SAS sol­dier’s ‘real life’ story of sav­ing Gorby is ‘ut­ter rub­bish’

The Mail on Sunday - - News - By Mark Ni­col

IT IS the sen­sa­tional mem­oir of a real-life James Bond – an SAS sol­dier re­veal­ing how he sin­gle-hand­edly foiled a plot to as­sas­si­nate Pres­i­dent Mikhail Gor­bachev in the dy­ing days of the Cold War.

But the newly pub­lished book Pil­grim Spy by ‘Tom Shore’ – a nom de plume – has been dis­missed as ‘ut­ter rub­bish’ by an of­fi­cer who com­manded the Spe­cial Air Ser­vice reg­i­ment.

Some read­ers have al­ready noted a re­sem­blance be­tween the ‘true story’ of the events in East Ber­lin in 1989 and the plot of an en­tirely fic­tional thriller, Quiller KGB, by au­thor Adam Hall. In ad­di­tion, size­able pas­sages of Pil­grim Spy are lifted from Wikipedia – in­clud­ing a de­scrip­tion of the ter­ror group be­hind the as­sas­si­na­tion plot, the Red Army Fac­tion.

The for­mer SAS chief told The Mail on Sun­day: ‘The re­ferred [Pil­grim Spy] is ut­ter rub­bish, but I sus­pect it will make the pub­lish­ers much money.’

The for­mer SAS chief also at­tacked Shore’s de­ci­sion to ded­i­cate the book to one of the elite reg­i­ment’s most re­spected fig­ures, the late Bri­gadier Andy Massey – who is cred­ited with de­vel­op­ing the SAS’s anti-terrorist role.

Shore re­fused to re­veal his real iden­tity but said he is 66 years old.

He said he was hand­picked by SAS and MI6 chiefs for se­cret mis­sions in Eastern Europe from 1985 to 1989. Pub­lisher Hod­der and Stoughton backed its au­thor and said it checked he had served in the SAS.

The pub­lish­ers de­scribed his use of Wikipedia as ‘sloppy but not crim­i­nal’.

The au­thor and pub­lish­ers claimed not to have heard of the book Quiller KGB. The Min­istry of De­fence re­fused to com­ment.

TER­ROR PLOT: Mikhail Gor­bachev in 1989

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