The Day of the Jackal

Frederick Forsyth

Introduced by Ken Follett
Illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi

The first illustrated edition of Frederick Forsyth's electrifying political thriller. Introduced by Ken Follett.

Published price: US$ 74.95


The Day of the Jackal

When the French authorities discover a plot by militants to assassinate President de Gaulle, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse begins between the Jackal and the detective brought in to track him down. Commissaire Lebel’s hunt takes him ever deeper into a treacherous underworld, while his quarry remains one step ahead. The assassin’s day of bloodshed grows ever nearer.

Production Details

The Day of the Jackal book
  • Bound in paper
  • Set in Haarlemmer with Verkehr display
  • 408 pages
  • 15 black & white illustrations
  • Book size: 9½" x 6¼"

A novel that feels like non-fiction

In this first illustrated edition of The Day of the Jackal, Tatsuro Kiuchi’s superb images evoke the clock-ticking tension of Frederick Forsyth’s much-imitated thriller. A man stands blindfolded and tied to a stake in a courtyard; a car snakes through the angular landscape of the Alpes Maritimes; a melon resembles a human head as it hangs from a tree, fixed within the sights of a sniper’s rifle. Published in 1971 to rave reviews, The Day of the Jackal tells the story of an assassin hired by a French dissident paramilitary organisation to kill Charles de Gaulle.

'Forsyth’s construction is as sound as the architecture of a thousand-year-old church'

Forsyth’s exacting portrayal of an underworld filled with inscrutable faces and ingenious manoeuvres has inspired a generation of writers, from Jack Higgins to Ken Follett, who introduces this edition. From the opening scene in which the Jackal’s predecessor meets his demise, to the manhunt that pits the Jackal against Commissaire Claude Lebel – who Follett describes as a sure inspiration for television’s Columbo – Forsyth writes with such precision that the novel feels like non-fiction. In fact, aside from the initial, historical attempt on de Gaulle’s life, the plot is invented, its remarkable authenticity deriving from Forsyth’s experience as a reporter on the Biafran War. The (real) method of obtaining a false passport described in the book is even known, to this day, as ‘Day of the Jackal fraud’. As Follett says, ‘every page is believable’. This, and the author’s masterful control of tempo, makes for a riveting novel in which the suspense ‘ratchets up, chapter by chapter and page by page, right to the end’. Alongside his integrated illustrations, Kiuchi has produced a striking binding and pictorial slipcase.

Frederick Forsyth (born 1938)

Frederick Forsyth is the author of 16 novels and short story collections. At the age of nineteen he became the youngest pilot in the Royal Air Force, but ultimately decided to pursue a career in journalism. In 1967 he was sent to report on the Nigerian Civil War for the BBC. He eventually covered the conflict as a freelancer, publishing his controversial account, The Biafra Story, in 1969. His first novel followed in 1971, The Day of the Jackal, for which he drew on his experience as a Reuters reporter in France. The novel won the Edgar Allan Poe Award and became an international best-seller. In 1973 it was made into a major film starring Edward Fox. Frederick Forsyth was awarded a CBE in 1997, and lives in Buckinghamshire.

Inside the book

Click to read an extract from the book

Read the first few tantalising pages of The Day of the Jackal, where the plot to kill Charles de Gaulle begins.

Click here to read an extract from Ken Follett's introduction.

The author of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End describes his admiration for Forsyth's 'shockingly original' novel. (© 2014 Ken Follett)


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Review by amstorey on 14th Jul 2015

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Excellent quality as you would expect. The movie was always one of my favorites and now the book is too."

Review by rbalkris on 23rd Dec 2014

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Superlative Folio edition of a classic crime thriller. The illustrations and book design by Tatsuro Kiuchi are phenomenal!"

Review by rustyandrascal on 18th Nov 2014

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Absolutely wonderful, beautiful binding, paper, font, illustrations, a joy to read. We know the ending (or think we do?) but somehow Forsyth creates tension from start to finish and transports us effo..." [read more]

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