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Deadly Straits

(Tom Dugan #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,302 ratings  ·  204 reviews
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 th
Kindle Edition, 411 pages
Published (first published June 20th 2011)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,302 ratings  ·  204 reviews

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Daniel Smith
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bought
Great first book in the series, look forward to reading the rest.
Toni Osborne
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Book #1, in the Tom Dugan Thrillers series

Not having spent time in the marine industry and one who is by far not fond on being captive in a tin can of any size, thrillers involving ships and its operations are not my favorite topics. Having said this, the plot will nevertheless capture the imagination of ship geeks….this techno-thriller with all the juice and characters hop-scotching through exotic locales will surely please the majority of readers.

The central character is Tom Dugan, a skilled p
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Deadly Straits by debut author RE McDermott is about terrorism on the seas. Imagine a plot to block the narrow straits of shipping lanes. What if the Panama Canal was blocked? The impact to the world economy would be devastating.

Deadly Straits would make an awesome action/thriller movie. Spies, exotic locales, terrorists, conspiracy theories, rogue governments and more make it a compelling read.

As I sat to read this book, I told myself I would read just a few chapters and move on to something
Dave Schultz
Jan 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nook
Not really sure about all the positive reviews. I could not finish. Hard to follow, no flow in the writting. Maybe I will try again some other time.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
The awkward moment when you realize that this military thriller is doing nothing for you. DNF @ 10%.
David Highton
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A decent political thriller based around three terrorist maritime incidents - the narrative moves at real pace in the second half and the epilogue sets up the next book in the series
Bradley West
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, thrillers
Deadly Straits fits my reading tastes to a tee. The hero Tom Dugan isn't a professional spy, he's a shipping professional. The action is non-stop and covers a lot of geography. I live in Singapore, and the author got Singapore pretty much right on the nose so I figure he's just as much on the money when he writes in detail about Panama (among several other places).

The author really knows ships and shipping, so much so that I was hoping there would be a couple ship schematics in the book so I co
Jerry B
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
A friend recommended we try this first novel by R.E. McDermott, a former merchant mariner who definitely has deployed his knowledge of ships and navigation at sea to this tale of international terror. Frankly, we weren’t that enthralled with the story – an opinion not buoyed by the bevy of enthusiastic reviews from readers who got free copies of the novel from the author. The 400-page book had a lot of chapters, each of which had so many scene changes (which the headers in themselves were tireso ...more
Martin Pingree
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read

Started off a little slow for me but once it got going it was a blast to read. Loads of characters, plenty of action and intrigue keep you reading. Great story line with plenty of twists and turns.
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Took me a while to get through. Lots of technical details. I think I missed a lot, but managed to connect with Alex, Dugan, Ward and Anne. I do like the way it wrapped up.
Steven Konkoly
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are few reading experiences more rewarding, than delving into a well-written novel, by an author who is a subject matter expert in the “fictional” world presented. R.E. McDermott’s Deadly Straights justifiably earns a place at the top of my list of rewarding reads. Having served in maritime and petroleum industries for over thirty years, he knows a thing or two about maritime operations, world-shipping trends and the vulnerabilities of sea-lane chokepoints (Strait of Malacca, Panama Canal, ...more
Thom Swennes
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
“A comforting lie was more palatable than a terrifying truth.”
Strike one more up for international terrorism. Born in the sixties by airline hijacks (mainly to Cuba), the aerial scenario culminated when the hijacked planes plowed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Middle Eastern terrorists raise the stakes as they rig the oil tanker, China Star, into a very large bomb. The tanker is scheduled to sail through the Straits of Malacca, between Indonesia and Malaysia and
Alain Burrese
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I received a copy of "Deadly Straits" from R. E. McDermott, and I really enjoyed the read. It's an engaging story that leads consultant and part-time spook Tom Dugan around the globe to attempt to thwart a terrorist plot that his long time friend is caught up in. Dugan, guilty by association, must prove his friend's innocence to prove his own, that is, if his friend really is innocent, and if so, if he can prove it. Neither are very clear. (Until the end...)

The villains are ruthless and evil, an
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
The author of Deadly Straits, R.E. McDermott, sent me a copy of his book to give him an honest review. And, honestly, you have got to read this book. This is one thriller that is on par with best selling authors like Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler and Robert Ludlum.

This novel takes you on a world wide journey of locks and straits frequented by the shipping industry. From dry dock to open ocean, the author’s background and research shines through. You’re bombarded with mystery, intrigue and delve in t
Stephen England
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Take a lifetime of nautical knowledge. Mix in a potentially lethal international situation. Bring to a boil. The result? A thriller that may materialize as reality in tomorrow's headlines.
R.E. McDermott brings a career in the maritime industry to the table in his debut thriller, Deadly Straits. And it shows--as a diabolical Iranian plan unfolds to cripple the sea-going oil trade.
The target? Chokepoints--straits and canals--through which the world's oil supply flows.
The weapons? Supertankers k
Cathy Doman
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as an ebook for free from the author. Thank you Bob! Wow, great book! Fair warning, once you start to read this book, you will not be able to put it down. It is a story full of international intrigue, suspense, many characters and locations, and very believable scenarios. You are drawn in from the start and brought along for the ride. You will laugh at times, be gripping the edge of your seat at others, and I bet even need a tissue or two at points. I know I did, especially ...more
Debbie Bigler
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book!

