Magnificent Bastard: The authorities wouldn't even have known of the Jackal if not for OAS Bodyguard Kowalski being in the wrong place at the wrong time to overhear his discussion with the OAS leaders. Even so, The Jackal stays ahead of them all the way to the end despite several mistakes and slip-ups and nearly succeeds in his task.
Misaimed Fandom: Forsyth has said: "I thought Lebel was the hero. Jackal was the villain. I was very surprised when readers said that they loved him. He was the ruddy killer .... I had expected women to hate him. He used, then executed his mistress. But no, he had a lot of female admirers."
Conversely, Fred Zinnemann, director of the film version, claimed that French officials he met while preparing the movie considered Jackal a flattering portrayal of their security forces. Considering their use of torture, kidnapping and other unsavory methods in the book and film, Unfortunate Implications abound.
The Woobie: It's hard not to feel for the Countess that the Jackal seduces as it's shown she was genuinely glad to see he'd followed her to her home and was delighted in being found attractive by someone again.