by John Bell


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"Payback is a remarkable book... much more than a fictional saga... a thinly disguised story of the author's own family... The family history is turned into a sprawling, gripping narrative of derring-do, adventure, romance, violence, betrayal and courage... an authentic, detailed description of a lifestyle that has gone forever... Payback is a compelling tour-de-force made all the more remarkable because of its factual basis.

I commend it to you without reservation."

The Story

Payback weaves the lives of two fictional families, whose blood feud invokes the ancient New Guinea tribal code of payback.

Payback traces the lives and loves of four Australian brothers in the turbulent years between the two World Wars, their involvement in timber and gold, copra and crocodiles, airlines and shipping. The screams of their sister crushed in the jaws of a huge crocodile, marriage into a Chinese family, big business, elopement, bureaucracy, the impact of the destruction of colonialism, all combine to weave a complex and emotional web that takes each character on a path of self discovery. They are forced to come to terms with their environment, themselves and the outside world as their piece of paradise is torn apart when World War II comes to Kavieng, and becomes personal.

Payback illustrates the ephemeral satisfaction of revenge and the lasting sadness of loss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781508430384
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 02/10/2015
Series: Williams Series , #1
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Now retired, John Bell lives in Queensland, Australia, with wife Carol. They travel widely. He's also lived in New Guinea, Tasmania, Western Australia, Switzerland and S.E. Asia.
A paper boy when young, he's worked as a surveyor's chainman, brushed scrub, cut timber, worked in a sawmill, been a prelim. boy while at university, and cut sugar cane. He's grown Macadamias and run cattle, been a restaurateur, wildlife park owner, property developer, storage operator, senior public servant, practising solicitor, Justice of the Peace and tax agent, as well as grown tropical fruit commercially.
Was part owner/manager of two ships, 500 and 1100 tons, working from Europe and around the S.W. Pacific. A keen sailor, water skier, pilot and spear fisherman, he completed National Service in the Royal Australian Navy.
June 2013 saw him as navigator of a 1930 Model A Ford in the 5th Peking to Paris Endurance Rally, over 12,000 kilometres and through eight countries in 33 days. His rally blog can be accessed via
"Payback" is Book One in the author's Williams Series. A sell-out first edition has prompted this second edition, which coincides with the release of "Puri Puri" and "Melted Wax", Books Two and Three in that series. Book Four will follow.

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