Faith: John Hayes #8 (EBOOK)
Faith: John Hayes #8 (EBOOK)
John has unfinished business and it’s eating away at him
A chance email alerting him to the reappearance of an old enemy, Atman, triggers doubt, guilt, frustration, and anger.
How is Atman still roaming free, as if nothing happened? Why won’t the authorities do anything about it?
To make matters worse, Atman is in a country where John could face arrest the minute he steps on its soil.
Should John risk his freedom and possibly his life, or leave it up to the authorities?
But John Hayes is never one to stand idly by in the face of injustice.
Sometimes you gotta have faith…
Book 8 in The JOHN HAYES THRILLERS.
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Series: Book 1, The Hong Kong Trilogy
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Read a Sample
Read a Sample
Bablu Yadav wiped the sweat from his forehead with the end of the cotton towel draped over his shoulder. The humidity was debilitating and he couldn't wait to get back to the dry heat of his village in North India.
He’d be there soon. Just one more job.
He took a large mouthful of tepid water from a plastic water bottle, then tossed the empty bottle out the window of the truck. A passing motorcyclist shouted, raising a hand in protest, and Bablu sneered a reply.
Almost two hundred metres ahead, on the right-hand side of the road, sat his friend Ram, perched sideways on a stolen moped.
They’d been waiting for forty-five minutes and Bablu was getting anxious. The truck had been stolen earlier that day, and the longer he sat parked on the side of the road, the more chance a cop would pass and question him. They’d swapped the plates with another vehicle, just in case, but Bablu knew from experience that cops loved to hassle drivers like him. They always found a reason to extort money, whether it be incomplete documents, goods without the necessary permits and tax receipts, or a lack of maintenance.
The truck was a fifteen-year-old Ashok Leyland flat bed, and if the odometer was to be believed, had completed over two hundred and fifty-thousand kilometres. There were no bulbs in the rear lights and the tyres had barely any tread. No different to most goods vehicles on the road, but today Bablu didn’t want to attract undue attention to himself.
“Come on, come on,” he muttered, his eyes still on his friend up the road.
Bablu had to succeed, otherwise he wouldn’t get the rest of the money. He’d taken five thousand rupees in advance and he'd get the balance of fifteen thousand when they completed the job. He’d have to split it with Ram, but with the money he’d saved over the last year, he had enough to pay off his family’s debts and have a little left over for a small plot of land and even a cow or two. Bablu smiled. It had been a long time since he'd been back in the village, among his own people. Here, in the South, they didn’t speak his language and looked down on people from the North.
A bead of sweat ran from his forehead into his left eye and he dabbed at it with the end of the cloth. The worst thing down here, though, was the weather. Back in his village, at least they had seasons. Here it was hot all the time, and he never stopped sweating. And the food didn’t agree with him. They cooked everything with coconut oil and he just couldn’t get used to the smell.
Ahead, Ram shifted on the moped and Bablu leaned forward to see better through the dirty, cracked windshield. A gate opened and out stepped a woman dressed in white. She looked unlike anyone else on the road. Her hair was a pale gold, and she was taller than most. Even from this distance, on a busy street, the way she moved, the way she carried herself, suggested she was a foreigner. It had to be her.
Ram removed his phone and stared at the screen, checking the photo that had been sent to them the previous day. Bablu saw him look up and nod in his direction.
It was her.
Bablu took a breath and reached forward for the ignition key. He turned it while pumping the accelerator until the tired old engine rumbled into life. Looking at the plastic figure of Ganesha glued to the dashboard, he said a small prayer, then touched his fingers to the statue of the elephant-headed god, and then his lips.
“Jai Shri Ganeshaya Namaha,” he said out loud, glanced in the rear-view mirror, then hauled on the steering wheel and edged the truck out onto the road.
Ahead, Ram was now sitting astride the moped, revving the engine, clouds of blue smoke from the tiny two-stroke engine billowing from the exhaust. The foreign woman had walked ahead and as Bablu pulled onto the road, he saw her look both ways before hurrying across the road.
"Accha hain,” Bablu muttered. "Good." She had just made his job a whole lot easier. He stamped his foot on the accelerator, sending clouds of thick black diesel smoke into the air behind him, and cursed as the truck took an age to respond. The speed slowly increased as he crunched through the gears, the woman appearing closer in the windshield.
He climbed another gear, swerving around a scooter that had stopped on the edge of the road, and kept his foot mashed to the floor, his eyes only on the woman. Fifty metres, forty, thirty….
He climbed another gear.
Twenty, ten… then he pulled left on the steering wheel.
There was an almost imperceptible bump as if the wheels had hit a pothole, but he didn’t look in the mirror. He just kept on accelerating.
A smile spread across his face.
The job was done.