One day,Gareth Williams did not turn up to work. Strange, you might think, for someone known as a meticulous time keeper. Strange,too, that no one paid much attention - though I suppose that in the public sector people may well bunk off all the time.
But distinctly odd when you consider that Gareth Williams was a spook, a bona fide MI6 spook and quite a valuable Asset: he was supposed to be very clever.
It took a week for his line "Manager" at Spook HQ to summons the energy to report the strange absence of Mr Williams and a few more hours for the Police to be informed:
"Hello, Officer, Yes, One of our Spooks has Gone Missing. Can't tell you much about him - Confidential and all That - but we wondered if you might have any suggestions ..."
The Police suggested visiting his flat (Doh!) and, when no one answered, broke down his door. The stench led them to the bathroom where Mr Williams was dead and decomposing inside a North Face holdall bag.
Do you smell a rat? Don't go so fast. Yes,of course, it's possible that MI6 murdered him - exploiting their knowledge of his sexual interest in being confined in tight places (like North Face holdalls) - and then held off telling the Police he was a Missing Person until they reckoned that decomposition would have also killed off traces of the chloroform or whatever they had used to stop him crying, "Help! Let me out!"
Possible but unlikely. Much more likely that his colleagues were too busy trawling the Internet to notice that anyone was actually Missing from the Office. And even more likely that it was the sight of wilting pot plants that finally triggered a pitiful call to the Police.