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Saving Laura

Saving Laura

Aspen, Colorado, 1979. Twenty-one-year-old Lee Shelby robs the town's most notorious cocaine dealer, Tom Tucker, fleeing the scene with five kilos of Peruvian flake and $75,000.

Shelby escapes to the sagebrush hills of southwestern Wyoming, hoping to disappear into the wilderness until after the furor dies down. Then he plans to return and wrest his old girlfriend, Laura, from Tucker's clutches. Shelby's half-baked scheme goes awry when a chance encounter with a teenage Bonnie and Clyde implicates him in a roadside shootout with the highway patrol.

Shelby evades local and state police, returning to Aspen only weeks after the robbery. He quickly reunites with Laura, on the run herself after surviving a brutal assault at the hands of Tucker who has determined her old beau is behind his recent loss.

Shelby's simple plan is complicated by an unscrupulous DEA agent, Clyde Blackwood, who is willing to sacrifice Laura to make his case. In the inevitable showdown, can Shelby outwit Tucker and Blackwood, who both underestimate him and his love for Laura?

Read a Q&A with Jim about Saving Laura

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"Set in 1979, this appealing thriller from Satterfield (The River's Song) tracks the efforts of 21-year-old Bobby Lee Shelby to save his sweetheart, Laura, from a malevolent drug lord. The polite, soft-spoken Shelby is in immediate jeopardy. Not only has he just stolen $75,000 and 11 pounds of cocaine from Laura's captor—Aspen, Colo.'s leading cocaine dealer—but he has made himself a wanted man by inadvertently becoming involved with two gun-happy teenagers. Shelby hides out in his family's remote cabin and utilizes his survivalist skills to keep ahead of the law. A colorful and reclusive neighbor who thumbs his nose at the law and a well-known writer whom Shelby encounters help him formulate a rescue plan. Shelby's journey through the rural West is a heroic quest in which all his noble qualities come to the fore. As an undercover DEA operative says to him with grudging respect, 'Just don't go thinkin' you're the fucking Lone Ranger.' But of course he does."
   —Publishers Weekly

Wildlife biologist Satterfield's second novel, following The River's Song (2012), pits a 1970s college grad against a powerful Colorado cocaine dealer. When Lee Shelby maced Tom Tucker and stole a bag of money and drugs from Tucker's Mercedes, Shelby thought he'd be able to trade it in exchange for his ex-girlfriend Laura—currently living with Tucker to feed her cocaine addiction. His plan hits a snag almost immediately when the young couple he hitches a ride with shoots a highway patrolman. Shelby's now wanted by the cops and the robbers. He crisscrosses his way across Colorado and Wyoming, hiding in flatbeds and flying in unlicensed prop planes, determined to rescue his girl. Shelby is misguided, but his good instincts about whom to trust balance his wet-behind-the-ears shortsightedness. Fans of C. J. Box's mysteries in the American West will appreciate Satterfield's feel for the landscape.

"A riveting, rapid paced, and well-written mystery thriller.
Shelby Lee, continues to have feelings for his ex-girlfriend Laura. After leaving Shelby, Laura gets involved with a drug kingpin, Tom Tucker, who was in the middle of a big drug deal. Shelby steps in and spoils the drug transaction by taking Tucker's five kilos of cocaine and $75,000 dollars, hoping to use it as a bargaining chip to get Laura back and help clean up her drug addiction.
After the robbery, Shelby needs to get out of town and meets up with a couple who is on the run from the law. They end up in a shootout along the highway that leaves one officer dead and another seriously wounded. Shelby becomes a person of interest with local law enforcement and is hunted. He is also being watched by the DEA because of the drug transaction that went bad.
After hiding at his dad's small cabin in the hills around Aspen, Colorado and dodging the law, he is able to return and find Laura who is also running from Tuckers gang, trying to find her own way. Together, with the help of a famous local author, a dog named 'JAWS,' and a ruthless DEA Agent, they are able to challenge Tucker and his desire to get his cocaine back and use Laura again as his drug addicted mistress.
The story twists and turns and will keep you turning the pages with interest; that includes a group of strong and committed characters."
   —Suspense Magazine

"Aspen's notorious drug dealer is robbed of five kilos of Peruvian flake and $75,000 in cash. Nobody does that and lives to tell the tale. Twenty-one year-old Lee Shelby foolishly pulled off the heist. He's still breathing and wants to stay that way. Not that he wanted the drugs or the money. His goal is to save Laura!
Laura had been his girlfriend and when he couldn't commit to a closer relationship, she moved on and fell under the spell of said drug dealer. Before long, she was hooked on cocaine. Lee's goal with the theft is to trade the flake money for Laura. But before that can happen, Laura practically crawls to Lee after being severely beaten by the dealer.
So now we have the basis for this thoroughly enjoyable tale of drugs, mayhem, rescue, flight, a guard dog, a helping hand, and undying love. Lee meets some very interesting characters while escaping his inevitable fate if the dealer gets his hands on him. An author befriends him and offers all kinds of help. He ends up in a hand-made one-engine plane with a pilot who has never had a lesson or a license! That's a flight to have you kissing the ground afterward and to forever keep you there.
For a really fun read, don't miss Saving Laura by Jim Satterfield."

Oceanview Publishing, Hardcover, June 2013, ISBN: 9781608090785