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Frederick Forsyth (1999) The Day of the Jackal. (Reprint Ed.)

First published in 1971, the Jackal created a new genre: realistic spy fiction. Forsyth didn't bother with fantasy espionage (a la James Bond), but depicted a brutal and nasty world of evildoers. The plot is about an attempt to murder General DeGaulle of France. Most reviewers consider the novel as the gold standard of spy fiction.

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Robert Ludlum (2005) The Bourne Identity.

Ludlum's most famous character, Jason Bourne, is dragged from the sea. His identity is unknown, his body is peppered with bullets and his face altered by plastic surgery. He is running for his life, targeted by professional assassins. No other writer comes even close to Ludlum's kaleidoscope of puzzles within puzzles.

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Copyright 2012 by Claudia Heilig-Staindl. All Rights Reserved.