A French writer has been accused of exploiting the Lockerbie bombing in a tacky spy novel.
Gerard de Villiers has angered the families of those killed in the terrorist attack with his book Ghosts of Lockerbie. (...)
According to his novel, the Iranians carried out the bombing in a revenge attack and persuaded Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to take the blame for it.
De Villiers, 83, is regarded as France’s equivalent to James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
Susan Cohen, whose daughter Theodora died in the Lockerbie bombing at the age of 20, said: “It is an exploitation of the Lockerbie tragedy. The families have had to live with a lot of pain caused by these things.
“I would like to see Lockerbie treated with at least some dignity.
“It was a horrible tragedy and I don’t like it being turned into an escapist novel.
“The book is fiction but the sad thing is that fiction is often taken to be the truth by people, particularly if they don’t know anything about the subject.”
Les Fantômes de Lockerbie is de Villiers’s 197th novel in his SAS series about Austrian prince and CIA agent Malko Linge. (...)
The series has sold about 100 million copies worldwide, though most of his books have not been translated into English.
In the Lockerbie book, de Villiers’s fictional spy is sent by the CIA to find evidence of Iran’s involvement to force them to abandon their nuclear programme.
But Frank Duggan, of US-based Victims Of Pan Am Flight 103, said: “There was, and is, some suspicion that Iran had a role in the Lockerbie bombing but there was never a shred of evidence.
“Gaddafi and the Libyans clearly planned it, put the bomb on the plane and admitted it was because the US had bombed Tripoli in 1986. [RB: I should like to see the evidence on which Mr Duggan bases his assertion that Libya "admitted it was because the US had bombed Tripoli in 1986".]
“The case against a state-sponsored terrorist was decided by a unanimous Scottish court and upheld on appeal.
“I am sure it will be a good book and perhaps a movie but it is fiction.” (...)
According to de Villiers’s novel, the Lockerbie attack was carried out in retaliation for American warship USS Vincennes downing an Iranian passenger flight five months earlier, killing 290 people.
Earlier this year, De Villiers said: “I don’t consider myself a literary man. I’m a storyteller. I write fairytales for adults.”
[Only works of fiction that do not swallow hook, line and sinker Libyan responsibility for Lockerbie (like James Robertson’s forthcoming The Professor of Truth) seem to be characterised as “exploitation of the Lockerbie tragedy” by people like Mrs Cohen. Novels predicated on Libyan guilt -- like Vince Flynn’s Kill Shot -- escape the criticism. Funny, that.]