I, War


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175 in stock


A Novel
By M M Johns

ISBN: 978-1-84991-199-3
Published: 2010
Pages: 359
Key Themes: fiction, crime, thriller depression



“I, War” is crime thriller which initially follows the actions of an assassin as he fulfils a contract to remove the heads of an established crime organisation in the UK. He is working for the head of a Russian crime movement who holds a grudge against the now retired head of the UK organisation. The first part of the story is about the assassinations and the involvement of James Hawk and his friends to protect the family. The story moves across the UK and Europe. At the same time a police task force is involved, working on information of a deep cover agent in the Ukraine, to prevent a massive influx of drugs and arms. The story moves to the Ukraine as it follows the efforts of the agent to escape and the moves by the main character to eliminate the threat posed by the head of the organisation. The action is fast paced and developed with skillfully interwoven plot and sub plots.

About the Author

Born in Stirling, Scotland in 1949, M M Johns was educated in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Scotland. He served in the British South Africa Police prior to joining the British Army for nine years. After working in the UK for several years he returned to South Africa where he worked as a Security Consultant in Loss Prevention for corporate clients. He returned to the UK 13 years ago to work in the Hospitality Industry. After struggling with Anxiety and Depression for two years he was forced to stop working. During the time he was under treatment for his depression M M Johns started to write. He wanted to try and help others understand the processes within depression and anxiety and found the process cathartic. His first book, an autobiography about the illness, “A Cheerful Depression”, was published in 2009. He has gone on to write his first fiction novel, “I, War”, which is to be the first in a series of four novels. M M Johns believes strongly that the diagnosis of Depression and Anxiety made him re-evaluate his life and placed him on a different career path, that of writing. He currently lives in Scotland and is learning to manage his depression and move forward rebuilding his life.

Book Extract


The walls of the office shimmered and wavered as the light from the street below passed through windows streaked with droplets of rain. The light gave the oak desk and leather chairs the appearance of life as it reflected off the polished surfaces, constantly moving, the sheets of water running down the panes, forcing the scene to continually shimmer and change shape.

The window comprised the complete front of the office. Its view from the fifth floor overlooked a magnificent panorama over Edinburgh’s Princes Street, the gardens, and up to the Mound, where the buildings, all the way to the dominating castle, were floodlit, the light being absorbed into, and lighting, the low, gray clouds that hung over the city.

There was a constant stream of late shoppers and buses on the street below, however, no sound penetrated the glass. Occasional headlight beams swept across the ceiling as a taxi or bus turned from the Mound onto Princes Street.

Against a shadowed wall, a black leather settee lurked, and the long sofas, black yawning chasms, invited the unwary to sink into their depths. Two pale forms had done just that. They were moving, slowly, writhing in each other’s grasp, tossing and turning, fighting the enveloping comfort of the leather and the outstretched arms. Their groans and moans of pleasure broke the silence of the office.

A door on the wall across the office slowly opened, and a barely discernible figure slipped through the narrow gap, softly closing the door behind him. No light from the outside office had filtered through the brief gap in the door, leaving the occupants of the sofa blissfully unaware of the intruder, who watched their, now frantic, coupling with amusement.

The figure, dressed completely in black, only the slits of his eyes showing through a balaclava, moved quietly on sneakered feet around the wall to a position at the feet of the gasping couple. He stood, unmoving, quietly observing their antics.

He had time, he knew their routine, had been observing this ritual for two weeks. Besides, it amused him that, when the moment came for their ultimate pleasure and release, he would provide another form of release. He found the thought poetic, and regretted that others would never know of it.

The female turned her lover on his back and, leaning on his chest, impaled herself upon him, throwing back her head, arching her back as she ground and jerked her way to satisfaction.

The man underneath began thrusting his hips upwards, trying to keep in time with her ever more frantic movements. One final thrust, a moan from him, some muffled words from her, and she collapsed forward to lie on top of him. Their heavy breathing mingled, their eyes closed as they savoured the moment.

The figure moved forward, stepping around the front of the sofa, stopping and positioning himself at the shoulders of the woman. He listened to their breathing even off. When he lifted his right hand it held a revolver, a Colt Python, the barrel extended, made ungainly by a silencer.

He placed his thumb on the hammer and drew it back. The double click was loud in the office, echoing around the walls. The man opened his eyes, not believing what he was seeing.

A slight pressure on the trigger and the hammer fell. A hollow point .357 Magnum round fled from its resting place, down the barrel, through the silencer and into the back of the woman’s head. A soft plop accompanied the flight of the bullet. The man’s eyes were still staring at the gaping hole as the bullet exited the woman’s head and buried itself in the armrest of the sofa. Eyes turned to horror as blood, bone and brain were blown from the cavity that once was a forehead, covering the head and shoulders of the man trapped underneath her now still body.

He still did not move, he did not make a sound, he watched silently as the gun moved a few inches to a point where he was staring down the bottomless pit. At the last minute, recognition of what was about to happen worked its way through his paralyzed thought process. It was too late. The hammer clicked back and fell instantly, a second round left the chamber and buried itself in the sofa, leaving a bloody mess where the back of his head had rested.

The figure in black unscrewed the silencer and placed it, and the gun, in a back pack. He moved out of the office as quietly as he had appeared, closing the door gently behind him.

In the outer office he removed all the black outer clothing he had been wearing, replacing the sneakers with a pair of black leather shoes, and put them in the back pack.

The man, who left the office building, turning up the collar of his coat and pulling the hat forward over his eyes, against the rain, was dressed in a business suit and overcoat. He was no different from thousands of others who walked the streets of Edinburgh on their way to or from bars and restaurants, or going home to their families after an honest day’s labour.


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