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The Devil's Waters

(USAF Pararescue #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,902 ratings  ·  107 reviews
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 Djibout

Paperback, 452 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Thomas & Mercer (first published November 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of PJs and think that they are the unsung heroes of the special forces community. I was thrilled to find this book and read it in one sitting. I'm looking forward to seeing the next one in the series. While some of it was more hollywood than real life, I didn't read it for operational knowledge. I read it to enjoy the willing suspension of disbelief. Mr. Rollins accomplishes this very well. He creates characters that you care about and goes into detail of their pasts.

One person wh
Bill Blume
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For those who love a good military action novel, David L. Robbins' new book THE DEVIL'S WATERS is Christmas come early. A group of paratroopers take on Somali pirates, and as much as you'll want to see the "good guys" win, you'll be hard-pressed not to pull for the pirates, too.

It's only fair I admit at the outset that I'm a friend of the writer, but I can recommend this book with a clean conscience. David ranks among the best writers I know, and he's upped his game with this book. He's bid adie
Feb 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed both The Assassins Gallery and The Betrayal Game by Robbins. Fun mixes of historical fiction and spy thriller, both featuring lovable crusty professor turned protagonist Mikhal Lammeck. In the mood for a light read, I was hoping this story featuring a US Air Force Pararescue jump team would fit the bill.

I didn't have my hopes set too high and was disappointed nonetheless. It falls short from start to finish, in most every way. A plot with scant connection to reality; a special forces t
Nancy Silk
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Hoorah! A High Action Military Operation Thriller"

This is an amazing, well described military action novel finely edited, easy to read. On a mission into the Afghanistan Mountains, First Sgt 'LB' DiNardo and his crew are on board an HH-60 Helicopter facing poor visibility as a storm moves along with them. DiNardo has been a para-rescue-man for 12 years and has seen it all. They are on a mission to rescue a village boy who has stepped on a land mine, blowing half his foot off. The marines had p
Dougald Blue
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’ve had to go 80 or 90 pages into some books I’ve read – notably literary fiction – before I really felt like the writer wanted me in there in the first place. But in the case of David Robbins’ The Devil’s Waters, which I just completed, it took about a eight or nine words. In a book signing several months ago, I think David called his TDW writing “locomotive style.” And in parts, I’d call it “flashbang style.”
As always deeply researched, Robins’ book is also the product of extensive personal i
Nick Brett
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 throwaway 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 d
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
This book was riveting! I learned so much about pararescue (thankful for the Glossary of terms at the end of the book!) and the intensity our military experiences when faced with a rescue mission. Robbins weaves a story that is vividly written and heart poundingly real. The fight scenes between the Somali pirates and the PJs felt as real as it gets, and all the while you know that these parajumpers want only to rescue, not to kill, yet they are faced with a kill mission they cannot avoid. Weavin ...more
Richard Sutton
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
David L. Robbins is known for writing taut, well conceived military thrillers for good reason. This author really knows his craft, but TDW is more than that. This novel opens a broad stream of thinking about subjects as diverse as the long-term effects of colonialism in the Horn of Africa, the motivations behind the scenes in international alliances, and the politics that sends soldiers into harm's way with little or no intelligent thinking ahead of the orders.

Specifically, this is the tale of t
H.W. Bernard
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't often read military fiction because my experience with the real stuff often makes the fiction grating. I have to say, I thought Robbins did a fair job capturing the PJ's and their role within the larger military system. The exception being, of course, that I'm pretty sure the military would go to great lengths NOT to use a PJ unit as the primary means of combat force. Robbins understandably had to use some pretty intense literary gymnastics to make that seem plausible and even then...

Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'll not rehash the plot here as there are many others who have done thoroughly. What I want to do is applaud the David Robbins for an excellent story that is exceedingly well written. The story is told primarily through the eyes of two of the PJs and the pirate. While you don't find yourself "rooting" for the pirate, you really see the world from his point of view. Wally and LB, the PJ captain and Master Sargent, are fleshed out well especially in that while they are very close, they are also f ...more
Debbie Henderson
Absolutely terrific!

Absolutely terrific!

