Skip to product information
1 of 5

Vengeance: John Hayes #1 (PAPERBACK)

Vengeance: John Hayes #1 (PAPERBACK)

Regular price $27.99 NZD
Regular price Sale price $27.99 NZD
Sale Sold out
  • Paperback

When expat John Hayes' wife is brutally attacked while on a posting in India, he's forced to take matters into his own hands.

John Hayes’ life is perfect. He has a dream job in an exotic land, his career path is on an upward trajectory and at home he has a beautiful wife whom he loves with all his heart.

But one horrible day a brutal incident tears this all away from him and his life is destroyed.

He doesn’t know who is to blame, he doesn’t know what to do, and the police fail to help.

He's faced with a choice. Should he accept things and move on with his life or take action and do what the authorities won’t do for him?

What would you do?


Paperback Details

Pages: 272

Size: 5" x 8" (147mm x 243mm)

Format: Paperback

Series: Book 1, The John Hayes Thrillers

Paperback Delivery

Shipping times, after printing, are within 1-3 business days.

My books are printed on-demand by my printers located in the UK and the USA.

Once you place your order, my printers will get to work printing your book.

Each book is carefully printed, checked and shipped and delivered to your door 1-3 business days after printing (excluding bank holidays).

Read the Shipping Policy and Returns Policy.

Read a Sample


John banged the heel of his hand on the horn as the car beside him moved across into his lane. The driver moved back, but ten seconds later moved across again. John slammed his palm on the horn again, braked to let the car pull in and shook his head. He had only been back in Bangalore two days but already missed the quieter roads of Ooty.

The drive home from John’s office in the Manyata Tech Park on the northern edge of Bangalore was short in distance but fraught with potential danger. The roads were chaotic, vehicles of all shapes and sizes milling amongst each other with no sense of order and a complete disregard for personal safety. Added to that were the additional hazards of potholes, suicidal jaywalkers, and in scenes repeated in cities all over India—cows standing serenely in the middle of the traffic, chewing their cud as thousands of two and four-wheeled vehicles swarmed around them, like a four-legged Moses parting the Red Sea. The local driving habits still confounded him even after a year in the country. Rules, road markings, and traffic signals served only as suggestions to be ignored by the majority of the driving public. Most expats and indeed many Indians chose to employ a driver rather than drive themselves. However, John loved driving—even in these conditions—and didn’t want to give up the driving seat to someone whose abilities he didn’t fully trust. It had taken him a while to get used to it, and it was only when he decided to let go of all the things he thought were supposed to happen, the way things were “supposed” to run, he could drive with a certain element of ease. No point in trying to change everyone else. What was the expression? When in Rome…

John indicated right—one of the few vehicles to do so, indicators and side mirrors redundant for most drivers—and turned off the outer ring road onto Bellary Road which led north from the city toward the airport. Ahead, three men squeezed together on a single motorbike, swerved to avoid a crater-sized pothole, and he braked hard, flicking the steering wheel to the right to drive around them. Horns blared behind him, and he grinned. Perhaps he had become a local.

The road led straight for the next five kilometers, passing the Colombia Asia Hospital on the right, then the sprawling grounds of the Government Agricultural University on the left. This locality had once been at the extreme outskirts of the city, accessed by a single lane road, but Bangalore had expanded so rapidly, the area had been swallowed up and was now served by a six-lane highway.

Approaching a junction, he reduced his speed and checked for oncoming traffic, then turned across three lanes and into the access road which led to the gated housing estate he called home. He slowed for the entrance. The security guard, recognizing his vehicle, raised a hand in greeting and opened the gate. John drove through, thanking the guard with a wave and a smile, and cruised down the interior roadway past the rows of bungalows. It was still light, and a group of children played cricket in the street while others rode up and down on bicycles. At the sound of the approaching car, they stopped playing and moved to the side, resuming immediately after it had passed. John took the first left and then right, finally turning into the carport of his house.

