Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Black Market Concierge by Barry Oberholzer (Review, Author Interview and Giveaway!)

The Black Market Concierge is a must-read for any enthusiastic reader of espionage novels, except that this is based on real life because it's a memoir! Check out my hubby's review, read our interview with the author, and then enter the giveaway for a chance to be one of the first five winners to win a copy and a $30 Amazon gift card.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Black Market Concierge: Sanction Busting, Smuggling & Spying for America
Author: Barry Oberholzer
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 177 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: November 2016
Tour dates: Sept 25 to Oct 13, 2017
Content Rating: PG (Violence)

Book Description:

Barry Oberholzer’s secret life as a confidential informant, infiltrating international organized crime syndicates and sanction-busting activity hit headlines in 2012. Oberholzer reported an array of vital intelligence to the CIA and multiple intelligence agencies across the world. For years, he has worked across the Middle East and behind the scenes as a confidential informant making connections, extracting valuable intelligence, and facing off against America's greatest enemy at every turn.

In The Black Market Concierge, he opens a window into his double life as an informant; informing on the role of key players including major corporations, crime syndicates, politicians and government officials in high-value international smuggling operations.

After exposing corruption at the highest levels of government in South Africa, he is ready to give a no holds barred account of what it is like to live the life of a high-level, confidential informant.

His memoir is a searingly honest account of a boy aviation enthusiast who cascaded into the world of international espionage and how it ultimately sent him in search of salvation in his devout Christian faith. It is a testimony that will move even the most cold-hearted.

My Review:
Reviewed by Fil Piccolo

The Black Market Concierge is a must-read for any enthusiastic reader of espionage novels or the illegal global trade market. From smuggling cigarettes and drugs to military goods, this book will entertain readers who want to know more about the inside story of contraband.

When reading espionage novels, one always wonders how much in the story is real or just based on the author’s inventiveness. This memoir, however, is Barry Oberholzer's personal account of his real experiences as an informant. Barry was not initially trained by government agencies to investigate illegal global trades. Instead, he began as an ambitious young man who was following his dream of entering the aviation industry only to be recruited by government middlemen whose purpose was to circumvent trade sanctions. From there, his name spread to the global black market and soon he was contacted by smugglers of narcotics and eventually military goods.

This book was an eye-opener on the black market's inner workings and how governments make key arrests and seizures. While governments have huge resources at their disposal, the information of an informant is clearly indispensable at times. The dangers for an informant is clearly seen in this personal account.

I would easily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs about people who have done extraordinary things and who have made big changes in their lives. It was a page turner for me and would be for anyone who likes action adventure based on real-life experiences.

To read more reviews, please visit Barry Oberholzer's page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Watch the trailer:

Interview with Barry Oberholzer:

LCR: Welcome to Library of Clean Reads! Can you describe your book in 20 words or less?

BO: A fast-paced gripping memoir of a former intelligence operative! 

LCR: What do you hope your memoir will do for your readers?

BO: I would like readers to understand that everyone has a story. No one is the same and we can't judge others if we don't know their story. Good and evil are part of life and sometimes people need to get into the evil world to do good. 

LCR: I admire people who set out to write their memoirs and so intimately share their lives with the world. What was the hardest thing about writing this memoir? The easiest?

BO: I think the hardest part was getting a good narration going of all the events. Deciding which parts to include and which to exclude, for my own safety. The easiest was probably the decision to write the book. 

LCR: In your memoir, you disclose the illegal activities of certain people and their country. Were you not afraid of the repercussions of such disclosure?

BO: Indeed. There is a fine line when disclosing this type of information, however, I think people needed to know exactly what I did, why I did it and who was involved. In the end what I did was for a greater good even though the repercussions can linger for a long time...

LCR: What is the funniest (or strangest, or scariest) incident that has ever happened to you?

BO: I think the most fearful was the first few days in a South African jail - the worst prison system in the world - and trying to figure out how the system works and moving up in the jail hierarchy.

LCR: Can you share with us some of the people you admire the most?

BO: I admire anyone that has hit rock bottom, lost everything and rebuild themselves again from the ground up. Whether it is from an addiction, financial difficulties, domestic issues or anything that led to their downfall, the hardest part is getting back on top - and for those - I have the utmost admiration. Jordan Belfort - The Wolf of Wall Street - comes to mind.

LCR: Now a fun question: If you could travel back in time, where would you go? Who would you see?

BO: I think I would like to go back to events starting at The Last Supper and just be a witness to the events over those next few days, the crucifixion, Jesus rising etc. Those were pretty epic moments in time.  

LCR: Any future projects you would like to share with us?

BO: There is a possible TV series based on the book. Details are still confidential, but it is definitely something to look forward to!

LCR: Thanks so much for sharing all this!

Meet the Author:

Born in Houston, Texas, a former professional rugby player and current CrossFit and Ironman athlete, Barry is the founder of TerrorMate app and is a counter-terrorism and intelligence expert. Formerly Barry served as a confidential informant for Department of Homeland Security, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Belgium Customs Intelligence and HM Revenue & Customs Intelligence in the United Kingdom.

One of his most impactful successes was in his identification of Iranian sanction busting syndicates who smuggled US manufactured aircraft and parts to Iran which led to the arrests of several prominent international businessmen. He also had numerous successes in major illicit cigarette seizures in Europe.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Oct 21

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  1. I would love to read this! Sounds fantastic!

  2. Oh this look so intense with the cover! I cannot wait to read!

  3. sounds awesome, cant wait to see it turn into a tv series if it does.


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

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