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I Was, I Am, I Will Be: A True Story: The John Coventry Story, #1

363 pages9 hours


"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 Coventry from the lure of easy money when the opportunity arises. 
When the wheels of the fraud fall off and the authorities close in, Coventry is faced with a life changing decision.  Work undercoverfor the British Government's Customs and Excise Department or go toprison.  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 highlyconnected to terrorists in both Ireland and France.  Now working with British Intelligence as well as the Customs and Excise Department, herelays information about IRA plans to smuggle arms and illicit drugsinto the United Kingdom, as well as giving the authorities the low-downon 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, foreverconnected by a deep seeded bond.  But she has no idea he's a spy, andCoventry is torn between his love for her and his obligation to theBritish Government.  Along the way, he learns of the connection betweenMichelle's Action Directe group and the notorious Baader Meinhoff gang, a left wing terrorist group in Germany.  He realizes her convictions tothe cause are incredibly fervent and is terrified he will loose her tothe violence.  Already in enough trouble of his own, Coventry knows heshould 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 Africawhere her connections in the South African Army will keep him safe.During one of her visits to South Africa, Michelle hands him a cardinscribed 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 andon 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 grip.
While in prison, he's severely beaten by IRA insiders looking for some payback, so the government reduces his sentence and sets himfree.  Upon his release, he's shocked to hear of Michelle's death andthe secret she'd kept hidden from him.  The Customs and Excise Department offers him more undercover work, but Coventry has had enoughof their fun and games and decides that maybe he'd be better offstarting 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 toAmerica.  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 runsdown his spine as he remembers the inscription on Michelle's card.  Hecan't help but reflect on everything he's been through over the last few years and wonders, "What the hell was I thinking?"

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