Jungle Rules:A thriller about Drugs and Thugs

The novel Jungle Rules begins with Carl Malinowski and his team, on contract to the CIA, capturing Colombia’s most dangerous drug lord, Jorge Mena Velasquez. The year is 1998. Unbeknownst to Carl, the kidnapping is part of his government’s strategy to frame Colombia’s president for his drug connections, and to destroy that country’s two largest drug cartels. Before the strategy can produce those results, the American ambassador to Colombia, Robert Harding, is kidnapped in retaliation for Carl’s body snatch operation. The cartel proposes a trade: Mena for Harding. Carl and his men must go back to the jungle to free the ambassador. They team up with elements of the Colombian Marine Corps and begin searching along the Putumayo River, Colombia’s southern border. They locate the hostage, but the rescue is complicated by long distances, remote terrain, and a cocaine economy. Cartel thugs and guerrilla fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are trying to kill them, but Carl’s team is horrified to learn that the American government also wants them dead. There are thugs at both ends of this operation: Colombia and Washington.
Book two (A More Perfect Union) is about thugs of a different kind. One year after what became known as “Colombia-gate”, Carl is killed while saving hundreds of tourists from a pipe bomb placed in the Air and Space Museum by a group of white supremacist thugs. Taking responsibility for the attempted bombing, a shadowy group calling itself DEFCON One vows to split America into two countries, one pure white, the other for everybody else. Lacking a “domestic terrorism” law, the FBI needs more evidence to arrest the suspects. Carl’s widow, Gabriele, and his second-in-command, Jerry Tompkins, agree to penetrate the putative terrorist group. She poses as a neo-Nazi; he as a combat veteran who survived the CIA plot to kill his team. For Gabriele, it is an act of retribution; for Jerry, it is not only about revenge. He must protect his martyred friend’s wife. As they work toward destroying the white nationalist terrorist cell, Gabriele becomes the warrior she never wanted to be. After the ordeal, Jerry emerges as the scholar he never had time to be. To the surprise of both, they stay together as man and wife.
The third book in the trilogy (Revenge of the Dictator) starts with a very big drug trafficking thug: Manuel Noriega. The year is 1993. From his prison cell in Miami, Noriega offers the Mena drug cartel a huge sum of money to exact revenge against the government thugs of the United States and Panama. Acting through a radical priest, Noriega strikes a deal that will require the cartel to destroy the Panama Canal. The cartel’s first act is to kidnap a canal pilot and hold him for ransom. Panama asks the US government to help them get the pilot back. Carl Malinowski, still in the Navy, is tasked to resolve the hostage situation. He is seconded to the CIA and leads his team on a mission to retrieve the pilot. But that is just the first in a fast sequence of missions that draws them closer to the plot against the canal. Before they’re finished, the team faces FARC guerrillas and Al Qaeda terrorists in a race to save the strategic waterway. After the operation, Carl retires from the Navy and becomes a soldier of fortune.  For the next five years, he will lead the same small band of retired Navy SEALs on risky covert missions for the agency.  Until the CIA turns on them…

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