Ecology of Secrets


Ecology of Secrets

William Kherbek


Deep cover, a new identity, a beached whale… a man with dreadlock implants using the alias Spanx is rooting the crusty enviro-activists out of their squats.

An ambitious young detective is tasked with creating a new kind of surveillance project to contain domestic extremists: become a domestic extremist. Under the pretence of forming a cell of environmental activists, Spanx and company go deep into the belly of the beast. Along the way, they take over the identities of dead children, the carcasses of cetaceans, and Wordsworth’s cottage in Grasmere. But then Spanx falls for a flower child called Psyche, takes on one identity too many and things really get complicated.

“I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be a spy. The ethics, the logic. I didn’t give it much thought when I started out, for me it was all one big adventure, I didn’t spend a lot of Sunday afternoons wondering about whether what I was doing was right. I was a police officer, how could I be doing something wrong? I stood with the law behind me; the public were the problem, the ones who wanted to damage and disrupt, to drain the marrow from the bones of society, to make us weak, brittle and powerless, vulnerable to the slightest push. It was true that I was the one in the shadows, living under an assumed name, the name, it turns out of a child who was run over by a lorry in 1979. It was policy in the department to use the names of dead people, preferably children, they wouldn’t complain and besides, we thought, it makes things a little bit muddier if someone gets curious on Google search. Like the street sweepers and the people who run shelters, sometimes you have to work in the dark so that society can function during the daytime. I saw myself as the security guard at a building called society.”

Ecology of Secrets, William Kherbek, ISBN: 978-0-9926747-1-7

Arcadia Missa Publications, London, 2013; with additional editing by Felix L. Petty

128pp, Size: 203 x 127 x 10.4 mm; 180g; Binding: Paperback

75 in stock