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Deadly Straits (A Tom Dugan Novel) [Kindle Edition]

R.E. McDermott
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When very part-time spook Tom Dugan becomes collateral damage in the War on Terror, he's not about to take it lying down.

Falsely implicated in a hijacking, he's offered a chance to clear himself by helping the CIA snare their real prey, Dugan's best friend, London ship owner Alex Kairouz. Reluctantly, Dugan agrees to go undercover in Alex's company, despite doubts about his friend's guilt. Once undercover, Dugan's steadfast refusal to accept Alex's guilt puts him at odds not only with his CIA superiors, but also with a beautiful British agent with whom he's romantically involved.

When a tanker is found adrift near Singapore with a dead crew, and another explodes in Panama as Alex lies near death after a suspicious suicide attempt, Dugan is framed for the attacks. Out of options, and convinced the attacks are prelude to an even more devastating assault, Dugan eludes capture to follow his last lead to Russia, only to be shanghaied as an 'advisor' to a Russian Spetsnaz unit on a suicide mission.

Deadly Straits is a non-stop thrill ride, from London streets, to the dry docks of Singapore, to the decks of the tankers that feed the world's thirst for oil, with stops along the way in Panama, Langley, Virginia, and Teheran. Richly spiced with detail from the author's 30 years sailing, building, and repairing ships worldwide, it is, in the words of one reviewer, "fast-paced, multilayered and gripping."


"An awesome book! It has a very Tom Clancy feel. Kudos to Mr. McDermott. Well done, Sir."
D. Bosshardt, Amazon - 5 Stars

"An absolute cracker of a thriller, quite simply on a par with Clancy et al. When I'd finished I wanted more! A terrific story superbly written.
'Tao" Amazon (UK) - 5 Stars

"A little Clancy, a bit of Ludlum, and a lot of Mr. McDermott!"
Libby Dunkin, Amazon - 5 Stars

"Move over WEB Griffin, Cussler, & Ludlum. Weaving together come-alive characters, McDermott takes us through an all too realistic plot involving oil tankers used to cause havoc to the worlds' shipping ... a page turner."
Bob Hopfe, Amazon - 5 Stars

"A brilliant thriller. I was quite surprised that this is a first novel. On par with high ranking thrillers. Action non-stop ...a great read."
Cheryl M-M, Amazon (UK) - 5 Stars

"In 1994 (Debt of Honor), Tom Clancy used a jumbo jet as a weapon ... it happened on 9/11. In 2011 R.E. McDermott published "Deadly Straits" where supertankers are used as terror weapons with deadly results. Let's hope we don't look back and say McDermott predicted that. This is a book of action and suspense, well written with multiple plots woven into one coherent whole. I've read several best-sellers that are legends in the genre and this book is as well done as any of them, if not better."
Stephen C. Lovely, Amazon - 5 Stars

"McDermott consistently gets it right. The captains, mates and engineers sound like captains, mates and engineers ... like visiting old friends. Tom Dugan - a skilled professional a bit rough around the edges - works well as the protagonist. Smart and educated, he also regularly gets grease under his nails, and moves easily between action and insight. A book even a thriller skeptic and ship geek can love. A gripping read - highly recommended."
Rick Spilman, The Old Salt Blog - 5 Stars

"In a book that takes no prisoners, McDermott tells a tale of high seas terrorism and tells it well. Go get this one, right now!"
Nancy, Cheryl's Book Nook - 5 Stars

"In 20 years at sea as mate and captain, I've been through the Panama Canal too many times to count, and through the Bosphorus and Malacca Straits as well. You nailed it. Yours was the first novel to convince me the author had been there too. Well Done."
Captain Dave Fath (via email)

About the Author

A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, R.E. McDermott spent thirty years in the marine industry, in positions from ship's officer to shipping company management. He's managed ship building projects in the U.S. and Far East, and currently splits his time between the U.S. and Singapore, where he maintains a marine consultancy, advising clients on ship construction, operations, and engineering matters. DEADLY STRAITS is his first novel. Visit him at

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 862 KB
  • Print Length: 415 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: R.E. McDermott (Dec 9 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057AMO2A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Detail and Intrigue Sept. 6 2015
By Debra Purdy Kong TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Ship inspector Tom Dugan is worried about his friend, shipping magnate Alex Kairouz who’s been acting strangely. Alex denies that anything is wrong but intelligence agent Jesse Ward tells Tom otherwise. Alex is associating with some pretty nasty men, a relationship that leads to an act of terrorism with tragic consequences. Despite the evidence against Alex, Tom is convinced he’s innocent, and therefore agrees to assist American and British authorities to figure out what’s truly going on. It’s not an easy task. Tom has no experience with undercover work and the obstacles are increasingly dangerous.

Deadly Straits is a complex thriller that will be especially interesting to those interested in a ship’s operation. There’s a lot of technical detail in the book about the mechanical and engineering aspects of a tanker, especially when things go wrong. The bad guys could have been fleshed out a little more as two of the key players had had no redeeming qualities at all. As with most thrillers, many characters from different countries are thrown into the mix, so all the names were confusing until I eventually sorted them out.

While shipping buffs will revel in the detail, laymen like me will find it difficult to follow. Too many chapters were unnecessarily short, breaking in mid-scene which made it easy to put the book down. On the whole, though, I really liked the story, which is why I’m giving it four stars. Tom Dugan’s a great character worth revisiting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best with All the Rest! May 30 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok I am a voracious reader, reading a couple of books a month, some ok, some not so good, some really good. Then there is this one. This is right up there with all the best action/mystery writers. I enjoy action/mystery and this met all my criteria. I was glued to the book from start to finish. It had me sitting on the edge of my seat! The Characters were excellent. I especially liked because of the flow line how fast you got to know the characters. Well done, Mr. McDermott. I will be reading a lot of your books if they are as well written and fast moving as this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super engaging thriller Jan. 7 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read all Robert Ludlum books. Likewise I was glued to this thriller and myself reading until the wee hours in the morning. I read Deadly Strait and deadly crossing with gusto. I now fancy this great author. I am desirous to read all his other books. Great writing with semblance of reality is what hooks me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Sept. 25 2012
Excellent first novel. The author captures your attention in the first chapter and holds you in suspense to the last page. A very good read if you like suspense and action!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Deadly Straits Aug. 5 2015
By Colin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good read, held my attention start to finish!

Very good read, held my attention start to finish! Well done.
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