Frederick Forsyth to be awarded Diamond Dagger

Thriller-writer to receive accolade from the Crime Writers' Association this year.

RAF pilot-turned-thriller-writer Frederick Forsyth is to receive the prestigious Diamond Dagger award for a career in writing which spans 15 bestselling novels.

The author of The Day of the Jackal follows Falco author Lindsey Davis and Scottish crime-writer Ian Rankin onto the list of authors who have received the award, which recognises careers “marked by sustained excellence”.

Now in his seventies, Forsyth joined the Royal Air Force aged 19, becoming its youngest-ever pilot, but later went on to become a reporter, joining the BBC in the 1960s and covering the Biafran war. His novels, including his debut The Day of the Jackal, mirror his gung-ho life, which has included run-ins with soldiers, assassins and secret police.

Set in 1963, The Day of the Jackal follows an attempt to prevent the murder of General de Galle by the "assassin of legendary talent" known as The Jackal. It went on to sell millions of copies and was twice made into a film.

His latest novel is The Cobra, which follows ex-CIA man Paul Devereux who is given the task of facing down the drug barons who control the cocaine trade.

Forsyth will receive the award from the Crime Writers Association later this year. Chair Peter James said "Frederick Forsyth is a hugely deserving recipient and The Day of the Jackal remains one of the greatest thrillers of our times."

The Cobra by Frederick Forsyth is published by Transworld.