There’s nothing more intriguing than a true-life thriller, where the protagonist maneuvers through a world of high-stake drugs, espionage, and terror. Along the way, he unwisely falls in love with a woman whose commitment to her cause is greater than the love she shares with him. “I Was, I Am, I Will Be” chronicles the life of a young British man, born into wealth, prestige and a family name dating back to the 1600’s. But this storied background isn’t enough to save John Hugo Coventry from the lure of easy money when the opportunity arises. Partnered with two men, they perpetrate a scheme to defraud the British Government out of a substantial sum of money.
When the wheels of the fraud fall off and the authorities close in, Coventry is faced with a life changing decision. Work undercover for the British Government’s Customs and Excise Department or go to prison. To save his own skin, he chooses to help the government by secretly collecting information on a gang of drug runners. Coventry soon discovers the gang is smuggling more than drugs and is highly connected to terrorists in both Ireland and France. Now working with British Intelligence as well as the Customs and Excise Department, he relays information about IRA plans to smuggle arms and illicit drugs into the United Kingdom, as well as giving the authorities the low-down on the people involved.
Feeling frightened and alone, he takes comfort in the arms of Michelle, a well-known member of the Action Directe terrorist group in France. Passion ignites, and the two become improbable lovers, forever connected by a deep seeded bond. But she has no idea he’s a spy, and Coventry is torn between his love for her and his obligation to the British Government. Along the way, he learns of the connection between Michelle’s Action Directe group and the notorious Baader Meinhoff gang, a left wing terrorist group in Germany. He realizes her convictions to the cause are incredibly fervent and is terrified he will loose her to the violence. Already in enough trouble of his own, Coventry knows he should walk away, but the love he feels for Michelle keeps him in a stranglehold.
Michelle is unwilling to drag him deeper into her dangerous world, and begs Coventry to leave Britain and escape to South Africa where her connections in the South African Army will keep him safe. During one of her visits to South Africa, Michelle hands him a card inscribed with the words, “I Was, I Am, I Will Be”. He has no idea what it means and is left puzzled by her goodbye. Missing both Michelle and his family, he finally decides he’s had enough of being undercover and on the run and arranges his return to Britain. Going home means certain jail time but Coventry is ready to pay the punishment for his crime. It’s the only way to break free from the government’s smothering grip.
While in prison, he’s severely beaten by IRA insiders looking for some payback, so the government reduces his sentence and sets him free. Upon his release, he’s shocked to hear of Michelle’s death and the secret she’d kept hidden from him. The Customs and Excise Department offers him more undercover work, but Coventry has had enough of their fun and games and decides that maybe he’d be better off starting a new life in the United States.
As much as he hates to leave England and his family, he knows a fresh start is for the best and boards a plane for the flight to America. Sitting in his American hotel room, sipping on a tall, stiff drink, he opens the newspaper to read that the Baader Meinhoff gang has decided to stop their terrorist attacks. The newspaper story ends with a message from Baader Meinhoff, “I Was, I Am, I Will Be.” A chill runs down his spine as he remembers the inscription on Michelle’s card. He can’t help but reflect on everything he’s been through over the last few years and wonders, “what the hell was I thinking?”
"I have just finished reading your book. It is gripping, you offer up an indelible and vivid flash of your life — the furious, swearing drunk, wriggling on the sidewalk “like a turtle on a jar” as many of your friends unaware of what you are really doing stand around mocking you. You do not shrink from the graphic details of sex and violence. These are truly the chronicles of a writer who truly knows what it is like not to be able to tell the truth to your family and friends, and who is not beyond having his heart broken. Thank you John sharing this painful and illuminating journey."
(James Bowen @ New York Times 12th June 2013)
"Having met John recently through my work and reading a recent article in a local newspaper, I decided to purchase the book. That was the easy bit, the hard bit was I found it extremely hard to put my iPhone down having purchased the ebook. I found the book a tence thriller in parts a wonderful love story in others. My first read in a long time, but one that I remain thinking about even if I found quite sad. Excellent, buy it."
John Coventry, I Was I Am I Will be, what a book! Sex, blood and action ! Loved every page and could not stop this read. I think one of the best reads in 2012. This is the racy story of how a young British man gets involved with terrorists and drug runners, passing information back, he acts as a spy and the story takes us all over the world. It's a true story memoir in two parts, this being the first of two books. An easy thrilling and fast read."
"I was not at the beginning of the read, sure if I was going to like the Author John Coventry, but as the story developed my view changed as I think he changed from a foolish and stupid young man to someone who, while clearly scarred, is trying to do the right thing, not just for himself, but for his Country. Life is about choices and John Coventry has to start making them. When I had finished this book, my view of John Coventry had changed, he is smart, but kind, understanding and loyal and so very very sexy !!! So, I for one think this book is a very worthy best-seller and the film will be a blockbuster."