The Viking Press publishers, New York; hardbound with red and grey boards and red lucent decor and lettering on cover and spine; quite good conditon of book - appears unread; no dust jacket; clean pages and tight binding; see pics.
The Day of the Jackal (1971) is a thriller novel by English writer Frederick Forsyth about a professional assassin who is contracted by the OAS, a French dissident paramilitary organisation, to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.
The novel received admiring reviews and praise when first published in 1971, and it received a 1972 Best Novel Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. The novel remains popular, and in 2003 it was listed on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
The OAS did exist as described in the novel, and the book opens with an accurate depiction of the attempt to assassinate de Gaulle as led by Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry, but the subsequent plot is completely fictional.
The book begins in 1962 with the (historical) failed attempt on de Gaulle's life planned by Col. Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry in the Paris suburb of Petit-Clamart: Operation Charlotte Corday. Following the arrest of Bastien-Thiry and remaining conspirators, the French security forces wage a short but extremely vicious "underground" war with the terrorists of the OAS, a militant right-wing group who have labelled de Gaulle a traitor to France after his grant of independence to Algeria.
The French secret service, particularly its covert operations directorate (the "Action Service"), is remarkably effective in infiltrating the terrorist organisation with their own informants, allowing them to seize and interrogate the terrorists' operations commander, Antoine Argoud. The failure of the Petit-Clamart assassination, and a subsequent unsuccessful attempt at the École Militaire, compounded by Bastien-Thiry's eventual execution by firing squad, likewise demoralise the antagonists.
Argoud's deputy, Lt-Col Marc Rodin, carefully examines their few remaining options and establishes that the only way to succeed in killing de Gaulle is to hire a professional assassin from outside the organisation, someone completely unknown to both the French authorities and the OAS itself. After inquiries, he contacts...