones with dialling discs!
And then of course, we have the main character, The Jackal, who is charming and almost made me forget that he is the baddie of the piece. Almost. Because unlike Fleming (sorry but I keep thinking about Bond, who also is a hired assassin when it comes down to it), Forsyth has no qualms about reminding us that the Jackal is a ruthless killer.
So, even tho the details of the story are dated, this is still a chilling thrill of a read.