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Michael A. Black

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Michael A. Black graduated from Columbia College, Chicago in 2000 with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction Writing. He previously earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Northern Illinois University. Despite his literary leanings, he has often said that police work has been his life. A former Army Military Policeman, he entered civilian law enforcement after his discharge, and for the past twenty-seven years has been a police officer in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Michael A. Black is the author of over forty articles on subjects ranging from police work to popular fiction, he has also had over thirty short stories published in various anthologies and magazines, including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. His first novel, A Killing Frost, featuring private investigator Ron Shade, was published by Five Star in September 2002, with endorsements from such respected authors as Sara Paretsky and Andrew Vachss.

He has worked in various capacities in police work including patrol supervisor, tactical squad, investigations, raid team member, and SWAT team leader. Michael Black is currently a sergeant on the Matteson, Illinois Police Department. His hobbies include weightlifting, running, and the martial arts. He holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. It is rumored he has five cats.

Michael A. Black is the author of A Killing Frost; Random Victim; Melody of Vengeance; A Final Judgement; Freeze Me, Tender; The Heist; Windy City Knights; Volunteering to Help Kids; and, Tank: The M1A1 Abrams.

According to the book description of Freeze Me, Tender, “Ten years ago the hillbilly king of rock-and-roll, Colton Purcell, was cryogenically frozen after his premature death. Or was he? Chicago-based magazine reporter Harry Bauer intends to find out as he becomes involved in a convoluted murder plot stretching from good-old Memphis to glitzy Las Vegas, where the tenth anniversary celebration of Colton's death is in full swing. When Harry's mentor and friend, a Vegas reporter specializing in conspiracy theories, turns up murdered, Harry is intent on finding out why. But in a city that where illusion often transcends reality, the truth proves more elusive than a gambler's lucky streak. Not only is there a huge Colton imitator-contest going on, but the King's only daughter is set to marry the epicene Prince of Latino Pop (despite her mother's objections), and a mysterious young man has introduced himself to Harry, claiming to be Colton's illegitimate son. The trail leads Harry to the dark side of sin city, crossing paths with a bunch of mob guys, a very efficient (and very large) contract killer, and some very unexpected people from Colton Purcell's past. There's also the murder of Colton's famous manager, the abduction of a mysterious figure from a Memphis nursing home, and a host of other problems that makes Harry begin to wonder, is it really Colton Purcell hanging upside down in that cryogenic tube full of liquid nitrogen? If he can live long enough, he may just find out.”

According to the book description of Windy City Knights, “How much do you owe a past love? Ever wonder about it? Private Detective Ron Shade does when he bumps into his former lover, Paula Kittermann, late one lonely December night in a hotel bar. Paula had once been a major factor in Shade's life, but that was a very long time ago. Against his better judgment, he lets her back in, but then she's gone, without so much as a good-bye kiss, leaving him once again with only bittersweet memories of what might have been. Then Paula turns up dead, the apparent victim of a hit-and-run accident. Though shocked, Shade moves on with his life until Paula's young cousin, Laurie, shows up in Chicago, asking him to look into the matter. Shade's investigation takes a walk on the seedy side, and begins to attract the attention of some very powerful enemies. But whenever Shade gets close to the truth, somebody seems to end up dead, and he suddenly finds himself the prime suspect in a homicide investigation. Working to clear himself and find out who killed Paula, Shade goes up against some redoubtable foes who will stop at nothing to ensure his search for the truth won't be completed.”

According to the book description of The Heist, “Linc Jackson and his buddy Rick Weaver thought they'd seen it all on the brutal battlefields of Desert Storm, but found themselves displaced and forgotten men when they came back to the States. Now, a year later, the opportunity of a lifetime suddenly drops in their laps. . . That is, if they don't mind tiptoeing on the dark side to make the score.

During a freak flood that causes havoc in the downtown business hub of Chicago, Linc and Rick put everything on the line as they execute a heist which they hope will put them on easy street for the rest of their lives. It involves a foolproof plan for grabbing what they believe is a cool million of the mob's money. But that's when things start to go terribly wrong.

As the Mafia calls in a specialist, nicknamed "The Regulator," to get back their property, the two ex-marines find that they not only have the bad boys of the outfit hot on their trail, but some pretty tough cops as well. It will take all their battle-tested skills just to escape with their lives, in an ultimate showdown that's guaranteed to make what they went through in Operation Desert Storm look like a cakewalk.”

