AK: I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that the plot of this 19th Reacher novel revolves around an assassination attempt of the French president. For I remember that Frederick Forsyth presented you with the Crime Writers’ Association’s 2013 Diamond Dagger award. Is Personal your homage to The Day of the Jackal?--Marshal Zeringue
LC: I think that Without Fail  would actually be my homage to Day of the Jackal, because it explicitly references Forsyth’s book. The emphasis there is placed upon the assassins planning for escape, as opposed to the  Clint Eastwood/Wolfgang Peterson film, In the Line of Fire, in which the assassin knows he won’t be able to escape. As I said at the CWA Diamond Daggers ceremony, The Day of the Jackal … was Year Zero for the current generation of thriller writers; it was different, and re-set the clock, and we’ve all had to deal with it ever since. So, I didn’t mean it as a direct homage but acknowledged--for all of us, readers and writers--that Fredrick Forsyth is a giant figure, and his debut novel casts a giant shadow over the genre.
AK: So are you a fan of assassination thrillers--The Manchurian Candidate, Three Days of the Condor, Winter Kills, The Parallax View, etc.?
LC: Yes, I am, as you have the giant faceless machine of “the establishment” with the powerful security apparatus, multi-layered like a tentacled octopus; then on the other hand you have...[read on]