I had read this book 40 years ago when it first came out and loved it then. Except for the basic story, I had forgotten most of the detail of the book. Listening to this book was a great experience and, as always with a great reader, better than the written text. It's hard to imagine that the author wrote this book in 35 days. In these days, it seems that author's do years of research so that they can accurately document the detail in the novel. When I think about it, who cares whether the gun used is a P-24 semi-automatic rifle with a 10mm short stroked bored and blah, blah blah. I guess this is to satisfy readers of "Rifle Today" magazine. This story was so realistic and so engaging that the specifics of the gunnery were show to be irrelevant. There were several plot holes that I found annoying. For example, having the mistress of the Minister of Air Force in position to relay information seemed contrived. Forsyth needed this desperately to keep the Jackal one step ahead so I understand this need. The second gripe is the negative attitude of the Council when Lebel couldn't find this unknown assassin in three days. This was really hard to accept. This book reminded me of Martin Booth’s 1990 novel A Very Private Gentleman. I could easily see the Jackal as the protagonist in this book. I made me wish that George Clooney had played the Jackal instead of Bruce Willis in the movie remake. Of course, Clooney would not have gone along with the ridiculous plot rewrite. Why mess with a great story? The ending of this book was so fantastic that it deserves to be remade. Was George Smiley of John LeCarre fame the basis for Lebel?
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