If Kayleigh Westervelt knew she would be kidnapped on a Rocky Mountains eco-tour and her father’s Presidential campaign jeopardized, she wouldn’t have take the vacation. If Nicole Arrington could imagine being shot while on an eco-tour of the Three Rivers World Heritage Site in China, she would have taken her summer break in the States. Had Marcos Morales known he would become a hostage of the Shuar, legendary headhunters of the Amazon, he would not have pursued a romantic evening with Y’ti at an exclusive eco-lodge.
But again, these college students could not have imagined the persistence of environmental activists in fighting the power of entrenched lobbyists who denigrate America’s heritage of natural resources for personal wealth and power. Nor could they imagine these guerilla activists would seek to reverse adverse political decisions that were damaging ecosystems in their countries by using them as ransom.
The kidnappers demand action within three days or the victims will suffer the consequences. Vice-President Phillip Westervelt must determine how to meet hostage demands of activists who kidnapped his only child without violating United States policy forbidding the government from negotiating with terrorists. In the three days that Phillip has to resolve the ransom demands he discovers a gruesome secret that threatens his marriage, is drawn to the arms of a former lover, and skirts the maze of bureaucratic regulations that hinders his ability to rescue his daughter, Kayleigh. He learns that Jozina Morales’ son, Marcos, has also been taken hostage by these rogue activists while touring Ecuador. Jozina is the senior staffer on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Both parents receive ransom demands requiring governmental action to save their children. Meeting the demands to fund environmental programs and reduce pollution is almost impossible given the grip that lobbyists have on Washington, D.C.
As their parents plot to save their children, Kayleigh struggles to survive abusive treatment by her kidnapper in the Colorado wilderness. Marcos is a prisoner of the Shuar in the untraceable expanse of the Amazon basin where he is exposed to the tribal ways of these legendary headhunters and drawn to their cause to save their ancestral homeland. Will they survive?
“He did it again, but this time in an environmental thriller that takes place around the globe in China, Equador, and Colorado, USA. A group of environmentalists kidnap the children of U.S. government officials and make demands to the U.S. Government regarding funding for environmental issues. Will the government meet the demands? And if they do, is it a cop-out? Does the U.S. government negotiate with environmental terrorists? Coalson brings up some interesting issues in this compelling and fast read.” Cynthia Massey, award-winning author and WILLA Literary Award Finalist for Original Softcover Novel
Les Coalson uses his master’s degrees in natural resources development and in business administration to blend suspense with environmental fiction. RANSOMED EARTH is his third such novel. He has been a freelance magazine contributor, authored his own outdoors column, and managed recreation and park programs at U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force installations in addition to his own business.