The Veteran

Forsyth, Frederick

Published by Thomas Dunne Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 0312286910 / ISBN 13: 9780312286910
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Synopsis: Forsyth, The Master Storyteller, Presents Five Brilliantly Ingenious Tales of Murder, Justice, Intrigue and Revenge

A miracle in war-torn Siena that begins with the persecution of a young nun in the turbulent days of the sixteenth century and culminates in the bitter German retreat from Italy; a drug-smuggling heist on an international flight where the knock are only one step ahead of the smugglers; a ruthless urban murder, where a brilliant QC decides to defend the killers, resulting in a startling act of justice; an incandescent art scam at a famous London auction house, and a brilliantly plotted revenge that shatters the elegant world of Old Masters - each story is a remarkable tour de force.

And above all here is a brilliant novella, 'Whispering Wind', which begins with the single survivor of Custer's Last Stand at the battle of Little Big Horn. It follows the defense from rape and murder of a Cheyenne girl and a flight across the mountains and forests of the West, ending in a savage present-day manhunt in the wild lands of Montana.

Whether his theme is international espionage, miraculous events in war-torn Italy or a Customs drug bust, these stories all share Forsyth's trademark for compulsive storytelling, his clinical eye for authentic detail and an unnerving sense of suspense.
Not since his New York Times bestselling story collection No Comebacks has he crafted such remarkable work.

Five breathtaking tales from the greatest storyteller of them all.

Review: Penzler Pick, September 2001: Frederick Forsyth is known as the bestselling author of classic thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File, among others. He is far less known as one of our premier short story writers (even though he won an Edgar for "There Are No Snakes in Ireland"), so it is a pleasure to have a new book from this superb storyteller.

"The Veteran" tells the story of an incident in one of the seedier parts of London. A Ugandan shopkeeper witnesses the mugging of a middle-aged man by two thugs. The shopkeeper has a perfect view of the crime so, when the man dies of his injuries, it would appear that the two thugs, now up on a murder charge, will be convicted. But justice does not always come easily, and it comes in many guises.

"The Art of the Matter" recounts an ingenious and deliciously satisfying art scam. The twists and turns are breathlessly entertaining and just when you think it's over, there's one more way for the bad guys to get their comeuppance. "The Miracle" tells the story of an American couple in Siena on their way to a festival. They are stopped when a stranger tells them the story of the courtyard in which they stand. Some very wonderful things happened right there during the Second World War. Will the couple get to the festival? Will they care?

"The Citizen" is a heart-stopping suspense story set on board a flight from Bangkok to London. We get to know the flight crew and some of the passengers very well, and they are not all who they might appear to be. And "Whispering Wind," the longest story in the book, is a very ambitious piece about the Battle of Little Big Horn and what came later for several of the participants.

Each of the stories in this volume is Forsyth in top form. The writing exceeds expectations, the stories are never less than compelling, and the suspense in each of them is nonstop. --Otto Penzler

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Title: The Veteran
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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