Neil Behrmann's latest financial thriller, Jack of Diamonds, is a stand-alone second novel in The Story of Jack Miner series. Trader Jack, the first book, has been updated for its second edition.
Neil has written numerous articles on diamonds for the Wall Street Journal, The Business Times Singapore and South African, Australian, UK, Canadian, Hong Kong, Japanese and Swiss publications. Other commodity stories include gold, platinum, silver, copper, coffee and cocoa.
Neil's reporting and investigations covering underhand dealings in diamond mining and smuggling, helped him create the plot for Jack of Diamonds. Initial reviews and the background of the book can be found on Amazon and https://neilbehrmann.net/jack-of-diamonds/.
Here is some background:
Jack of Diamonds is part of a series, tell us about your series.
In Trader Jack-The Story of Jack Miner, Jack is jailed for a multi-billion dollar scam. He writes his own story. When he is homeless, Jack witnesses a Russian Mafia murder. Friends help Jack become a hedge fund trader, but he becomes embroiled in a Russian fraud. (Background and reviews are on Amazon and https://neilbehrmann.net/trader-jack-story-jack-miner/ )
In the second book of the series, Jack is released from prison & the Jack of Diamonds story begins.
Where did the idea for Jack of Diamonds come from?
I was brought up in a South African mining town, so gold, diamonds & geology are part of my makeup. The story germinated when some Western mine developers were ousted in Russia. I spent time travelling to Moscow, St Petersburg, Archangelsk and other places in north and central Russia. The journeys helped me broaden the story & characters. I have also visited and reported on South African diamond and gold mines. Antwerp & Israel gem markets have been excellent sources for stories.
Is there a message in your book for readers?
Several. Besides the focus on diamond smuggling and money laundering, the thriller (written prior to recent ugly developments in Salisbury UK and Syria) highlights the growing global dangers and tentacles of Russian corruption. A subplot on Spanish fascism under Franco illustrates concerns about the growing populist extreme right and left-wing European political parties. The novel is also a satire on the behaviour of bankers, brokers & investors. Participants & experts first ignore potential investments, catch on when they rise and then chase them to bubble mania heights. One of the characters explains how investors can protect themselves "from the fear of being left out".
Neil also wrote a completely different book- Butterfly Battle- The Story of the Great Insect War. The anti-war fantasy for boys and girls 8 to 12, received exceptional reviews. A fascinating background to the book can be seen on https://neilbehrmann.net/butterfly-battle/.
Butterfly Battle was updated and relaunched on 18 June 2015, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The opening is a computer game of the battle.
Neil has been interviewed on radio and TV about diamonds, commodities and other features.
Latest articles can be found on http://NeilBehrmann.net. Archives are on www.marketpredict.com
Scoops and investigations include underhand mining dealings, financial scams and coffee market upheavals. Major news-breaking stories and investigative features include several billion dollar scandals, notably rogue traders Nick Leeson of Barings and Yasuo Hamanaka, the perpetrator of the Sumitomo copper fraud. Neil has covered energy and coffee market crises and wrote a groundbreaking feature on the hidden hoard of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. He has also written numerous pieces on Bernie Madoff and several other major hedge fund scams.