I read this thriller many years back. Recently I bought this book from a second-hand bookshop to reread.
The story is about a terrorist group hiring a gunman to assassinate the president of France. At that time it was President de Gaulle. The ending of the story is not so important because we know it will not succeed. (According to history, there were a few attempts on the life of President de Gaulle but all were unsuccessful and he died peacefully at old age.) Also, according to the writer, the French Intelligence Service was one of the best in the world.
The thrills and excitements of the story come from the unraveling of the plot and the hunting of the killer.
The terrorists did not just hire any gunman but they looked for the best professional killer in the world and of course the price he demanded was also the highest.
The gunman, codenamed the Jackal, made his preparations. Meanwhile the France Intelligence got wind of it. But don’t forget, at that time there were no computers and hand-phones. They communicated using old-fashioned phones. They had to look through immigration cards one by one and check through airline passenger lists page by page – all very tedious and slow work.
The final showdown between the Jackal and the Detective responsible to hunt him down. Despite the watertight security by the police the Jackal slipped in. Also despite the meticulous preparations by the Jackal, the assassination failed in the last second because he overlooked one minor thing.
Maybe the writer wants to tell us Man can plan but God decides.