Creator: Frederick Forsyth

Frederick Forsythe CBE is the author of several best-selling books, most famously The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File. These two were adapted into reasonably good films. Others have been adapted with less successful results. Also wrote The Dogs of War, and the short story "The Shepherd". Very well-known for his use of Twist Endings, usually regarding the identity or motivation of a particular character.

His latest books are The Cobra and The Kill List.

Works by Frederick Forsyth with their own trope pages include:

Other works by Frederick Forsyth provide examples of:

  • Anonymous Ringer: In The Devil's Alternative, the female Prime Minister in power in 1979 is 'Joan Carpenter'.
  • Arc Words: "Far away and long ago", for Avenger. Even the last line is that.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Icon, a man is considered unsuitable to be in line for the Russian throne because he's too old, he has no children (which means no one can come after him), he screws around too much, including with his servants, he cheats at backgammon.
  • As the Good Book Says: In The Negotiator, the British Prime Minister tries to comfort the U.S. President with a relevant bible verse, after his kidnapped son has been killed: "2 Samuel 18:33" ("And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom! My son Absalom! Would God had I died for thee, O Absalom my son my son!").
  • Batman Gambit: There is one in Avenger. The eponymous Avenger fakes a shootout when infiltrating a warlord's compound, having deduced that the warlord would bail out his compound right away instead of concentrating on finding the intruder.
  • Bitter Almonds: Again in The Negotiator, the hero fashions a fake suicide vest, using marzipan in place of C4. The men he wants to intimidate are fooled by the characteristic almond-y smell - in reality, only Nobel's Explosive 808 had that sort of scent.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The ending of Avenger. Secretly aided by his best friend from The Vietnam War, the eponymous Avenger lives, and manages to deliver a murderous war criminal to justice. However, the CIA also loses their best shot at Osama bin Laden, and the next day the September eleventh attack takes place.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Avenger runs on these tropes. Everything Cal Dexter did will come back up later in the story.
  • Dead All Along: In "The Shepherd", a young airplane pilot gets into trouble when his instruments fail, he gets lost in the English fog, and is low on fuel. When he thinks everything's lost, a Mosquito plane (World War II plane, already out of date in 1957 when the story is set) shepherds him to an old dispersal field, and he survives. There he finds hints that the man who saved him apparently was WW2 pilot Johnny Kavanagh (the other plane had "JK" written on it), who shepherded many planes during the war. But then he learns that Johnny actually died fourteen years ago.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: In Fist of God, the main character is being sent into Baghdad during the first Gulf War to gather intelligence from an asset there. Because of the danger to him if he is caught by the AMAM (the Iraqi version of the KGB), he requests that he be attached to a diplomatic household to help protect him if he is caught.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Forsyth uses this trope repeatedly in his books. The thrill comes from exploring what really happens behind the scene.
  • Honey Trap: In Money With Menaces, a clerk at an insurance company is blackmailed by this scheme.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Several characters in Forsyth books use this when communicating from behind enemy lines. One trick is to always include a line of very slightly misquoted poetry; if a poem's quote is correct, it means he is operating under duress.
  • Secret Test of Character: Described in Icon:
    (General-of-Police Valentin) Petrovsky then ran a series of covert will-they-take-a-bribe tests on some of the senior investigators. Those who told the bribe offerers to get lost received promotions and big pay hikes.
  • Self Plagiarism: Forsyth fell prey to this in The Afghan, stealing several word for word passages from The Fist of God, and plot elements (such as one man telling the government that his brother can pass for an Arab, and then reminding the same people about it ten years later).
  • Smart People Play Chess: Played with in The Negotiator; Quinn, the title character, is an intelligent character capable of strategic thinking, but admits he doesn't play chess very well. However, a KGB general gives Quinn a book on chess, advising him to study it and that it will help him to catch the Big Bad. It does.
  • War for Fun and Profit: In The Negotiator, the villains attempt to restart the Cold War because their weapons contracts are being canceled because the USA doesn't need them anymore.
  • Why We Are Bummed Communism Fell: The Negotiator has some American arms manufacturers rather upset that the end of the Cold War means their weapon to destroy Soviet tanks isn't going to be a big seller. Time to stir the pot.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The terrorist plan in The Afghan. A seemingly straightforward attempt to use a fuel tanker to kill the G8 delegation is stopped — but the idea was to form a fuel-air mixture and detonate that when the ship bearing the G8 delegation passes by. Either way, the terrorists nearly manage to get their hit off.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Forsyth often has his characters doing this, and sometimes at the end (especially in The Devil's Alternative) they find out that they were being used in the Speed Chess of someone at a higher level than them.
  • You Don't Want to Catch This: In The Fist Of God, a British soldier is undercover as a Kuwaiti hospital employee in downtown Kuwait during its occupation by Iraq in the Gulf War. He is stopped at a checkpoint, and gets away by whining that all of the samples in his trunk will escape into the air. He states that the samples are of cholera and smallpox.