Learjet 464 Juliet
by Bobby Wood
Runway Three Six Publishing

"People here have no mercy on Americans. Go back home. Forget the jet. I don't want to see you get hurt."

Investigating oil ventures on Columbia, South America acreage, American businessman Bobby Wood considered the possibility of acquiring impounded airplanes confiscated during incidents of drug trafficking. Wood's obsession with Learjets ultimately led him to the winged beauty affectionately monickered 464 Juliet. Veiled in mystery, all indications were the Learjet had been involved in a seemingly legitimate air rescue of a burn victim, then suddenly the plane and its passengers were detained as a result of connections with a notorious drug kingpin. Against the backdrop of the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, in a country where wealth and abject poverty exist side by side, Wood's story uncovers a shadowy world plagued by conspiracy and corruption, all ignited by "the business" that supplements many a Columbian income.

Wood presents a lengthy narrative which includes document translations, diary entries from the Learjet's original copilot, and an all important "providencia" which held the key to 464 Juliet's final release. Apropos, the information speaks volumes to mirror the mounting frustration, endless red tape, monumental bureaucracy, and life-threatening dangers the author faced throughout this retrieval ordeal. The preface of this well-crafted and aptly labeled nonfiction novel grabs our attention, making readers aware these are real life events. Written from a first person vantage point, the concept of "truth being stranger than fiction" clearly plays out within the pages of this enigmatic venture. With countless delays and subsequent payoffs, Wood reveals a Columbian culture where the "Manana Syndrome" reigns supreme. Here urgent matters happen "tomorrow," and everyone from the bottom to the top has their hand out. Here, money clearly talks.

In the final chapter, Wood takes readers on a much awaited ride. It seems a precarious flight that will rightfully prove a testament to faith (as Wood often looked to God in trying times), perseverance, and good old-fashioned determination. Such a prolific and candid literary journey will surely leave audiences cheering for Bobby Wood, the spirited 464 Juliet, and the freedom of the open blue skies.

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