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On October 25, 2011, 32 year-old American humanitarian aid worker Jessica Buchanan and a male colleague were kidnapped at gunpoint and held for ransom by an organized band of Somali pirates. For the next three months, Jessica was terrorized by more than two dozen gangsters, held outdoors in filthy conditions, and kept on a starvation diet while her health steadily deteriorated. Negotiations for ransom dragged on, and as the ordeal stretched into its third month, the captors grew increasingly impatient.

Every terrifying moment Jessica spent suffering in captivity was matched by that of her adoring husband working behind the scenes to deal with her captors. After ninety-three days of fruitless negotiations, and with Jessica’s medical state becoming a life and death issue, President Barack Obama ordered Navy SEAL Team Six to attempt a rescue operation.

On January 25, 2012, just before the President delivered his State of the Union speech, the team of twenty-four SEALs, under the cover of darkness, attacked the heavily armed hostiles. They killed all nine with no harm to the hostages, who were quickly airlifted out on a military rescue helicopter.

In riveting detail, IMPOSSIBLE ODDS details Jessica and Erik’s mutual journey during those torturous months. Together they relate the events prior to the kidnapping, the drama of Jessica’s fight to stay alive, and Erik’s efforts to bolster and support the hunt for her while he acted as liaison between their two families, the FBI, professional hostage negotiators, and the United States Government.



“Jessica Buchanan was selflessly serving her fellow human beings when she was taken hostage by criminals and pirates who showed no regard for her health and well-being. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to bring their captors to justice.”
—President Barack Obama


Anthony Flacco is an author of five nonfiction books and three historical novels, all released by major publishers. He holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. He was selected for the Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Fellowship, and spent a year writing for the Touchstone Pictures division.

His first nonfiction book, A CHECKLIST FOR MURDER, was acquired in auction by Dell Books and turned in solid sales. Anthony adapted his book as a two-hour television movie script and sold it to NBC Studios for a movie of the week.

He completed his nonfiction book TINY DANCER for St. Martin’s Press, and the advance copy was selected by Reader’s Digest as their Editor’s Choice for August, 2005 — their 1,000th Commemorative Issue. The Kansas City Star named Tiny Dancer “one of the 100 Most Noteworthy Books of 2005.” The book is an international bestseller in Italy (Piemme) with sales to date of over 300,000 in that country alone.

His debut novel, THE LAST NIGHTINGALE (Ballantine) was released to acclaimed reviews including a NYT rave, and was nominated by the International Thriller Writers Association as one of the top five original paperback thrillers for 2007.

THE ROAD OUT OF HELL: Sanford Clark and the True Story of the Wineville Murders (Union Square/Sterling, Nov. 2009) is based on one of the most heinous serial killers of the 20th Century, Gordon Stewart Northcott, which is the crime inspiration for the film CHANGELING. Winner of the USA Books News 2009 Best True Crime Award

IMPOSSIBLE ODDS: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six (Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, May 14, 2013). He is adapting the book for a feature film script.

PUBLISH YOUR NONFICTION BOOK (Writer’s Digest Books) and LITERARY FAILS were co-authored with Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary Management.

IN THE MATTER OF NIKOLA TESLA: A Romance of the Mind, is available as an E-Book from Diversion Books everywhere e-books are sold.