[circa 1990]. Small archive of manuscript material, both handwritten and typescript, with printouts and photocopies from a variety of sources. Approximately 150 loose leaves, organized with binder clips, of which nine are handwritten recto and verso. Moderate scuffing and occasional toning or rust residue from metal clips. Very good or better overall. Very good +. Item #23808
Collection of assassination research documents, preliminary plot and character notes, and draft material by an unidentified novelist researching methods and procedures for a thriller based in part on the Mossad assassination of Ali Hassan Salameh, chief of operations for Black September and one of those responsible for the 1972 Munich Massacre.
Handwritten and typed notes are full of the intricacies of novelistic process and plot development: "Tech note: must find out what provokes autopsy under British law - what constitutes suspicious death. Do not want autopsy." Another: "Should the actual plotting & assassination be done in the style of flashbacks? Or narrative by the dead man?" The author's planning is detailed in some respects -- the protagonist's driving route through the Cotswolds; the menu for one bed-and-breakfast, with a "terrible" lamb in Corinthian sauce the impetus for a fateful encounter -- and vague in others ("Profile of the lawyer (Does not matter at this point if it is male or female)"). All notes are undated, but appear to have been composed over several sessions due to the progress made in elaborating the action of the novel and the transition from handwriting to typescript.
The material includes several pages of the pivotal letter from a dead agent that drives the plot, in draft form with hand corrections, as well as the beginning of the same dead agent's fictional memoir of the "Agency's" involvement in various secret operations.
Research documents include: Detailed 13-page course syllabus for "Protective Operations Training," subject: "Assassination: Methods of Operations," with extensive case history analysis of the assassination of Luis Carrero-Blanco; a 27-page introductory guide to "Protective Intelligence," clipped to a handwritten summary outline; and a series of photocopied appendices on personal and vehicular security for assassination targets and prospective hostages employed by the U.S. government ("Do not deliberately turn your back to a terrorist; particularly, not to the terrorist leader.")
The planned novel was, so far as can be determined from these preliminary notes and drafts, never published; Salameh is a minor character in several historical thrillers of the last few decades, as well as Spielberg's "Munich"; none of these, however, have other elements in common with the book-in-process here. Whether the notes and drafts are the work of an amateur or a professional writer is an open question; the draft material has a certain guileless air insofar as it presents U.S. involvement in assassinations as hard to believe, but the research is clearly a serious and well-organized undertaking.
A fascinating view into the lengthy process and intellectual work of developing the structure and deep background for a story of 20th century espionage.