Full Name: Sam McCready
Nationality: British
Organization: MI6
Occupation Agent

Creator: Frederick Forsyth
Time Span: 1989 - 1991


Sam McCready is an agent with MI-6.

Seeming a big long in the tooth to some but knowing he was still more than capable of doing his job, and more importantly likely to still do it better than most, McCready has no interest in retiring. Unfortunately, someone high up in Whitehall has decreed that, with the Cold War coming to an end as the 1990 start, many of the shadow soldiers of the SIS are no longer needed and should be put out to pasture. McCready is their first target.

The problem with McCready, the powers that be seem to feel, is that while his actions in the defense of England has been in the past quite strenuous because that was what was needed with the KGB playing even harder. Now with glasnost and the new era of detente, with Warsaw Pact countries breaking away from the Soviet influence right and left, people who play hardball, like McCready, are not the right sorts to have in play. Operatives like McCready rock the boat too much. Moreover, with his forced departure, those still around will get the message - play nice or you, too, will be given the boot.

While McCready is not ready to retire or to take a side post teaching new recruits, one of his proteges is even more vocal in his opposition to the ousting and demands a hearing to show how a man like McCready is still needed, and that provides the context for the handful of adventures we are given of McCready in action.

When we first meet him, McCready is in his mid to late 50s, still physically fit but wearing the baggage of thirty years working in the shadows and going up against some very nasty people.


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1991
Last Appearance:1991

1 The Deceiver The Deceiver
Written by Frederick Forsyth
Copyright: 1991

The Five Wise Men of Whitehall want to force Sam McCready to retire because they think his place in the Secret Service is not needed anymore. This forces him to ask for a hearing. He chooses a colleague named Dennis Gaunt to speak on his behalf. Gaunt recounts 4 major events in McCready's career.
This book is a collection of those four adventures in novella format, with an added prologue, epilogue, and three interludes between the tales.
The stories are:
Pride and Extreme Prejudice
The Price Of The Bride
A Casualty Of War
A Little Bit Of Sunshine
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Number of Stories:4
First Appearance:1991
Last Appearance:1991

1 Pride and Extreme Prejudice Pride and Extreme Prejudice
Written by Frederick Forsyth
Copyright: 1991

1st of 4 novellas in The Deceiver and based on Episode 1-3 of Frederick Forsyth Presents. A Russian General hands over military secrets to Sam McCready, and is then handled by the CIA. Two year later they need the help of McCready (The Deceiver).
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2 The Price Of The Bride The Price Of The Bride
Written by Frederick Forsyth
Copyright: 1991

2nd of 4 novellas in The Deceiver and based on Episode 2-3 of Frederick Forsyth Presents. A Russian KGB mole has made a deal with Joe Roth of the CIA, But Sam McCready, with his own KGB informant, knows the Russian is a plant.
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3 A Casualty Of War A Casualty Of War
Written by Frederick Forsyth
Copyright: 1991

3rd of 4 novellas in The Deceiver and based on Episode 1-1 of Frederick Forsyth Presents. Tom Rowse is asked by Sam McCready to help him stop a shipment of weapons to the IRA from the Libyans.
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4 A Little Bit Of Sunshine A Little Bit Of Sunshine
Written by Frederick Forsyth
Copyright: 1991

4th of 4 novellas in The Deceiver and based on Episode 2-1 of Frederick Forsyth Presents. The island of Sunshine has lost its British Governor to a bullet and a Scotland Yard Detective is sent to find out who did it. The Deceiver (Sam McCready) flies from Miami to the island to look into matters there and finds a lot more than the detective would even know about.
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Number of Episodes:6
First Appearance:1989
Last Appearance:1990

Alan HowardSam McCready [ 1-2 ]
Frederick ForsythNarrator [ 1-2 ]

       According to Wikipedia, "Frederick Forsyth Presents [was] a series of British television films made by FremantleMedia for London Weekend Television on ITV, first broadcast between 2 December 1989 to 8 December 1990."
       It was broadcast in two seasons of 3 episodes each with every episode being of different characters and plots, except, of course, for Sam McCready who plays an important, though not always central role, in each of the six adventures.
       The underlying theme of these stories was growing division in the British government between those who want their Intelligence agency to steer its own ship while others, more enamored with the CIA and its impressive technology, want a subservient role. McCready is decidedly in the first camp though that "go your own way" is more likely to be "go his way".
       Besides actors, many well known in Britain, the series included talented and known actors from America, including Lauren Bacall.
1 A Casualty Of War
Episode 1-1, first aired 12/02/1989
Director: Tom Clegg
Guest Star: Tony Lo Bianco as Carlos the Jackal

Angered at the attack on his headquarters, Libyan leader Ghaddafi wants revenge so he agrees to provide the IRA with hi-tech weapons. Sam McCready picks a former SBS operative turned novelist to go to Libya to throw a monkey-wrench into things.

2 Just Another Secret
Episode 1-2, first aired 12/09/1989
Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Guest Star: Beau Bridges as Jack Grant

Several CIA agents have disappeared in East Berlin. Agency operative Jack Grant heads there to find what happened to them and learns of a plot to kill a Soviet bigwig.

3 Pride and Extreme Prejudice
Episode 1-3, first aired 12/16/1989
Director: Ian Sharp
Guest Star: Brian Dennehy as Bruno Morenz

A Soviet general is willing to sell important Russian military secrets to the SIS. Sam McCready heads to East Germany to handle things but since he is known to the Soviets, he enlists a friend, Bruno Morenz, from the German BND to take care of the transaction. That friend, though, is hiding a huge secret.

4 A Little Piece of Sunshine
Episode 2-1, first aired 11/17/1990
Director: James Cellan Jones
Guest Stars: Larry Lamb as Desmond Hannah, Lauren Bacall as Beatrix Coltrane

On the eve of independence from Britain, a small Caribbean nation is preparing for elections when the British governor is assassinated. Sam McCready sends a Scotland Yard detective to look into it who then learns from the murdered man's widow that the natives trust neither candidate and don't really want the break.

5 Death Has a Bad Reputation
Episode 2-2, first aired 11/24/1990
Director: Lawrence Gordon Clark
Guest Stars: Tony Lo Bianco as Carlos, Elizabeth Hurley as Julia Latham

When France expels a lot of Soviet diplomats, the head of the KGB wants to make a counterstrike and contacts the terrorist Carlos the Jackal. With his own grudge against Carlos, Sam McCready takes charge of a campaign to stop him.

6 The Price of the Bride
Episode 2-3, first aired 12/08/1990
Director: Tom Clegg
Guest Stars: Mike Farrell as Joe Roth, Robert Foxworth as Colonel Orlov

During an unusual joint training exercise between the USSR and NATO, a Soviet general defects to the CIA and uncovers a good number of KGB agents in the West. Sam McCready, however, is totally untrusting of this man, certain he is a plant.


There is never a bad time to read a book by Frederick Forsyth. And lucky for me, I have read a lot and have never found a bad book of his to spend time with. I was intrigued with the concept of this series. Create six teleplays about a myriad of spy subjects but have a central character who is important to all but not central to most. And then take four of those plots, put them into excellent prose, and surround them with a reason why they all made sense. I am surprised there was no The Deceiver II. Unless I missed it.


My Grade: A-

Your Average Grade:   A


Nemo A 2019-12-03

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