According to the book description of Random Victim, “The case wasn’t just cold -- it was ice-cold. But the murder of Miriam Walker had a pretty high profile in the middle of a tough re-election campaign, so the Cook County sheriff assembled a task force to get results... and put Sergeant Frank Leal on it. Leal is still getting over the death of his partner and some wounds of his own, both emotional and physical, so working as part of a team might be tough.

It doesn’t help that a lot of people don’t really want the case solved…including Miriam Walker’s husband and the men he hired to take care of Miriam for him. Leal isn’t even sure he can trust the rest of the team, but he’s got a job to do, and he’s not going to quit until he finishes it…no matter who gets in his way.”

According to the book description of Melody of Vengeance, “Mighty Doc Atlas and his crew are about to embark on a quest to eradicate a mysterious masked vigilante known as The Wraith. But the kidnapping of a prominent newspaper magnate's daughter brings the governor knocking on Doc's door with a personal request to assist in the investigation. Soon, Doc finds the two cases strangely intertwined. Can anyone come out unscathed with the preeminent crime fighter of his day and the shadowy avenger of evil running on a collision course?”

A Killing Frost
Michael A. Black  More Info

Windy City Knights: A Ron Shade Novel
Michael A. Black  More Info

Five Star First Edition Mystery - The Heist (Five Star First Edition Mystery)
Michael A. Black  More Info

Five Star First Edition Mystery - Freeze Me, Tender (Five Star First Edition Mystery)
Michael A. Black  More Info

Tank: The M1A1 Abrams (High-Tech Military Weapons)
Michael A. Black  More Info

Volunteering to Help Kids (High Interest Books)
Michael A. Black  More Info

Random Victim (Leisure Fiction)
Michael A. Black  More Info

Melody of Vengeance (Doc Atlas Adventure) (Doc Atlas Adventure)
Michael A. Black  More Info

The Library Journal said of A Killing Frost, “Police officer and short story writer Michael A. Black likewise brings authenticity to A Killing Frost: A Ron Shade Novel. A search for a missing fiance, who turns up floating dead in a canal, leads Chicago PI Ron Shade into far more trouble than he bargained for in this assured debut in the classic hard-boiled tradition, which boasts blurbs from Sara Paretsky and Andrew Vachss.”

According to the book description of A Final Judgement, “Lawyers … Chicago Private Detective Ron Shade has a cop's inherent distrust of them, even though it's been years since he was relieved of his badge. Still, when his old friend, Rick Walters, who happens to be a member of the bar, needs help doing the legwork for a wrongful death lawsuit, Shade reluctantly agrees. Then he finds out they'll be going up against the preeminent attorney in Cook County, Mason Gilbert, and his famous detective associate, Big John Flood. The trial is in only three weeks and the first PI on the case committed suicide midway through. Or did he? As Shade begins, he's hot on the trail of something very elusive in a case like this: The truth. Then an opportunity he's been dreaming of suddenly materializes: a shot at the world heavyweight kickboxing championship. Finding himself up against some unbeatable opponents, Shade feels like he's been swept up in a maelstrom. And this time he finds out that the final judgment just might be death.”

About the Matteson Police Department

The Matteson Police Department operates with a staff of 41 sworn officers, a Chief Police and 10 full-time civilian employees.  The Department is organized into a patrol division, investigations division and specialized units.

According to the Matteson Police Department, police officers assigned the Patrol Division, “perform general duty work in the prevention of crime and enforcement of Federal, State and Local laws. Duties preformed are of average difficulty and include routine patrol for the purpose of preventing and detecting crime; enforcement of laws and making physical arrests; initial investigation; and detailed written reporting of all accidents, complaints, arrests or incidents. The position involves considerable public contact, preparation of thorough and complete written reports, reading comprehension, and public speaking.

The Investigations Division is responsible for the follow-up on most serious criminal matters, along with the arrest of offenders and subsequent court preparations for specific cases.

Detectives receive specialized training in crime scene investigation, interviewing, search and seizure law, juvenile law, and a variety of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, which investigates homicides and major crimes in the area. Investigations handle major crimes in which they investigate the most serious violent offenses such as homicide, robbery, sexual assault, and property crimes such as fraud or burglary.

According to the book description of Volunteering to Help Kids, “This series describes the benefits of volunteering through community service-learning programs. Students will learn how people from all walks of life can lend a helping hand while learning invaluable lessons in citizenship, a variety of academic subjects, and practical skills.”

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