Writing: How To Remain Anonymous, Or Covert In Glory

October 26, 2016



Until today, in my sheltered writer’s existence, I had not encountered any reference to the group who call themselves Anonymous. The members don Guy Fawkes masks, which I suppose lends an eerie but historic message, as Guy and his co-conspirators were so zealously anti-establishment.  And I thought the Illuminati, whether they exist or not, were far reaching, and mysterious …

During my research into the group, messages sprang up onto the screen, enough to send the cold warning signals for me to step away from Google before I too become embroiled in something from which I cannot possibly escape.

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“Big Brother is watching you” has just got bigger.

So how does a covert agent coming into this world of present day technology and Wikileaks, plus far reaching groups like Anonymous, retain a secret identity enabling him to work undercover, perhaps for long periods at a time?

The agent has to adapt, and like the chameleon, blend into the background by assuming the role of the Joe or Jill Bloggs of this world. The redoubtable Mr Bond has “Secret Agent” written all over him, from the svelte cut of his suit to the suave firm jaw and gentlemanly facade.

Anonymous would zero in on his missions before he had chance to make the first move. So how does my character, Aidan McRaney, differ in the 21st century, what with the predatory cartels that abound on the Internet of Spies?  For starters, he’s never been in the army or the police. Aidan McRaney is, to all intents and purposes, a landscape gardener, a nobody.

Then why is this nobody suddenly plunged into the world of espionage, skilled in unarmed combat? Because he knows how to kill with his bare hands, and has expertise in most weaponry. The skills he employs are learned from his days as an enforcer to a gang boss. These skills are now being sought after by covert undercover agencies, which can themselves blend in, and who recruit from the nobodies with the abilities that they need. McRaney can infiltrate the world he knows so well, that of the criminal. He doesn’t have to pretend he’s been inside, because he has. Most crooks can “smell Filth a mile off”, but McRaney is accepted. He’s one of their own. He’s indispensable, of course. Should things go awry, his handler can admit he has no knowledge of him. He’s on no one’s radar. In fact, apart from utilising the internet for his gardening business, he has no interest in it.

He is, as I’ve said, a nobody.


JM Shorney’s new Aidan McRaney book, Dangerous Cargo, is now available on Amazon.