Six Days of the Condor

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Six Days of the Condor
Author James Grady
Language English
Series The Condor series
Genre Thriller
Published 1974 by W. W. Norton & Company
Pages 192
ISBN 0393086925
OCLC 797885
LC Class PZ4.G732 Si PS3557.R122
Followed by Shadow of the Condor

Six Days of the Condor is a thriller novel by American author James Grady, first published in 1974 by W.W. Norton. The story is a suspense drama set in contemporary Washington, D.C., and is considerably different from the 1975 film version, Three Days of the Condor. It was followed by a second novel by Grady titled Shadow of the Condor, released in 1978.


Ronald Malcolm is a CIA employee who works in a clandestine operations office in Washington, D.C. responsible for analyzing the plots of mystery and spy novels. One day, when he should be in the office, Malcolm slips out a basement entrance for lunch. In his absence a group of armed men gain entrance to the office and kill everyone there. Malcolm returns, realizes he is in grave danger, and telephones a phone number at CIA headquarters he has been given for emergencies.

When he phones in (and remembers to give his code name "Condor"), he is told to meet an agent named Weatherby who will "bring him in" for protection. Alas, Weatherby is part of a rogue group within the CIA, the same group responsible for the original assassinations. Weatherby tries to kill Malcolm, who escapes with his life. Malcolm uses his wits to elude both the rogue CIA group and the proper CIA authorities, each of which would very much like to find him first.

Seeking shelter, Malcolm kidnaps a paralegal named Wendy Ross who (he overhears) intends to spend her coming vacation days holed up in her apartment—hence he knows that nobody will notice her absence. He quickly wins her trust, and she assists him in his quest to stay alive and to find out more about the forces after him. But she is shot and seriously wounded while trying to do this. Malcolm believes her to be dead, but learns later that she has survived.

It turns out that the rogue group was using the section where Malcolm works to import illegal drugs from Laos. A supervisor stumbles on a discrepancy in the records resulting from clandestine drug importation, necessitating the elimination of the section.

Film adaptation[edit]

  • In 1975 David Rayfiel and Lorenzo Semple adapted the novel to film as Three Days of the Condor.
  • In 2014 Grady wrote a sequel titled Last Days of the Condor that has been optioned for film by MGM.[citation needed]