I enjoy military action stories, and this one doesn't disappoint. The dynamics of a tight knit group who never give up, never give in and will give their utmost for the mission, is so compelling you just don't want to stop reading. Of course where would any good military action story be without some clandestine ops cross and double-cross activities? Yep, it's there. If you like stories of good vs. evil, black and white bleeding into gray, and a team where
Sue Wallace
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The devil's waters by David L Robbins is a mystery and thriller. And is available to purchase now. At giant freighter in the gulf of aden holds a secret cargo that could bring down the governments of four nations. When somali pirates grabs the ship, the order comes down, get the freighter back at all costs. Fantastic read. Devoured in less than 24 hours. What an enjoyable read. Simply unputdownable. There was nothing I disliked about this book. Highly recommended. 5* from me. Thanks to netgalley ...more
Joe Graf
Interesting but far fetched. A way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Interesting but far fetched. A way to spend a rainy afternoon.

I did like the fact that the USAF was used so that no pilots were involved. After all there other people in the AF .

This was a really fun read and the PJ angle was unique from the many other military reads.
The characters and plot were pretty cliche, but again - fun - so I went with it all. What lost me, and had me sighing in exasperation, was the climactic, drawn out, showdown scene on the boat. It was the typical head-bad-guy-who-won't-go-down scenario. You know the one: no matter how many bullets and explosions go off around the lead bad guy, he somehow escapes and evades. And in this case, repeatedly.
Mark C. Jackson
Great story about daring, brave, and selfless men who risks their lives "So Others May Live." Even if this is fiction, I believe that some of it was written based upon facts, especially when describing their abilities. The story is exciting and thrilling, even if at times it makes you mad based upon some of the decisions some of the characters make. But I enjoyed the enthusiasm of the narrator who did a great job maintaining different voices for different characters.
Eric Ballinger
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read but a but the characters are a bit stereotypical (The trusty crusty first sergeant, the green horn lieutenant, the brave captain, and a guy named "doc". Otherwise a thriller start to end.

I give it four stars because it is a fast paced interesting story that keeps the reader interested. Good plot line and recommendations d it for anybody who enjoys military thrillers.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I wasn't expecting to like this book .. How wrong I was! I could barely put it down and neglected errands and chores .. Now to go get the next one! I expect to see this on the big screen before long!
Jean Hess
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seat of your pants action/suspense

I thought the book was well thought out and gripping. I was pleased that both sides characters were developed so that the reader had a full view of the drama unfolding. I was very impressed as I normally don't read this type genre.
Dan Green
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Intriguing storyline

Great story with an interesting and twisting plot. I found the story and writing to be very enlightening and educational about a little known US Military specialty. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
Steph Gibbs
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real thriller

I couldn't stop reading! Listening to it enhanced the thrill. A real page turner! This is a new genre for me and I must say that I am now hooked on military suspense novels
Aaron California
Reader Comments

Filled with unrealistic scenes and extremely awkward moments this book was terrible. At times the book made the PJs look weak. Not a good way to depict the military.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow start

Slow start. Subject matter enough to pique my interest on modern pirates. Probably better read on a beach than a subway car.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read

This was a very entertaining book. I could hardly put it down once I got started. I'll probably read the 3rd in this series next since I read the second one first.
Larry C.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book- well written and well formed characters LB and Yusuf the Good and bad guys-I want to read more David L. Robbins !
Lydia Kass
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely realistic story of PJs risking their lives and the huge cover ups associated with the Somalian pirated ship in this book over electro magnetic launchers.
Sharon L Card
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Devils Waters

First book I've read by Robbins, ordered the next half way through, good stuff! Keep the pararescue action coming. I can't wait.

Catherine Riley
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome adventure book by David Robbins. I feel like I knw the characters after reading 2 books and am always cheering for them on their impossible missions !
graham j bowen
Great book

Great book I couldn’t put it down ,usually read in bed but kept thinking one more chapter......Enjoy... your read and late nights
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meh - not what I was expecting. Was looking for something more along the lines of a Brad Thor type novel and it wasn't really that at all.
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David L. Robbins was born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 10, 1954. He grew up in Sandston, a small town east of Richmond out by the airport; his father was among the first to sit behind the new radar scope in the air traffic control tower. Both his parents, Sam and Carol, were veterans of WWII. Sam saw action in the Pacific, especially at Pearl Harbor.

In 1976, David graduated with a B.A. in Thea

Other books in the series

USAF Pararescue (3 books)
  • The Empty Quarter (USAF Pararescue, #2)
  • The Devil's Horn (USAF Pararescue, #3)

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