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The River Panj Paperback – August 31, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466205458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466205451
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,791,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

National Geographic and Knopf travel author David Raterman worked two years for CARE in war-torn Tajikistan along the Afghanistan border.

More About the Author

National Geographic and Knopf author David Raterman worked two years for CARE in war-torn Tajikistan along the Afghanistan border. He is now a features correspondent for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and the author of a thriller titled The River Panj.

In The River Panj, Derek Braun, an ex-Notre Dame football star, was getting ready to play in the NFL, but then he screwed up. On Sept. 11, 2001, he's working in emergency relief in Afghanistan when America is attacked. And his fiancée and elderly colleague are kidnapped along the border with ex-Soviet Tajikistan, which is struggling out of its own civil war. With no one to help, Derek goes in search, and on this dangerous journey, he faces Islamic terrorists, heroin smugglers, corrupt Russian soldiers, Iranian spies, and incompetent CIA agents.

Meanwhile, terrorists begin using bodies of released hostages to transport cesium-137 powder to the United States. Osama bin Laden stated he wants to acquire the powder from an old Soviet nuclear plant still operating in Tajikistan, but is al-Qaeda involved in this plot? Or another terrorist group?

Derek Braun finds out. But how can he save his loved ones and stop the world's first suicide dirty bomb before it's too late?

"(David Raterman) knows his stuff, because he's walked the dusty roads of Central Asia and he's looked al-Qaeda mujahedeen in the eyes and lived to tell about it. Raterman is the real deal. Just read the first few pages of THE RIVER PANJ and you'll discover an exciting new writer." - David Hagberg, best-selling thriller novelist and three-time Edgar nominee

"David Raterman has published what may be the first thriller set in Afghanistan on 9-11 with 'The River Panj.' Raterman's debut uses the world events of Sept. 11, 2001, to show a personal tale of Derek Braun, a former Notre Dame football star who has found a calling doing relief work in Afghanistan. As terrorists shock the world, Derek is on his own when his fiancée and a colleague are kidnapped." - Oline Cogdill in the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amy Edelman on December 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Derek Braun is working for Emergency Relief Corps in Afghanistan when terrorists attack the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. An ex-Notre Dame football star, he has been doing relief work in Central Asia for five years and is planning for this to be his final tour of duty.

He is engaged to marry Zarina, a native of Tajikistan, and intends to return to the United States with her. The events of Sept. 11 take a personal turn when Zarina and a colleague, Henry, are kidnapped in southwestern Tajikistan while distributing food at a medical clinic. Derek embarks on a frantic search to identify the kidnappers and rescue Zarina and Henry. Unable to secure the assistance of Afghan officials and CIA contacts, he embarks on a dangerous journey as he pursues his own leads. He confronts Islamic terrorists, corrupt Russian soldiers and Afghan warlords as the trail leads him to the River Panj along the Afghan border with the former Soviet-controlled Tajikistan. There, a wounded Derek is reunited with his fiancée and his friend after engaging in a gun battle with the kidnappers.

In telling this story, Raterman demonstrates his firsthand knowledge of the region, having travelled through Afghanistan and Tajikistan doing odd jobs and working for CARE. He fills pages with detailed descriptions of the geography of Central Asia and its complicated politics. Although Raterman clearly knows his subject, the setting sometimes overshadows the story because the details of everyday life take something away from the mix of intrigue, violence and romance. The characters are too stereotypical to live up to the challenge of the plot.

The story offers a glimpse of a world that may be unfamiliar to most readers, topical as that world may be, and therein lies the strength of this book.

Reviewed for IR by Eveline Speedie
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lewis P. Wilkinson on December 24, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was surprised at the quality of the writing after all the other reviews. Perhaps they were friends being supportive. I could not finish it. The pacing was laborious and left me ... Well it just left me so I never finished it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was excellent ....I recommend it to Kindle readers. David Raterman books are well written, can't wait for my next book by him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sonya C. Alexander on September 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked this book. I usually find books about the Middle East interesting. This book is different from most books I read. It is quite graphic. It is not for those who are turned off by bloody scenes, but it is action filled and exciting.
Sonya Alexander
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean Fitz-Gerald on August 17, 2013
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A thrill ride set in the world of relief work in one of the most dangerous parts of the world. Raterman brings to life action so real you will be shaking the dust out of your clothes and reaching for your AK47
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GraceC on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A slow read, but difficult to put down. The suspense kept me on the edge of the seat! Hard to believe that this sort of thing may have really happened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By linda sanford on April 22, 2013
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I really enjoyed this book. The writing was not as good as I have seen from some of the greats but the story was riveting and the images the author evoked were vivid. The author has either been there or has done some phenomenal research, because I certainly had an experience of what it would be like to be there, in countries we barely know exist.

An American goes to Central Asia and has to deal with another world that is as far removed from modern Western civilization as one can get. His coworker and fiance are kidnapped and the book is his story of doing everything he can to get them back alive.

It was an absolute page turner toward the end.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Exciting book, well researched and written. Gives a wonderful insight on heroic relief workers and the dangers they endure to help others.
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