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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
No spoilers here & one useful tip (in my opinion).

What a great book.

I picked this book up as the Kindle Daily Deal. It's worth paying full price for it. I must admit that I have to restrict the temptation to buy any Daily Deal that lies within my field of interest so I downloaded the free preview before buying and was not impressed - some of the prose seemed a little amateur (I am embarrassed to say that having read the book subsequently - I was wrong). But I bought it anyway as the pirate topic interests me.

I found the book interesting and, regarding piracy, educational (for example, the defences that shipping companies have taken against piracy recently). I found it hard to put down and read it in four days. I haven't done that with a book for a while now - it's the acid test for a good book. It reminded me of reading a Tom Clancy book - praise indeed.

The author mentions the research that he carried out in the Acknowledgements (accessible via the Table of Contents) and it really shows in the quality of the book. The author remarks that he interviewed/spent time with pararescuers in Long Island and Djibouti, and spent two weeks on a cargo ship between Malta & Dubai.

One tip: the book uses military terms, i.e. there are lots of acronyms. There is a Glossary at the end of the book, accessible via 'Go To'/'Table of Contents'. I was foolish enough to just Google the acronyms - some of them are relatively obscure so a Google search doesn't always yield an immediate hit. I wish I had thought of checking for a Glossary.

Fast-moving action on a novel topic. I SO enjoyed this book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2013
This was an outstanding thriller that brought the problem of pirates and hostage rescue to light. Its description of the military actions seemed very realistic and quite plausible. A very good read which I would be happy to recommend.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2013
Fast-paced yet carefully written, knowledgable yet not too geeky, unputdownable yet fulfilling. Can we have more parajumper stories please Mr Robbins?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 April 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When Somali pirates hijack a freighter in the Gulf of Aden they picked the wrong ship - it is carrying a cargo so secret that it could bring down the Governments of four nations. Only one person on board knows what it is - Sergeant LB DiNardo of the Army Pararescue Service, an elite unit of the US Special Forces. Given the urgency of the task, the nearest US force in the area is the Army Pararescue Service (known as PJ's), based in Djibouti and they are tasked with parachuting onto the ship under cover of darkness and rescuing LB, the crew and the ship and to terminate "with extreme prejudice" the pirates. LB provides intelligence on the pirates, particularly their clever and ruthless leader Yusuf Raage. While the mission goes against their ethos which is to save lives, both military and civilian, not take them, LB is one of their own. They are under no illusion that if the rescue attempt fails they must ensure that the freighter does not make it into port - they have one hour to achieve their goal otherwise the US Air Force will blow up the ship sending it, them and the precious cargo to the ocean floor.

I can't say that this was one of the easiest books I have ever read, though the storyline is compelling, with plenty of action, twists and turns and it is obviously very well researched. There are many acronyms and technicalities which, for me, disrupted the flow of the book while I found out what it all meant. I had not heard of the PJ's previously and having "googled" them was amazed at their role - they are, quite simply, heroic individuals. I look forward to reading more of David L Robbins books about this elite unit and hopefully will find the technical aspects and terminology less testing next time round.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Devil's Waters is an action packed adventure which does not take long to get into its stride, and keeps the reader's interest right the way through. A cargo ship is captured by Somali pirates, and the PJs (Pararescue Jumpers) are sent in to recapture it. This is well outside of their normal field of operation as they are a group who deal with humanitarian missions.

This is an interesting story where nothing is as it seems. There is the mystery as to why everyone is so interested in this particular ship and its cargo, and a fair degree of international diplomatic intrigue with many different groups with their finger in this particular pie. The truth is gradually unravelled as the story progresses, but it is really a case of wheels within wheels with nothing being as it seems.

Initially there is a distinct danger of the reader being drowned in a sea of acronyms, and whilst the torrent eases off there are still plenty of them throughout this book. When I got to the end I discovered a glossary which actually explained what they all meant which was useful as it is not intuitively obvious, for example, what NVGs or an RAMZ are. It would have been even more useful if I had found this at the outset so I would recommend that anyone who is planning to read this book does keep an eye on the glossary as it will add to the story.

