In the tradition of Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and W.E.B. Griffin, R. E. McDermott delivers a thriller to rival the masters.
When marine engineer and 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 nonstop 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."
©2011 R. E. McDermott (P)2012 R. E. McDermott
Retired in Cornwall.
Time well spent. Really enjoyed this book and the other two in the series. Good characters, well researched locations and nicely guaged action. I'll be looking for more from Mr McDermott.
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
A debut novel from a self-published author. Always interesting territory and in this case it brings a decent reward for the time invested. Initially when I read the blurb for this one it sounded just a little out there to me. For some reason I imagined this Dugan character as being some shipping world version of James Bond. Luckily for us readers McDermott never falls into the traps of investing his lead with unlikely powers or making him another ultra-smug super character constantly out-thinking the others. Instead we have an author that likes to build fairly large casts of characters and allow each one of them to own their part of the plot which adds greatly to the realism.
What also adds to the realism is his undoubted expertise in maritime practices born of thirty years real world experience. Again McDermott avoids the pitfall of overdoing the technical detail and while the plot is made fairly convincing by the depth of his knowledge it is rarely allowed to bog the book down. As a result the book moves at a very decent pace and there is plenty of action to get stuck into. The narration is smooth and Todd Haberkorn rises manfully to the challenge of the culturally diverse characters. For us Brits one or two Americanisms do creep in but by and large it’s a fine performance will well delineated characters.
As mentioned above there is a large cast and fairly complex plot so not one to listen to while distracted for sure. That cast is well looked after though and all the loose ends are neatly tied up and the characters each tended through to their own personal endings. I did actually receive a free copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for a fair review. I feel like I’ve ripped him off as a result so I will in the future proceed to buy the rest of the series and surely there is no more genuine recommendation than that?
"A must read Suspense Thriller!"
I have just completed "The Eye of the Tiger" and I consider "Deadly Straits" to be far more engaging.Deadly Straits is right at the top of our list of audiobooks. I am legally blind and audiobooks are necessary, therefore and needless to say, I have listened to quite a few. My wife enjoys soaking in the bathtub, listening to audiobooks and she, also, thoroughly enjoyed "Deadly Straits".
The plot is never bogged down and keeps moving. It also keeps one guessing and has surprising twists and turns. I was pleasantly surprised as I usually surmise what will happen long before it does happen.
One of my favorite parts was when they figured out who the true culprit was on the ship
For the first time since reading the first couple of novels of W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy, I actually enjoyed every aspect of this book and waited for the next sentence. For me personally, it is the first time in over 10 years that my interest was keep totally captivated until the end of the novel.
I am a person who stays very busy on complex issues of crime, deception and skulduggery. I was not prepared for the final scene but I was thoroughly captivated and impressed by the final scene. It has been a long time coming that we find a writer capable of challenging the likes of Clancy or Griffin. I am impatiently waiting for Mr. McDermott's other books to become available on audiobooks. And, to all suspense/thriller novelists and enthusiasts - Beware! R.E. McDermott HAS arrived.
"Kept me clamped to my Audible iPhone app"
I received this audiobook from the author, R.E. McDermott, as I have begun participating in a GoodReads group - AudioBooks. I read/listen constantly, so a new book from an author new to me is truly a treat.
This book did not disappoint, not one bit. I've read/listen to the entire Patrick O'Brian series so I am familiar to a small degree with the intricacies of mystery-thrillers cast upon a sea. The technical exposition McDermott uses brings what might be mundane to some, alive and exciting to the reader/listener. I was enthralled. Having the time, I read the book almost non-stop. (Using the Audible.com iPhone app you can set a book to play for x minutes and stop. At 4 am, I simply had to stop resetting the timer and get some sleep.)
McDermott's characters are drawn richly. The plots are multiple and multi-layered. The author draws from current day geo-political themes much in the same way as a Clancy techno-military thriller does. Tom Dugan, the main protagonist, is compelling in his knowledge of shipping and ships; and how to use that knowledge as a weapon. Dugan's many antagonists are portrayed as heinous, uncaring beings, easy to despise.
I cannot wait to read the next in the series - Deadly Coast.
One caution, this is my first listen of Todd Haberkorn as Narrator. I was unfamiliar with his style and pacing. As the book progressed, I appreciated his initial low-key delivery, which became increasingly passionate as the plot developed. Don't be put off by his initial, under-played characterizations. He helps build tension adroitly as the plot develops and has a nice range of voices with which to paint McDermott's vivid characters.
"Good Writer - Needs Editor"
This is a wonderful story that really needs an editor. I read and listen to dozens of books a year and I had a hard time keeping track of the veritable army of characters performing in myriad scenarios. This work demonstrates, as nothing else I've read does, the job of the literary editor. With an editor and another couple of rewrites this could be a great book.
"First novel? Amazing! Run to get it!"
Wow, what's not to love about Deadly Straits? Deadly Straits is a--suspense--gripping--non-stop--thriller that spans Singapore to Panama. It's about Tom Dugan, a hero falsely accused of hijacking that is forced to go undercover to find who the real culprit is, who happens to be his best friend. It's non-stop action that is reminiscent of Robert Ludlum's books.
I can't believe this is a first book! Again, McDermott's book is like the Ludlum series and a little bit like Clancy.
I'm fascinated by Panama, and Mcdermott's sections about all the boat action really made the vision come alive for me.
I received this audio book in exchange for an unbiased review via Audible.
Really enjoyed this maritime adventure. A little hard to keep straight with the characters, so many of them; but the narrator's diversity of ascents was helpful and very well done.
Will definitely recommend.
Timely, gripping,unnerving.keeps you stuck to the spot. Bond-type movie.Harrison Ford? Brad Pitt? A young Sean Connery?
"Narration Troubles for Me"
I had to turn this audiobook back in. I will keep the eBook version, in my towering stack, but the narration just does not work for me. I'm oldish and listen with earphones in the daytime and low-volume at night.
The volume explosions (especially the announcement of new chapters) in this book probably damaged my ears permanently.
The range of pace was also unworkable; I kept having to hit the back button to decipher sentences like this: "Mphprmfp stepped-on-deck-and . . . spun . . . . around." After three rewinds, I still didn't know who Mphrmpfp was. I'd tinkered with the reading speed repeatedly, when I wasn't tinkering with the volume.
The volume and pacing issues of the narrator/editor combined with the huge caste of characters was just not safe or fun.
"Wow ! Another Great Listen !"
Loved it From begining to end ! I can't wait for the next one. Dugan Rocks.
"goes on and on and on"
long and goes on and on and on. 100 differ es nt caricatures and on and on and on
I'm 1 hour into this book and is just not getting any better. The story just isn't interesting and the bad guys speech and behavior is so revolting I just can't listen anymore.
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