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Illegal Holdings

(Valentin Vermeulen Thriller #3)

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  11 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Winner of the 2019 Silver Falchion Award for Best Thriller at Killer Nashville.

UN fraud investigator Valentin Vermeulen is on assignment in Maputo, Mozambique. His ho-hum task is to see if Global Alternatives is spending UN money the way they promised. The nonprofit was set up by hedge fund mogul Vincent Portallis to revolutionize development aid. The only upside for Verme
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Coffeetown Press (first published February 15th 2018)
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Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author Michael Niemann has been writing a thriller series about the cases of fictional U.N. fraud investigator Valentin Vermeulen. Publicist Wiley Saichek asked me to review Illegal Holdings, the third novel in this series which takes place in Mozambique. This sounded like an unusual focus for a thriller, so I accepted a free copy from the publisher via Wiley Saichek.

Vermeulen had been sent to Mozambique to determine whether a non-profit NGO (non-governmental organization) had fraudulently misap
Lance Charnes
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who think auditors ought to be action heroes
Recommended to Lance by: Criminal Element
Illegal Holdings is an engaging financial detective story set in an unusual, well-described environment, which unfortunately labors under an action-thriller veneer that isn’t entirely necessary or persuasive. That said, its middle-aged Belgian hero and its subject are different enough to stand out against the mass of terrorism or psycho-killer potboilers. I give it 3.51 bearer bonds, which I've rounded up to four because we need more out-of-shape, middle-aged action heroes.

Because I wrote this r
Alison McMahan
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Illegal Holdings, the latest novel, combines Vermeulen's financial sleuthing with the Niemann's now-trademark thriller elements. It's always funny to see the perpetually rumpled-and-jetlagged Vermeulen, usually a bit self-medicated with the best alcohol he can find wherever his duties as fraud investigator for the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services take him, disarm bad guys, dive off balconies, or work his way through an abandoned building filled with gagnbangers armed to the t ...more
Doranne Long
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked from the first paragraph, and kept in suspense to the last page. Michael Niemann as now completed three thrilling novels, which leaves me waiting for more. His characters feel real and are captivating, as the battles continue between good and evil in this world.
Sharon Dean
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Michael Niemann knows his way around the cyber world of money transfers as he traces how United Nations investigator Valentin Vermeulen uncovers a missing five million dollars slated for an organization supporting local agriculture. Niemann invites us into the sounds and smells and history of Mozambique. We see the buildings abandoned after the country’s civil war and feel the impact the war has made on its survivors. We hear taxis crawling through overcrowded streets, feel the fogged-in coast l ...more
John McKenna
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Illegal Holdings
Mysterious Book Report No. 324
by John Dwaine McKenna

Serendipity is the ability to make fortunate discoveries by accident . . . which is what happened here at the MBR when our mailbox, (P.O. Box 2406, Colorado Springs, CO 80901) yielded up an unsolicited new publication from a small independent press in Seattle, Washington, which brought a unique new character and a superb writer to our attention.
Illegal Holdings, (Coffeetown Press, PB, $14.95, 228 pages, ISBN 978-1-60381-591-8) b
Jud Hanson
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Global Alternatives is an NGO funding agricultural improvements in Mozambique by a small charity named Nossa Terra. Trouble brews when a nearly 5 million dollar outlay from Global is suddenly nowhere to be found. Nossa Terra insists they never the full amount, while Global claims the opposite. Since the original source of the funds is the United Nations, the Secretary General sends in veteran investigator Valentin Vermeulen to determine what happened to the money. It isn’t long before Vermeulen ...more
Michael Niemann
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Award winning author Michael Niemann has long been interested in the sites where ordinary people’s lives and global processes intersect. He’s shared umqombothi with shack dwellers outside Cape Town, interviewed Morgan Tsvangirai, former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, when he was still a trade union leader, and has seen Eduardo Mondlane’s dorm room at Northwestern University, faithfully recreated at t ...more

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