Law of the Jungle

Law of the Jungle : The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure

3.92 (65 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 11 business days
When will my order arrive?


Law of the Jungle by John Otis is a wild and riveting true story of kidnapping and drug trafficking in the jungles of South America. Written by a 20-year veteran reporter based in Colombia--the only reporter qualified to tell the tale--this incredible account of "The Hunt for Colombian Guerrillas, American Hostages, and Buried Treasure" tells the untold flip side of the story chronicled in the New York Times bestseller Out of Captivity. An amazing surreal-but-true adventure in the tradition of Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo and Blackhawk Down, Law of the Jungle is, at once, heroic, tragic, and bizarre, placing the Colombian hostage story in its full and magnificently strange context.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 579 pages
  • 152.4 x 220.98 x 35.56mm | 657.71g
  • Harperluxe
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • Plates, black and white
  • 0061945641
  • 9780061945649

Review quote

"An impossible-to-put-down read with as many twists and turns as a summer blockbuster.... 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....Fascinating."--Very Short List
show more

Back cover copy

"Truth be told, they were mostly in it for the money"

On February 13, 2003, a plane carrying three American military contractors on a recon patrol crash-landed in the jungle-covered mountains of Colombia. Within minutes, FARC guerrillas swarmed the wreckage and killed the American pilot and a Colombian crew member as they tried to escape. The survivors--Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell, and Thomas Howes--were marched at gunpoint into the rain forest. They would live in constant darkness under the jungle canopy as they faced starvation, fights with fellow hostages, and threats of execution--often with their necks shackled together.

The Colombian government sent 147 soldiers to rescue the Americans. Led by a bold yet corpulent lieutenant, the troops spent weeks subsisting on monkey meat and Amazon rodents as they chased the guerrillas deeper into the jungle. But then a soldier on a bathroom break stuck his machete into the ground and pulled out 20 million pesos, equaling $7,000. Pretty soon, the young, poor, and exhausted troops realized they had stumbled upon a buried rebel cache of $20 million. Within three days, the GIs burned through their newfound fortune, splurging on booze, sex, and flat-screen televisions. And though the money brought pleasure, for many of the soldiers it would end in criminal prosecution or even death by FARC hit men.

Law of the Jungle places the Colombian hostage story in its full context by exploring the inner workings of the FARC, the U.S.-backed war on drugs, and Colombia's efforts to free the rebel-held prisoners. John Otis, a veteran journalist on the Latin American beat, spins an edge-of-your-seat adventure narrative that offers a shocking cautionary tale about the pursuit of fortune in one of the world's most dangerous places.
show more

Rating details

65 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 31% (20)
4 38% (25)
3 25% (16)
2 5% (3)
1 2% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X