Overall this was an enjoyable read which I would recommend. It builds to an exciting climax and I was initially surprised that after things were apparently resolved there were a significant number of pages left. However, there is plenty of interest right to the end as the apparent conundrum is eventually explained. This is a cleverly plotted and well written tale.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 1 November 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
David L Robbins latest book is undoubtedly his best, his research has been thorough and widespread, spending time amongst the forces personnel and in the locations of which he writes.
He tells a topical story of a container vessel, with a top secret cargo, hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and being steered towards Qandala, the pirates village on the Somalia coast line where it will be held for ransom.
A unit of the United States Army Pararescue Service stationed at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, are the closest to the scene and they are tasked by High Command to parachute onto the ship under cover of darkness and if possible rescue the hostage crew and kill the pirates, especially the chief, Yusuf Raage, with extreme prejudice.
Whatever the outcome of the rescue attempt, the ship will not be left under the control of the pirates, it has to be sunk in deep water in order to conceal the nature of the cargo it carries.
The story switches between the group of P-Js,-Pararescue jumpers whose motto is dedicated to saving lives and who are now being ordered to take them. Their close knit relationships and the camaraderie they share are integral to the story. The Somali pirate Yusuf Raage, leader of his small village tribe, existing in a poverty stricken, war-torn, lawless land and seeking to enrich their lives in the only way he knows how.
David Robbins doesn't seek to demonise the pirates, he shows some instances of their lives and their faith, before the hijack brings together the two sets of combatants, fighting for their own individual values.
Well worth reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2013
One of the best and most thrilling sea borne action thrillers I've read for a while. 'The Devils Waters' was one of these 'can't put down until finished books' which is just as well I'm on holiday.

A finely crafted thunderous blast of reading enjoyment brought to life by a close knit group of Combat Search & Rescue Specialist's who show no fear and send themselves into harms way with only one concern to save the lives of others from danger and medical injury in the field of battle.

The author has keenly researched the integrity and strength of specialist pararescue and in turn gives the reader a cracking insight into this 'Band of Brothers' who carries a pack load of life saving supplies into battle!

As too the book - it's brilliant, great to read and uses the background of a modern possible conflict as its backdrop. The safety switches are unlocked, the flashbangs are thrown in and your flung into an explosive thriller with a knife edge of action to keep you glued to the last page!

I liked this book as the author selected a specialist group and gave me an insight into their background and tradition with this Tour of Duty of Combat Search and Rescue. A superb read and great value as well.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'd not heard of David Robbins before, and I have to admit that from the blurb I was expecting some rather disposable gung-ho nonsense - I hasten to add that I was pleasantly surprised!

At first I assumed that Robbins must be ex-Forces, as he writes as if he really knows both the technology and the people, but it turns out he's a professional writer who just does his research really thoroughly, and it certainly pays off. The plot is detailed and credible and he clearly understands what he is writing about. More importantly, he sketches believable characters who aren't stereotypical cardboard cut-outs; there is a degree of depth and character development both among the good guys and the bad guys, which makes a refreshing change for this type of novel. Even his dialogue (a common failing in the techno-thriller genre) is well-written and believable.

The book is perhaps slightly slower-paced than some thrillers, but not to the point that it drags, and it's a thoroughly entertaining read. It reminded me very much of early Tom Clancy - albeit if anything slightly better written - and that's no bad thing. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2013
An exciting and an interesting book in reasonably equal measure. Probably a first to be based on the PJ' s as a subject of thriller fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyable book...so why only 4 stars? A little too full of unexplained jargon and military in-lingo, led to the loss of understanding of some crucial points. This affected the impetus at times. And yes I do know there is a Glossary...but not every phrase is in there and who wants to keep looking things up? Also, I couldn't really get my head around that this was PJ rescue outfit. It could just have easily been about any "special forces" team, a lot of the time.

That said I learned a lot about these clearly unsung heroes, and when all is said and done this is a good book, exciting, well researched and competently stitched together with good dialogue and characters you care about. Just a bit more of the 'rescue' side of things please, as I suspect this is ever bit as thrilling as killing!! So Mr Robbins, let us have no.2 please... :-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My initial reaction to this book was "Tom Clancy Lite". I don't mean that as an insult, I've enjoyed many Clancy novels over the years - even if their exhaustive detail can lead to books of intimidating girth.

By comparison Robbins has trimmed back some of the detail and kept to a fairly small number of characters, making for a far more approachable read. The characters and situations are established quickly, efficiently and convincingly while the plot hums along nicely, without ever getting too outlandish or disintegrating into cliché. I never found it to be truly surprising - but it was never dull either.

Criticisms? Well I did find the characters a little two dimensional and lacking personality, which prevented me from engaging with them completely (and it's this that loses it a star), they always felt like characters, rather than real people. But it was for the most part even handed in it's portrayal of those in the story and I never got bored. Overall, good but not amazing.
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