Friday, July 15, 2011


After experiencing a mysterious vision, high-tech billionaire Jim Riddle is on a mission to find the truth. He is offering mega-buckas for the REAL story behind everything from UFOs to the Kennedy assassination.

Enter Jeff Dalkin, an ex-FBI agent who suffers from Tourette's syndrome and looks exactly like Bruce Willis. Hired by the secretive Harvey Kimbach to fulfill Riddle's request, Dalkin soon finds his life complicated by a second assignment.

The assistant director of the FBI has a problem, and Dalkin is the solution. Former CIA official Miles Stohlman has turned up in Havana, suffering from paranoid delusions. Has he been kidnapped? Is he a traitor? Dalkin must risk life and liberty to find out.

As events reach a climax, Dalkin finds more questions than answers. Why is Kimbach so evasive about the source of the data he gives to Dalkin? Is Riddle hiding a secret of his own? What shocking revelations are contained in Stohlman's diary?

Spurred on by visions of huge financial rewards, Dalkin becomes the target of a global manhunt, with the CIA, the FBI, Cuban intelligence agents, and Libyan thugs hot on his trail.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011



For five decades, literary journalists, psychologists and biographers have tried to unravel why Ernest Hemingway took his own life, shooting himself at his Idaho home while his wife Mary slept.

Some have blamed growing depression over the realisation that the best days of his writing career had come to an end. Others said he was suffering from a personality disorder.

Now, however, Hemingway's friend and collaborator over the last 13 years of his life has suggested another contributing factor, previously dismissed as a paranoid delusion of the Nobel prize-winning writer. It is that Hemingway was aware of his long surveillance by J Edgar Hoover'sFBI, who were suspicious of his links with Cuba, and that this may have helped push him to the brink.

Writing in the New York Times on the 50th anniversary of Hemingway's death, AE Hotchner, author of Papa Hemingway and Hemingway and His World, said he believed that the FBI's surveillance "substantially contributed to his anguish and his suicide", adding that he had "regretfully misjudged" his friend's fear of the organisation.

The reassessment is significant as it was precisely because of Papa Hemingway that the writer's fear of being bugged and followed by the FBI first surfaced. Hotchner's belated change of heart casts a new light on the last few months of Hemingway's life and two incidents in particular.

In November 1960, Hotchner writes, he had gone to visit Hemingway and Mary in Ketchum, Idaho, for an annual pheasant shoot. Hemingway was behaving oddly, Hotchner recalls: "When Ernest and our friend Duke MacMullen met my train at Shoshone, Idaho, for the drive to Ketchum, we did not stop at the bar opposite the station as we usually did because Ernest was anxious to get on the road. I asked why the hurry. 'The Feds.'


"'They tailed us all the way. Ask Duke.'

"'Well... there was a car back of us out of Hailey.'

"'Why are FBI agents pursuing you?' I asked.

"'It's the worst hell. The goddamnedest hell. They've bugged everything. That's why we're using Duke's car. Mine's bugged. Everything's bugged. Can't use the phone. Mail intercepted.'

"We rode for miles in silence. As we turned into Ketchum, Ernest said quietly: 'Duke, pull over. Cut your lights.' He peered across the street at a bank. Two men were working inside. 'What is it?' I asked. 'Auditors. The FBI's got them going over my account.'

"'But how do you know?'

"'Why would two auditors be working in the middle of the night? Of course it's my account'."

It would not be the only time during this visit that Hemingway would complain about being under FBI surveillance. On the last day of Hotchner's visit, at dinner with the writer and his wife, Hemingway pointed out two men at the bar who he identified as "FBI agents".

With the two incidents immediately preceding Hemingway's hospitilisation at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he received electric shock therapy, and several unsuccessful suicide attempts that followed his release, most have written off Hemingway's complaints about the FBI as largely delusional.

In the 1980s, however, Hemingway's FBI file was released following a Freedom of Information request by Jeffrey Myers, an academic then at the University of Colorado. The file demonstrated a keen interest in Hemingway, including his wartime attempts to set up an anti-fascist spy network called the Crook Factory, and the interest persisted until he entered the Mayo Clinic in 1960.

Indeed, in January 1961, the special agent tasked with following him dutifully reported to Hoover in January of 1961 that Hemingway "was physically and mentally ill".

That file, running to more than 120 pages, 15 of them largely blacked out for national security reasons, also demonstrates quite how close an interest Hoover and his organisation took in Hemingway. It is reassessing the revelations contained in this file that prompted Hotchner to voice his regret that he had not taken Hemingway's complaints more seriously – or considered the potential impact that such surveillance might have had on a man entering a period of mental illness.


“Would you l-like to know why I killed myself?”

“You want to tell me that?”

“I’m storyteller. It’s good story.”

I nod.

“World War Two. Cuba. My Crook Factory. Heard of that, chief?”


“Made J. Edgar Hoover mad at me. Eddie and Junior.”


“Hoover and Clyde Tolson. Pet names for one another, Eddie and Junior. Faggots, both. Me also to blame.”

“For riling Hoover?”

“Hell no! Drinking too much. And pills. Seconal, to sleep. I can handle G-men trailing me, make faces at them.” The apparition puts its thumbs in its ears and sticks out its tongue. “But I spook easy.”


The apparition nods.

“But I’m the one being spooked!”


“Not really.”

“Okay, I stay, talk. Faggot Hoover thought he owned intelligence in Cuba. I stepped his toes. Broke them.” The apparition glances around the room. “L-like this room, chief. L-like Ketchum. My hideaway. Gets cold enough to make coyote howl off-key. Followed me here, bastards.”

“To this room?”

The apparition shrugs. “Had house. You see today.”

I nod.

“L-liked Glamour House best. When me leave Mayo, drive home, Ketchum, they are here, American Gestapo. In Christi’s. Watching me eat, l-l-last supper. I tell Mary, ‘See, they are here.’” The apparition shakes its head in disgust. “Didn’t believe, never did. Too many martinis. George goes to check…”


“Dr. Saviers. Returns, says they’re just salesmen. Salesmen on Saturday night? No. Would never end. Fine supper, my l-last. New York steak, rare. Only way to eat meat. Favorite Cote du Rhone, chateau neuf du pape. I always said, day without wine, day without sunshine.” The apparition chuckles. “Some things never forget. L-last to l-leave, about eleven. No hurry.”