The Powder Merchant by David Orange

What kind of man is above the law, beyond suspicion, and madly brilliant?

Alexander Volga, a respected philanthropic billionaire, hides a murky lineage with a veil of respectability. He’s gifted with a uniquely devious and sharp mind and responsible for literally millions of lives destroyed. Sensing storm clouds of retribution approaching, Volga prepares for his ultimate deception. He invests his enormous fortune in a mind-bending effort to make his dream of immortality become a reality.

An unexplainable force draws Detective Harriet O’Keefe to Volga. She’s head of a new drug enforcement agency, CRUNCH (Crime and Racketeering Unit of Narcotics-Cocaine and Heroin). “Dirty Harriet,” whose job is to track down the big chieftains of the cocaine and heroin world-the “Merchants of Powder”-finds herself dangerously close to falling for Volga’s lure.

Volga’s estranged godson shares information with Harriet about his godfather’s past. Desperate to find a lead, Harriet dabbles in hypnosis and is shocked when recollections of past life confrontations with Volga are discovered. Harriet dismisses the revelations and decides to deal with Volga in the present with the realization he’s the most wanted and insidious man she ever matched wits against.

With tension mounting from all sides, and uncertain of where loyalty remains, Alexander Volga sets a Machiavellian plan in motion. His digital alchemists have been working feverishly to have him immerse in an entirely synthetic alternate world—a Shangri-La, that will allow him to escape. When the countdown begins, Volga’s enemies better check their life-insurance policies…and Harriet O’Keefe, her heart.

The Big Thrill caught up to author David Orange to discuss his latest thriller, THE POWDER MERCHANT:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

Although Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence are going to be the biggest new event in how mankind “augments” his reality in the real world, there are some side effects that must be considered. I have a story about one of them.

How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

THE POWDER MERCHANT is truly ground breaking, as the professional critics point out.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence can most definitely become addictive.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

The lady cop “Dirty Harriet” chasing down the mastermind law breaker takes place in such an original way never seen in literature before.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

William Gibson’s Neuromancer and Isaac Asimov.


David Orange, veteran actor, has co-starred twice on Broadway and has had several memorable film roles including the “Sleepy Klingon” in the hit film Star Trek VI in addition to performing in 300 television commercials and guest roles on TV shows. He also has had 25 articles published in wine and entertainment magazines and two novellas published by small presses.

To learn more about David and his work, please visit his website.

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