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About Michael Niemann
Michael Niemann grew up in a small town in Germany, ten kilometers from the Dutch border. Crossing that border often at a young age sparked in him a curiosity about the larger world. He studied political science at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität in Bonn and international studies at the University of Denver.
His thrillers featuring UN investigator Valentin Vermeulen are published by Coffeetown Press. Legitimate Business and Illicit Trade were published in March 2017. Illegal Holdings came out in March 2018, and No Right Way went on sale in June 2019. Illegal Holdings won the 2019 Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller at Killer Nashville. The fifth Vermeulen thriller, Percentages of Guilt is due for publication November 10, 2020.
His short stories have appeared in Vengeance, the 2012 Mystery Writers of America anthology edited by Lee Child, and Mysterical-E. "Africa Always Needs Guns," "Big Dreams Cost Too Much" and "Some Kind of Justice" are now available as Kindle singles.
For more information, go to: michael-niemann.com and www.facebook.com/MichaelNiemannAuthor/
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The heroes in these stories include a cop who's seen too much, a woman who has been pushed too far, or just an ordinary person doing what the law will not. Some call them vigilantes, others claim they are just another brand of criminal.
Edited and with an introduction by Lee Child, these stories reveal the shocking consequences when men and women take the law into their own hands.
The fall of 2015. It s been four years since the civil war in Syria started and over a year since ISIS took over major parts of the country. The refugee stream into Turkey has swelled to unprecedented numbers. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is scrambling to offer services and shelter to the multitudes. The Turkish government is doing what it can. Money from the rest of the world and European governments is flowing in to help alleviate the crisis. Numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are using UN funds to do the on-the-ground work to house and feed refugees.
Valentin Vermeulen's job is to make sure that all those funds are spent for their intended purposes. As he digs into his task, he learns that some refugees have not received any aid at all. Figuring out why that is quickly lands him in trouble with organize crime.
He doesn't know that a skeleton found in the Sonora desert will draw him into a maelstrom of trouble. The murdered man carried a notebook that contains Vermeulen's phone number. The local authorities investigating the murder believe Vermeulen has connections to the traffickers that brought the man across the border.
To clear his name, Vermeulen has no choice but to delve into dark underbelly of the tragic border policies of the US. Doing so brings Tessa and him face to face with the Border Patrol, white supremacists, and an old foe who's been waiting for six years to get her revenge.
An unexpected letter from his old employer calls Vermeulen back to Antwerp. His past has come back to haunt him. Old and new foes are conspiring to lock him up and, worse, kill him. He must fight both the authorities and criminal syndicates to make it out alive.
When Vermeulen notices that a five-million-dollar transfer has gone missing, he is given the run-around. First he is told the files have been mislaid, then stolen, then he is assured that the money was never transferred to begin with. But the money was transferred, so where is it now? Vermeulen’s dogged pursuit of the missing transfer makes him the target of some ruthless operators. And once he meets up with Tessa, she is inevitably sucked in to the story as well, which turns out to be far more nefarious than either of them imagined. Now they are both in deadly danger.
Book three in the Valentin Vermeulen Thriller series.
Before that meeting, the young corporal is killed in a car accident. Rushing to the scene of the “accident,” Vermeulen meets the military police officer in charge, a fresh-faced sergeant, Kristina Knauer. Vermeulen searches Waldmüller’s belongings for some shred of evidence to back up his claims. Meanwhile, Sergeant Knauer seems to do nothing but stand in his way. Now that the bad guys know he’s on to them, Vermeulen will be lucky to escape this assignment with his life. Never mind finding justice for Waldmüller.
Vermeulen knows Khoury’s death was no suicide. He heard the gunshot and saw a young thug leave Khoury's office. The suicide note did not appear until later. Vermeulen’s search for answers takes him to the offices of a beautiful widow, Desirée Doué, who runs a cocoa export company. For security, Madame Doué employs a group of young hoodlums known as the Jeunes Patriotes, and Khoury’s killer is one of them. Obviously someone in the UN is in league with her, but with the city’s politics in disarray, how will Vermeulen stop the perpetrators and remain alive? Fortunately he has an ally, Kwame Appiah, a member of UN troops with a trick or two up his sleeve.
“Big Dreams Cost Too Much” is one of three stories featuring Valentin Vermeulen. The UN investigator is also featured in the novels Legitimate Business, Illicit Trade, and Illegal Holdings (March 2018).
An earlier version of “Africa Always Needs Guns” was published in the 2012 Mystery Writers Association of America anthology Vengeance, edited by Lee Child.