Grabbing his briefcase from the seat beside him, he climbed out, pressing the key fob to lock the door behind him. He glanced across at the small front garden, at the lawn turning brown in the relentless sun, and made a mental note to remind the gardener to water it.

The front door opened just as he reached for the handle, and he paused to look at Charlotte, standing on the top step. Her cheeks were smudged with paint, and her blonde hair was piled up on top of her head in a small bun, exposing her long slim neck. Her beauty still took his breath away, even dressed in jeans and an old work-shirt.

She smiled, her eyes sparkling, “How was your day?”

Dropping the briefcase on the step, John wrapped his arms around her before kissing her on the lips. 

He angled his head back to look down at her, not letting her go, “Nothing special today, baby. How was yours?”

Charlotte smiled up at him, “Great. I played tennis in the morning with Shalini but stayed home the rest of the day working on my paintings. I’ve almost finished the landscape. Come and take a look.”

John slipped off his shoes at the door, a habit he had picked up in the last year and allowed himself to be led by the hand down the corridor and up the stairs to the spare bedroom which John had converted into a studio. Spare canvases on stretcher frames leaned against the side wall, and in one corner, a shelf unit was filled with brushes and paints. In the center of the room with its back to him was a large canvas on an easel, angled to make the most of the natural light streaming in from the large picture window. John stepped around it to take a look at the oil painting of the stunning hill range Charlotte had photographed during their weekend trip to Ooty. 

“Wow, it looks fantastic.”

Charlotte crossed her arms and cocked her head to one side as she cast a critical eye over her work.

“I still have a few things to finish, but it’s almost done.”

“It looks great. I knew there was a reason I married you instead of your sister.”

Charlotte punched his upper arm and giggled, “Cheeky sod.”

“You should really think about exhibiting your paintings, let other people see them and appreciate them.”

“That’s not why I do it. I paint because I love to paint. It makes me feel happy. I love it when I can transfer the images in my head to the canvas. I’m creating something from nothing.”  

John moved behind her, wrapping his arms around her, nuzzling her neck as they both looked at the painting.

“I know, Charlie, I’m just so proud of you and would love other people to see how talented you are.”

He slipped his hand beneath her shirt and ran his fingers up her belly toward her breasts. Charlotte sighed and leaned back into him as he kissed her earlobe, then reluctantly pushed his hand away. 

“Hey, not now.” She giggled, “Go and get changed, Rohan and Shalini are coming around for a drink soon, and I need to get out of these painting clothes.”

“Let me help you.”

“Nooo, if you help me, we will never be ready when they arrive.”

John admired her long denim-clad legs as she walked away toward the master bedroom to get changed. Every day, his love for her deepened. He thought back to the day when he first saw her in a cafe in Winchester. When she walked in, he thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and he knew at that moment he would marry her. She sat at the next table, and after he summoned the courage to strike up a conversation, they hit it off immediately, getting married six months later after a whirlwind courtship that left both of them breathless and excited about the future. 

“Do you need Sanjay tomorrow?” Charlotte called out to him from the en suite bathroom where she was already in the shower. 

John walked into the bathroom and rested his butt against the vanity unit. His company paid for a driver, but as John preferred to drive himself, Sanjay drove Charlotte around most of the time. John didn’t feel comfortable leaving Charlotte on her own on the roads. If anything happened or the car broke down, it was always better to have a local handle it.

“No, why?” he watched the water run down over her back.

“I’m attending an exhibition in the afternoon, then meeting Susan for dinner. I’ll be back a bit late.”

“No problem. I’ll work later tomorrow then, I’ve got a report for head office I need to finish, anyway.”

Charlotte turned to face him, and he felt a familiar stirring in his loins as he ran his eyes over her body, tanned and lithe from daily tennis, water running in rivulets down her flat belly.

Charlotte grinned at him, recognizing the look in his eyes and shook her head. “We don’t have time.”

As if in confirmation, they heard the sound of the doorbell. 

“See, they are here already. I’ll be down in a minute.”

John pretended to scowl and went to open the door.

View full details