A first-rate real-life-and thrilling-adventure story

It’s nice to be reminded that real life can occasionally surpass Hollywood when it comes to riveting adventure stories. Take, for example, the new book Law of the Jungle: The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure by John Otis (available 2/23): It’s an impossible-to-put-down read with as many twists and turns as a summer blockbuster.

In February 2003, American military contractors Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell and Thomas Howes were taken at gunpoint into a Colombian rainforest after their small plane crashed into FARC guerilla territory. Otis, a journalist who has worked in Latin America for more than 20 years, skillfully weaves this incredible tale of attempted—and eventually successful—rescue by Colombian soldiers (the first group dispatched gets, shall we say, distracted after finding a hidden stash of cash) with fascinating Colombian history and the U.S.-backed war on drugs.

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