Book One: Jungle Rules

In The Jungle Rules Trilogy, Carl Malinowski is a mercenary with a midlife crisis. After leading his team on a daring mission to capture Colombia’s most notorious drug lord, he is confronted with a choice between the life he has and the life he wants. In love with Gabriele, the girl of his dreams, Carl maintains a double life for as long as he can. Gabriele loves him, but she is carrying her own secrets. The chain of events set in motion by the jungle kidnapping causes Carl’s two lives to collide with devastating effect. Now alone, he learns that, along with the cartel, his own government is trying to kill him. Carl must go back to the jungle—to save a hostage, to save himself, and to preserve the dream of living an ordinary life at the side of the woman he loves. But first he and his men have to get out of the jungle alive!

“Once you pick up this book it will be difficult to put it down!”

“Stands up well alongside works by Clancy and Ludlum.”

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The Jungle Rules Trilogy Book by Paul Shemella

A Perfect Union by Paul Shemella book cover

Jungle Rules Trilogy

Book Two: A More Perfect Union

“Jungle Rules Trilogy”

  • Jungle Rules, A More Perfect Union (a sequel), and The Dictator’s Revenge (a prequel) constitute a trilogy of interlocking stories. Readers can begin with any of the three.
  • These are stories of transition, about people who start out as one thing and end up as something else.
  • And everyone plays by jungle rules.
  • Boston-bred Carl Malinowski starts out as a sailor, becomes a mercenary, and then settles down as a loving husband. He and Gabriele hide from cartel revenge at the beach in remote Southwest Florida.  Carl is fated to be a hero… and he later dies while saving hundreds of innocent people.                                    
  • German-born Gabriele Bach starts out as a scholar, becomes a wife… and then is forced to become a warrior. Even her name changes twice in the same tumultuous year.  Posing as the wife of his best friend, she avenges Carl’s murder… then stays with her undercover husband.
  • Jerry Tompkins starts out as a Wyoming cowboy, becomes a sailor, joins Carl as a soldier of fortune, evolves into a warrior-poet… and, finally, a husband. He and Gabriele begin as teammates, but they end up as soul mates.  They continue to worship Carl, long after they lose him.                                                                                                

Jungle Rules

  • The year is 1998. Carl Malinowski is a mercenary with a mid-life crisis.  He and his men have been executing risky missions in Latin America for five years.  After capturing Colombia’s most powerful drug lord, Carl meets Gabriele and begins to lose interest in soldiering.
  • But when an American ambassador is kidnapped by the cartel, Carl and his men are forced to return to the jungle. They find the hostage, but they also find that their own government is trying to kill them!  The mission ends with a riverine escape from drug traffickers, FARC guerrillas, and American stealth bombers.
  • Back home in Washington, he goes after the CIA conspirators who tried to silence him. Then he marries the woman he loves.  They move to a remote Florida beach where Carl will spend the rest of his life as a laid-back fishing guide.

A More Perfect Union

  • The year is 1999. This sequel begins with Carl Barnes and his wife, Gabriele, back in Washington, this time as tourists.  When American terrorists attempt to kill hundreds of people by bombing a museum, Carl loses his own life saving them all.  Gabriele is a broken widow.
  • Gabriele has nothing to live for except revenge. She agrees to go undercover, posing as a neo-Nazi zealot, in order to help the FBI bust the group suspected of murdering the love of her life.  She and Jerry Tompkins, playing the role of man and wife, penetrate the gang.  They find themselves trapped in a cauldron of hate.  The only escape is a footrace across the wilderness of sagebrush.
  • Before they can run, Jerry learns the group is planning something big. They stay in place to try and stop an attack that could kill a million Californians—almost certainly at the cost of their own lives.  With outside help from another of Carl’s teammates, they stop the attack and live to tell about it.
  • But all the FBI people who know about them are dead!

The Dictator’s Revenge

  • The trilogy flashes back to 1993. Manuel Noriega sits in a Miami prison.  Carl Malinowski is still an active duty SEAL, stationed in Panama.  A Canal pilot is kidnapped, and Panama’s government asks the US to help recover the hostage.  Carl is chosen to lead the mission, but under CIA command.  He calls on his three most trusted teammates to join him.
  • The team carries the million-dollar ransom to a remote island in the Gulf of Panama in order to buy back the prisoner. During the exchange, a gunfight breaks out and the pilot is wounded.  The kidnappers get away in a fast boat, burying themselves in the dense Darién rainforest.
  • The team finds and deals with the hostage-takers—only to learn that the kidnapping is the first phase of an elaborate plot to destroy the Panama Canal. Manuel Noriega has paid a Colombian drug lord to exact his revenge on both the governments that took him down.  Only Carl and his men stand in the way!


  • The mission completed, Carl leaves the Navy, recruited by the CIA to conduct risky missions downrange. He takes Jerry, Jose, and Billy Joe with him.  They perform brilliantly for five years.  Until the government turns on them… and the story begins again with Jungle Rules.