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on 4 May 2017
Good characterisation, scenic descriptions and plot, too many acronyms needing frequent dips into the glossary ruining the flow of reading sometimes. For military action aficionados.
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on 15 March 2017
Edge of the seat stuff. Authentic action with twists and turns that keep you guessing until the last page. Highly recommended.
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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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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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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 16 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine 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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VINE VOICEon 20 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine 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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VINE VOICEon 1 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine 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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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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Format: Paperback|Vine 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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on 23 April 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is S.A.M. here on the down low; let's meet at the LZ, Stat. Does that make any sense to you? If not, then best avoid `The Devil's Waters' by David L. Robbins, as this is a book that will stretch your knowledge of military jargon, to the point where a glossary is included to help. I for one do not mind the use of language that in keeping with the characters, and when these characters are a special unit who are sent in to handle a tricky situation with some pirates, it sounds about right. Robbins creates some very realistic feeling military characters, all bluster and professionalism, but also a little daft at times.

The issue with the book is not the authenticity of the military characters, but in the other part of this two handed book. As well as seeing the action from the POV of the US Air Force, you also get a glimpse into the tribalism of being a Somali Pirate. It is these elements that don't ring true to me; they seem almost blasé and cliché in nature. Has Robbins done as much research with pirate groups as he did the Air Force? If he did, this has not some across on the page and you get a book that feels half authentic and half fake.

The lack of realism would be no issue at all if Robbins was not adept at writing military fiction. The clash between what feels real and what feels fake is made more obvious by the quality of half of the writing. The action is intense and you get the sensation of being there, it is just a shame that in other parts of the book you feel you are reading a bunch of undercooked stereotypes.
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