The Veteran (short story collection)

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The Veteran
The Veteran - Forsyth - book cover.jpg
Author Frederick Forsyth
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Crime short stories
Publisher Thomas Dunne Books
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback), e-book, audiobook
Pages 228 pages (hardcover)
ISBN 0312286910
Preceded by The Phantom of Manhattan
Followed by Avenger

The Veteran is a short story collection by British author Frederick Forsyth. The book was first published on 8 September 2001, through Thomas Dunne Books and includes five of Forsyth's short stories. This is the second short story collection by the author, following the release of his 1982 collection, No Comebacks.


  • "The Veteran (short story)"

A unidentified man is kicked to death by a pair of thugs in London in a mugging gone wrong. The police identify and apprehend the pair, but they are let off when one of the best attorneys of the country is named their pro bono counsellor. Soon after the dismissal of the case, the detectives identify the dead man as a former BATT soldier who served in Mirbat, Oman. The lawyer for the two men had fought with the dead man, defeating an attack of 300-400 men. A few weeks later, the bodies of the two men are found at the bottom of a lake, strangled by piano wire.

  • "The Art of the Matter"
  • "The Miracle"
  • "The Citizen"
  • "Whispering Wind"


The stories were originally published individually online by the company Online Originals under the collective title Quintet, before being collected into a single volume as The Veteran.[1][2]


Critical reception has been mixed.[3][4][5] The Guardian panned The Veteran, writing "Paper-thin plots and cardboard characters from the self-styled world's greatest storyteller".[6] Christopher Petit reckoned Forsyth was a relic of bygone times, calling it "polished and moribund as a joke at an after-dinner speech, with a ponderous twist, a punchline and a little moral to tie it all up".[7] The BBC was mixed, stating that "This collection is tautly written and practically boasts of the deep level of research that underpins it. But the storytelling itself has mixed results - perhaps too mixed to convince a first-time reader of Forsyth's reputation as the thriller writer's thriller writer."[8]

The Daily Telegraph was more positive in their review, as they felt that Forsyth had fun while writing the work and that while some of the stories were weaker than the others, they were all "highly readable".[9]


  1. ^ Dwek, Peter (2 November 2000). "Publishers face surge of e-books". Marketing Week. 23 (40): 16. 
  2. ^ Munro, Rachel (20 September 2000). "Online publishing gets boost from Forsyth". ZDNet. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Veteran (review)". Library Journal. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Veteran (review)". Booklist. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Veteran (review)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Veteran and Other Stories by Frederick Forsyth (review)". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Petit, Christopher (10 November 2001). "Big in Thrillers". Guardian. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Master storyteller caught short". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "The day of the softy". Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2015.