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The Devil's Waters (A USAF Pararescue Thriller Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 409 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

A giant freighter in the Gulf of Aden holds secret cargo that could bring down the governments of four nations. When Somali pirates grab the ship, the order comes down: get the freighter back, at all costs.

Only one combat group is close enough to respond before the hijacked freighter reaches Somali waters: the elite US Air Force pararescue unit—the PJs—stationed in Djibouti. Though their mission is to save lives, and their oath is “That Others May Live,” the PJs are battle-tested. The team doesn’t hesitate because one of their own, Sgt. LB DiNardo, is already onboard the hijacked ship.

LB has three tasks: provide intel on the pirates, stay alive until the team arrives, and withstand the humiliation of breaking the PJs’ cardinal rule: Never be the one who needs rescuing.

At the head of the pirates is the shrewd and ruthless Yusuf Raage, a clan leader who will sacrifice anything and anyone to keep his captured ship. The PJs have a mere hour to take down the ship before the Air Force blows it up. Even if they survive the wrath of Yusuf Raage, more secrets and danger await them.

About the Author

David L. Robbins currently teaches advanced creative writing at VCU Honors College. His exceptional talent is displayed through ten action-packed novels, including the classic War of the Rats, Broken Jewel, The Betrayal Game, The Assassins Gallery, and Scorched Earth. An award-winning essayist and screenwriter, Robbins founded the James River Writers, an organization dedicated to supporting professional and aspiring writers. He also co- founded the Podium Foundation, which encourages artistic expression in Richmond’s high schools. Robbins extends his creative scope beyond fiction as an accomplished guitarist and student of jazz, pop, and Latin classical music. When he’s not writing, he’s often found sailing, shooting, weightlifting, and traveling the world. He lives in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1543 KB
  • Print Length: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (Nov. 13 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J2KTVQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,537 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Brett H HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 16 2013
Format: Paperback
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 normally 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 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 was 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just because there is a real Airforce Pararescue unit doesn't mean that it is automatically honourable, or interesting. The players were not compelling... I don't need attitude until after the deeds are done... just seemed a lazy approach to writing this story about this branch of the service.

I have read ultra gung ho stuff by supposed Seals and other Operators and some I've enjoyed but sometimes one has to set the stage in the first novel and not simply expect to be revered because you breathe in and out...

I have not deleted it but it has gone to the back of the waiting list... I do read 3-500 pages a day and have for 50 some years now and sometimes a writer has to earn attention... this one lost mine early.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c2b003c) out of 5 stars 768 reviews
72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c2bcbb8) out of 5 stars Two thumbs up from a former PJ Jan. 7 2013
By Matty Mo - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a PJ for thirteen years, and I enjoyed this book as an action thriller. My one gripe is that the book shows very little of the life saving skills we worked so hard for. Can we kill? Yes, but anybody can take a life. There is nothing special or unique about ending a life. In Somalia and other places around the world children are programmed (for lack of a better word)to kill. Saving a life is a much more difficult task, and I'm not ashamed to say that we PJs are the best at saving lives in combat and many times during peace time. I hope Mr. Robbins uses his next book as an opportunity to incorporate a PJs life saving skills and the lengths to which we will go to save a life. PJs have parachuted into the middle of a mine field to get another brother in arms to hospital knowing his chances were very slim due to blood loss. This is just one example of thousands of missions PJs endure. Please don't just talk about the bravery and killing skills, but the ingenuity of their rescuing skills. Who HALO jumps with "the jaws of life" strapped to their backs? PJs do, that's who.
I still really enjoyed this book, and hope civilians get a tiny glimpse of what PJs do. Let the SEALS get the glory and count news paper articles. We count lives saved.
88 of 95 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c2bce04) out of 5 stars That Others May Live Nov. 1 2012
By wogan - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I personally have one bias concerning books like this. I grew up in the military and if you count that along with my adult career, I have spent 58 years at various bases around the world - air force, navy and army. I have a huge appreciation for what the military does and an annoyance that civilians do not know the full extent of the service and hardships of these men and women and their families; although it has been much improved in the last few years.
So with that... I look at books like `the Devil's Waters' as serving a purpose more than entertainment - they help to educate. I am always happy to see a glossary of acronyms included,(for the civilian population) although it would be better in the front of the book.

The storyline concerns a ship carrying a mysterious cargo, hijacked by Somali pirates. This also gives some revelations about the world of these pirates. One excellent factor regarding the plot, is that it concerns a different type of weapon, an unusual secret and unique political dealings than in most other novels of this type and of course a military unit that most have no idea that it exists.
At times the pace is slow, especially for a military action style book. It takes 70 pages to get from the time of take off of a rescue unit to the landing zone - a 2 ½ hour flight. Then over a 100 pages are written regarding the fight to capture the ship, a 60 minute time period. Some of the structuring of the chapters can be confusing too. For example, chapter 47 ends, then 48 picks up at the end of chapter 46, so you have one scene completed and then the storyline returns to the beginning of the scene before.

