The Shepherd, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


It is Christmas Eve, 1957. Flying home, on leave from Germany, he is alone in the cockpit of the Vampire.

Sixty-six minutes of flying time, with the descent and landing - destination Lakenheath.

No problem, all routine procedures. Then, out over the North sea, the fog begins to close in.

Radio contact ceases and the compass goes haywire. Suddenly, out of the mist appears a World War II bomber.

It is flying just below the Vampire, as of trying to make contact...




Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A short, simple fable in the tradition of the Christmas ghost stories of Dickens, though transposed to the late 1950s, The Shepherd is a departure for Forsyth, normally a writer of international thrillers. Elements of Christianity imbue the story - is there a ghost? A higher power? Easy to read, it goes down lightly with a nice twist, just as the best tales of Dickens.

Review by

Forsyth wrote this story as a Christmas present for his wife, Carole. It tells of a 20-year-old RAF fighter pilot returning from Europe to England on Christmas Eve 1957. When the electrical system fails on his Vampire jet over the North Sea, his training is brought into use to find the way. Unfortunately a thick fog bank obscures everything below him and he is forced to fly in triangles in an attempt to attract attention. The 'Shepherd', a WWII Mosquito guides him to a safe landing, just in time. Forsyth has written a simple story with intelligence and expertise. This short book, filled with fabulous illustrations by Lou Feck, is a perfect Christmas story, one to read again and again. At nineteen, Forsyth was the youngest fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. His knowledge of flying is manifest in this excellent story.

Also by Frederick Forsyth   |  View all