Review: I can't believe this is R.E. McDermotts first book. Deadly Straits is a fast pace thriller that takes no prisoners. From the very beginning of the book the reader knows that the body count is going to be high and at times gruesome. The author uses almost every country that has issues in the world today from Iran to Venezuela and had them working together. Terrorists from all parts of the world, Jihadist, former East German to Chechen rebels. The author created such evil characters that you could only hope they would receive the same punishment they gave to others. The hero of the book, Tom Dugan, was only trying to help a friend and instead found himself in the middle of a CIA\MI5 investigation. Tom wasn't an All American Hero and the author created a character that everyone could identity with when it came to feelings of regret, friendship, love and passion. Towards the end of the book the author added two Russians for comic relief, the tension that had been building up and I was grateful for the two very funny Russians.
I enjoyed that R.E. McDermott gave a back stories to everyone who was important in the book so the reader could better understand the characters motives later on. The only problem I found was the story jumped around from character to character and after a while there were too many characters to keep track of causing me to reread large sections of the book. I ended up taking away their names and renaming some of the lesser characters as rebel 1 terrorist 2. At one point in the book I wasn't even sure who some of the lesser character were and decided to more past them to get back to the main story.
The author created a very believable story just like other great thriller authors such as Tom Clancy. The author also had a large body count and with that came several scenes of strong language and gore. I could have lived without someone’s guts coming out and a missing leg all in one chapter.
I felt this book was a combination of the movie Taken with the large dead body count but the suspense of a Tom Clancy mystery.
Thank you Heidi for this fabulous review…keep up the great work.
Quick Review: 31/2 Stars out of 5.
Where I Obtained the Book: The author sent it for review.
Synopsis: 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 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."
Author Biography: R.E. McDermott grew up on the Gulf Coast and graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He's worked in the marine industry for over thirty years, in positions from ship's officer to shipping company management. Traveling widely, he's lived abroad for extended periods, and managed ship-building projects in the U.S., Japan, Singapore, and China. He currently splits his time between the U.S. and Singapore, where he operates a marine consultancy, advising clients on ship construction, and operational and engineering matters. Deadly Straits is his first novel