“Look, I love my wife, and she loves me, and that’s all that matters. Anyway, who’s going to believe the word of this whore against the word of a man who has been in government for ten years?” – John Profumo
disarming expertise. The standard of journalism & investigative masterclass here is sheer staggering. Seriously, as an example of excellence, astute detail & clarity – not to mention colossal courage – this is a decisive knock-out. With a considerable distance & distinction from even the best of it’s counterparts in the field, Honeytrap will also certifiably deliver one of the clearest & most complete studies of the Stephen Ward, Harry Towers, Mariella Novotny & Hod Dibben, Suzy Diamond/Chang – & of course – Profumo, Keeler, Rice-Davies affairs & amorous operations. It is extraordinary, & I am almost surprised that it materialized as a commercial book without being intercepted or injunctioned. Flagged to me by the recent The Novotny Papers by Lillian Pizzichini, the book far surpassed my expectations. This was apparent as soon as a battered old copy arrived in the post. A cursory summary of the sixteen-page, photographic center-section alone prefigured that this was going to be no ordinary book, with varied, rare photographs on full display. But most foretelling was full photographs of Mariella Novotny (with the grotesque Hod Dibben) – & even more exceptional – Suzy Chang. Recall that Honeytrap was published in 1987! astonishingly, it remains still ahead of the cure.
“Rice-Davies thinks the people who suppressed the truth about the Profumo Affair still have a hold on power in Britain. ‘That group still exists in the shadows,’ she says. ‘The people who pressed the buttons remain a shadowy group who inhabit the labyrinths of Whitehall. The sheer ego of it drives me crazy to this day.’”
again, the extent of the pursuit of truth, the brazen, trenchant & unremitting investigative acumen, the sources, & the quality of writing, delivery & descriptives of the two duumvirates responsible is, simply exceptional, an edge that is never lost over the 242-page duration.
Stephen Dorril was a co-editor of the acutely formidable Lobster journal, which specializes in “parapolitics” or – the impact of the intelligence and security services on history and politics.
Anthony Summers is the bestselling investigative journalist that wrote the acclaimed Goddess biography on Marilyn Monroe & Conspiracy on JFK’s assassination, among many others.
So we’re really not fucking around here jah?!
“Ward and [Peter] Rachman shared a mutual friend in Dennis Hamilton, husband of glamour girl Diana Dors. On Rachman’s behalf , Hamilton would pull out his ‘fish book’ a list of girls available to service him and his friends at his London flat in Bryanston Mews, or his country place, the Penthouse, in Maidenhead. At the Penthouse there were cameras to film the orgies, picture albums memorializing sex parties attended by celebrities, tape-recorders hidden under beds, and a two-way mirror in the ceiling through which guests could watch others having sex.”
Beside a bloody good read, there are two things that Honeytrap will really imbue beyond the characters scrutinized. As a study of the British establishment, & indeed, the British establishment on the offensive, this is immense. Connivance, denial, coverup, scapegoating, media complicity, & the fall-guy antidote, here it is! Sensational & shit-drenched, as you would expect from those crumpet-sucking ermine-strokers.
The other pinnacle is an extraordinary account of high-profile sexual compromise operations, international & domestic, & the political blackmailing that strides in sync.
Anyone seriously studying the Epstein/Maxwell/Wexner/Dershowitz maceration will get a spectacular oversight & supportive spring by reading this book.
“The Kennedy brothers, of course, are dead, as is Mariella Novotny. Following his escape from New York, harry Towers was first reported to be in Copenhagen, and was then seen by a friend in Moscow. Today he says, ‘I realized I had a lot less to fear from the law than from the press … The most inaccessible place I could think was to do a tour of the USSR It took an awful long time to live it down, and all I did was spend four or five months in the USSR. Czechoslovakia and Hungary … It was immediately assumed on top of everything else that I was a communist spy ….”
I do think that the authors try perhaps a little to eagerly to exonerate Ward. With out question, his persecution was excessive, substitutionary, & a prime-piece of deliberately-distractive political theatre, & Ward clearly was an amazing mind with many admiral features & gifts. But without seeming to pander to the accusers narrative & the exaggerations launched,, he participated, augmented & associated with some very, very uncool elements & practices. & although he very unfairly found himself afoul of the British establishment & international politics, he also inhabited, courted & facilitated with the very thing that eventually devoured him. Not to mention that a bunch of “Ward’s girls” ultimately ended up murdered (definitely not at all with any intention or incentive of Stephen’s). The game is not always fun & frolics, & those that introduce or indeed – procure – cannot be considered “entirely” innocent, even if Ward appears to have been largely very decent & even “protective” of the floozies under his aegis.
“The FBI Director has been called ‘keeper of the keys of the closet where our skeletons are stored.’ for nearly four decades now, Hoover had been building an astonishing dossier on smear material on some of the most influential men in the United States. These were the ‘O and C’ – Official and Confidential – files, kept by Hoover in his own office, and not fully available to researchers to this day. They contained damning ammunition that gave the Director a lasting hold over many men of power – including the Kennedy brothers.”
Whatever the case, even if you just want to indulge in literary & investigative excellence, Honeytrap is stupendous.
Anthony Summers & Stephen Dorril, 1987, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 242 pages