This isn't the type of book I would typically read, but I'm glad I did. It had a good storyline and the characters felt real. The intrigue kept me reeled in and had me guessing til the end. Great work for a first-time author!
Barth Siemens
The author writes good action and a tidy plot--perhaps a little too tidy. I just don't care about the characters enough to read another.
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
R.E. McDermott is master story teller. I'm going to have to read the next book in this series.
Tony Parsons
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5/10, London, England. Phoenix Shipping. Mrs. Alice Coutts (exec-secretary) informed Alex Kairouz (widower, London shipping broker/owner, Tom’s BMF) Thomas “Tom” Dugan (aka Captain Flip Flop, marine engineer, P/T spy) was on line 1.
The ship Tom (46) inspected was a hunk-of-junk.
Cassie Kairouz (Alex’s daughter) was attended to/by: Mrs. Gillian Farnsworth (housekeeper, child care), Daniel (driver), Mrs. Hogan (cook), & Mr. Farley (teacher).

What were Petty Officer First Class Doug Broussard (USN)
Jerry Mount
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A fast-moving action thriller that is really large in scope. The author is obviously an expert in ships and shipping operations, and puts in a lot of detail in these areas. I liked all the action and intrigue and multiple plot threads. This could be made into a great big budget action movie. The only problem for me is that the author put so much stuff into one book. So many action scenes, so many locations, so many characters, so many villains, so many secrets, so many threads to very neatly tie ...more
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thriller at sea and on land

Tom Dugan finds himself implicated in an international terrorist plot that threatens thousands of innocent lives. Dugan may not be responsible for it, but he's determined to make sure it fails. Working for his friend Alex, who's cooperation is coerced, Dugan works frantically to uncover the targets before they are hit. His friends in US and UK intelligence try to buy him time, but there's not enough to go around. The clock is ticking, and the real motives still remain
christopher nicholson
DNF at 50%

2 stars.

The main problem with this book is there doesn’t appear to be a main character to follow.
There are lots and lots of different characters to follow, but it gets to the point where you just don’t know who’s who and who’s doing what.
That’s mainly because the book jumps around between all the characters every few pages.

Imagine a Jack Reacher book,but you only follow him for 15% of the story with the rest following the other characters and you get why this book just doesn’t flow o
annette lowe
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A maritime thriller

This thriller in a maritime setting appears to be well researched. It was fast moving with likable good guys as well as characters on both sides of the conflict that I found myself anticipating how they were going to be brought down.
The good guys had a mix of success as well as failures as the book wound to a conclusion with some humble pie and feel good moments thrown in.
I could have done without as much descriptive blood and gore as well as inappropriate language used as I
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a real page-turner and breathless terrorist/suspense novel. My only comment is that I hated all the bodies strewn about as a result of terrorist action. By the time the story ended barely anyone was left standing and the hero only made it out after a near-death experience. I appreciate that it was a terrorist novel, but thousands of casualties is a bit much for me to swallow.

Still I loved the action. I just hope the novel does not give real terrorists any ideas. They have enough grisly
I thought this book was certainly meant to keep the reader on their toes, although at the beginning I found it one thriller of a read, but also somewhat confusing in it's conspiracy. Certainly I read it all the way through, had some understanding of the characters, and found it fascinating in the damage and death, particularly with each approach to canals and other "constructed" options of the sea. Just the same, I enjoyed reading it almost without stop. Exciting, deceiving, action-based.
Gordon Gauss
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I used to call spy books like this one, "brain candy" but I really appreciated the development of the characters and the surprises that caught me off guard. The hero, Dugan, was a fun adventurer with a great sense of humor. I hope the author keeps coming with new Dugan adventures.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, kindle-first
Very enjoyable

You know you’ve found a good author when you pick up his book whenever you’ve got a spare five minutes, or you can’t put it down because you have to find out what happens next. I really enjoyed this book, would recommend it to others, and would definitely read more!
A pleasure to read... Intelligent, strategic and fun!

This book was a pleasure to read... Intelligent, strategic and fun! Tom Dugan sets the tone with his knowledge, hands on knowledge of unique outlook and sense of humor... But he also has plenty of all american values and faith. Far from a one man show, he has lots of company, both good characters and bad ones
Dale Van
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pirates, treasure and WWII secrets, oh my.

The Terrorist pirates have no rules and kill just for the fun of it. How can Dugan bring the pirates to justice before all of their hostages are murdered in the most inhumane ways.
Make sure you have plenty of coffee and time because you will not want to put this book down.
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Robert E. McDermott grew up on the Gulf Coast. After graduation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, he worked in positions from ship’s officer to shipping company management, traveling widely, and living and working in a number of countries. He splits his time between the U.S. and Singapore, where he operates a marine consultancy, advising clients on ship construction and operations. Deadly Str ...more

Other books in the series

Tom Dugan (3 books)
  • Deadly Coast (Tom Dugan, #2)
  • Deadly Crossing (Tom Dugan #3)

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