Book cover

Book cover
There are some 'clues' if you wish to find them!

Friday, 30 March 2012

Alpha to Omega, Gareth Williams & deja vu

I see that one of the lawyers at today's session of the inquest into Gareth Williams extraordinary death is suggesting that 'dark arts' may have been at the core of his killing. Was it intelligence officers from another country (remember my point in an earlier post about Russians being caught on cctv!) or, he asked, MI6 itself?

Now the latter suggestion may seem extraordinary, but is not as crazy as it seems. I am not for a minute suggesting someone from MI6 murdered one of their own, but it is not beyond the bounds of possibility. Let me explain.

Many years ago Peter Wright, in his book Spycatcher, talked about groups within the security services who were a law unto themselves. In short, they had their own agendas. One of the people who began to open my eyes into what goes on (himself an officer in the security services) told me in some detail about his own experience of this.

He returned late one evening to his house in Oxford, made himself a drink and then took himself off to bed. He was not scheduled to return until the next day, but had managed to get a late flight back to Heathrow, rather than stay another night in France.  He was woken during the night by the creak of floorboards on the landing outside his bedroom. (These he had deliberately loosened himself, for obvious reasons) He got out of bed, grabbed a torch from the bedside table and opened the bedroom door. There, facing him, were three men wearing balaclava helmets. As he moved towards them, they turned and fled.

Now, you might ask why? If they were common burglars, three of them would have been more than a match for one man and would have dealt with him in some way, then carried on with their night's work. But suppose these three men expected the house to be empty and were also aware that the man they were now facing had  martial arts skills? 

His 'itinerary' would have been accessible to certain people within the security services and that would have said he was not booked to come back until the next day. Add to this the fact that he had 'upset' a few people  in recent months and the picture begins to emerge. Whatever view you or I may have, he was convinced it was his own people (or rather those who worked in the same service) who had broken in. Why? I've no idea. 

He and others, however, helped inform my knowledge and provide the 'backbone' for what became Alpha to Omega.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A quick response to the query about Gareth Williams.

Firstly, thanks to those who have already joined my blog. I hope that a few more of the 250 or so who have already viewed it in the last 10 days will also sign up.
As to the point about when the Gareth Williams inquest is due, it is my understanding that it will convene again at the end of this week. The first hearing in February was adjourned pretty rapidly and I do not imagine this week's hearing will last too long.
Although dozens of 'witnesses' may give evidence, most of it it likely to be done anonymously!
My 'mole' tells me that the 'party line' (the official story) has already been agreed. Only some really strong independent evidence has any chance of blowing it off course. We'll have to wait and see.
There is some interesting cctv evidence linking the Russian embassy in London with the affair. This partly fuels my interest, as it resonates with my book.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Security Services & Recruitment

I have already indicated the 'trigger' that set me on the road writing Alpha to Omega. I suppose up to that point, I had been pretty naive about the relationship between Universities (and other educational establishments) and the Security Services. Like 99% of the population!

I was, of course, aware of the likes of soviet spies such as Burgess, Philby, Blunt et al (recruited in the 1930s while at University) and had read the groundbreaking Spy Catcher book. John le Carre novels also constituted bedtime reading. What I was unprepared for was the extent to which the tentacles of the Security Services (not just British) pervaded Higher Education. During my first year teaching in Oxford, my ignorance remained undisturbed. Then circumstances changed quite dramatically and a somewhat bizarre picture began to emerge. It was rather like an artist painting a landscape. At the beginning, there was just a 'colour wash' of information. But as the years wore on, so the content of the picture became much clearer. Anyone, however, who has read or knows anything about the activities of the Security Services will know that for every clear picture, there is another hidden behind it.

If you want recent proof of this, just look at the murder of Gareth Williams in 2010. 'On loan' (so the story goes) from GCHQ in Cheltenham to MI6 headquarters in London, he was found dead inside a padlocked holdall in his flat in central London. The view of the police who discovered his body, was that it was a neat job. This is police-speak for a professional killing. But within a few days, stories started to circulate about 'weird sex practices that had gone wrong'; his employers or the powers that be had decided to paint another picture, to draw attention away from the sensitive nature of the case.

And how did Gareth Williams come to be working for MI6? Certainly not by accident! I think it is unlikely (though not impossible) that he was recruited while undertaking his first degree at Bangor University in North Wales. I have little doubt that he was 'talent spotted' while studying in Manchester for his PhD, although he may not have been aware of it; at least not until the latter stages. His move to St Catharine's College, Cambridge for post-doctoral studies was probably the pivotal moment. There he would have been nurtured and his recruitment finalised. (A number of the Cambridge colleges, as well as Oxford, have a long history in this respect) Moving him to GCHQ, given his undoubted talents, was the obvious choice. The moment MI6 brought him to London and installed him in one of their 'safe houses' - in this case, 36, Alderney Street - was the final confirmation of his status.


Saturday, 17 March 2012


Whether you have found this blog by chance or deliberately came looking for it - welcome!

Alpha to Omega and my previous book, The Ultimate Quest, have one thing in common: they are both based around things I was told, experienced or observed. Not flights of the imagination, but facts. In both cases, during my time as a senior academic in Oxford. These lay dormant for a while, before I decided to explore their possibilities further.

Before I started to write Alpha to Omega, I undertook extensive research; not only to satisfy myself that the facts I had were correct, but also to provide the 'flesh' to put upon the skeleton that already existed. Only then did I begin to write, interweaving fact with fiction. Some readers enjoy the added dimension this style of storytelling brings with it, others prefer their reading to be pure flights of fancy. You pay your money and take your choice!

If you write, the first objective is always to complete your book and get it published. But there are also other objectives. One of mine was satisfied by the following quote: Just ask yourself, could it really happen? The answer is probably yes! These two short sentences confirmed that, at least in the eyes of one reader, I had achieved one of the things that I set out to do.

There is a word of warning, however. Choose your title carefully! Only once I had finished writing did I realise that there are a lot of publications around with Alpha and/or Omega in their titles. Not a good thing if you are hoping for a prominent listing on Google or other search engine. But those who might have already read the book will probably understand why it was difficult to change the title.

If you are interested in reading sample chapters of the book before deciding whether or not to buy it, can I therefore suggest that you use both title and author (Alpha to Omega, William Lynhope) in your Google or other search engine box. That way, you are likely to be quickly directed to all online retailers worldwide, as well as the different formats.

Please drop by again; either after you have read the book or just to learn a bit more about how it came into being. If you have any comments (preferably constructive rather than just rude!) or would like to share your own writing experiences, then please do leave a message.