The plot ends with an excellent explanation of why the government has given the orders it did and why the team was sent out on this mission. Too often, readers are left to guess politicians and military leader's reasoning for doing what they do. We are left with no doubt as to their logic - right or wrong as that might be.
This is an excellent book for the plot line and the actions of the characters within.
27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c24c1a4) out of 5 stars Predictable Action Thriller Dec 18 2012
By Kara J. Jorges - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
The Gulf of Aden is filled with action and intrigue when a member of a team of pararescue jumpers finds himself in hot water.

The PJs, also known as the Guardian Angels, know there's no such thing as a milk run, but they still let their guard down when they get a distress call from a container ship. There's been an accident, and two crewmen on the ship sustained serious injury. Even though PJs don't work alone, Sergeant LB DiNardo decides to stay alone on the ship when he sees just how bad their injuries are. Shortly thereafter, the ship is attacked and taken by pirates.

Yusuf Raage became a pirate by default, but the business has been good to him. He's ready to retire, but when an Arab sheik makes him an offer he can't refuse, he gets a band together to take one more ship. He and his brother-in-arms, Suleiman, have misgivings, but they're afraid for the safety of their village, so they attack the ship anyway.

The ship is carrying super-secret cargo that absolutely cannot fall into the wrong hands, and the United States is determined to either take the ship back, or sink it in deep water far from prying eyes. They send a small team of PJs to retake it and keep the cargo secret, and they've got a tight timeline. If they fail, they'll be blown up with the ship.

This book wins major points for showing the points of view of both the pirates and the American rescuers. The action scenes were very well written, evocative and filled with detail. The biggest issue I had with this book was predictability. Everything that happened was heralded by an explanation first, so there was no page-turning suspense. Either the bad or good guys would announce what they needed to do, and the next few chapters would consist of them following through with it. If the author could have somehow done away with that aspect, I would have been able to enjoy the book a lot more, but since I always knew exactly what was coming, I wasn't compelled to pick it up as often as I should have. The ending was also just a bit too pat, and felt unrealistic after the author had gone to so much trouble to be authentic until that point. That aside, this was a well-done action thriller. I would have just preferred that it contain a few surprises along the way.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c24c39c) out of 5 stars AN ENGAGING PAGE TURNER Jan. 2 2013
By Georgia Thriller Writer - Published on
Format: Paperback
The mark of a good thriller is whether it keeps me engaged and turning pages. THE DEVIL'S WATERS did exactly that. It gets five stars.

David L. Robbins has taken his considerable skills as a novelist and shifted them from dramas set primarily against WWII (e.g., WAR OF THE RATS, THE END OF WAR, LAST CITADEL) and moved them to a 21st century backdrop.

THE DEVIL'S WATERS is an imaginative adventure involving Air Force Pararescue Jumpers (PJs) and Somali pirates. It's high adventure with undertones of the War Against Terror and the old Cold War. The PJs, whose job is to save people, become reluctant combatants in an effort to retake a pirated container ship in the Gulf of Aden.

The ship, as we learn, harbors a warren of secrets; secrets so deep that the U.S. government is willing to destroy the vessel, PJs and all, unless the PJs can secure it.

The novel is a tale written from the viewpoints of a couple of the PJs and a Somali pirate. Thus, although I never found myself rooting for the Somali raiders, I certainly understood their motivation. Robbins fleshes them out quite nicely.

I suppose one could snipe about wanting a little more character development for the key PJs or about the (perhaps) over-the-top ending, but I won't quibble about those. As I said in the first paragraph, THE DEVIL'S WATERS is an engaging page turner.

If you're a fan of military thrillers chocked with suspense and action, I highly recommend THE DEVIL'S WATERS.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c24c51c) out of 5 stars well written thriller Jan. 16 2013
By Nick Brett - Published on
Format: Paperback
So...a bunch of Somali pirates hijack a ship that contains something that cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. The only US forces near enough are an elite parachute rescue team...

This could have easily been yet another Somali pirate throw away thriller, but actually it's not. I have no idea if the organisation actually exists as depicted here although I am aware there is a Rescue Squadron that has many of the same skill sets. It would have been nice to have understood how `real' the team depicted were.

But I did enjoy this, far more than I thought I would. Much of this is because the clichés are avoided and the realistic characters we meet. The Somali pirate leader has a personality, an ethos and is not a weed chewing nut job, the Parachute Jumpers (PJs) are guys who normally want to do good thrown into an environment where they will have to put aside what they believe in. The lead PJ is known by his nickname, LB and when he is thrown into a `die hard' type environment the author does not make him into a super-soldier, he lets him behave logically and in a way you can absolutely buy into. Perhaps the weakest character is a female scientist but that can be forgiven since the rest are so well rounded.

So, good stuff. If this is the first in a series, I'll be there in the queue for the next one.