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Posted August 4, 2010
Is this really "fiction"?
What goes on behind closed doors in secret meetings and in the minds of government and influential people? If you ever wonder what really happens, or could possibly happen in today's world, this book will give you some ideas and probably scare the bejeebies out of you. Cohen certainly knew the facts so, is this fiction or a subtle way to tell us what really goes on?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This one is a page turner.
Posted May 16, 2009
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Disappointing from Sec. of Defense
I was excited when I picked up this book from the bargain table- the former Sec. of Defense writing a topical thriller. With his background and knowledge it could have been insightful (which it was) and exciting (which it wasn't). Come on the Sec. of Defense is the action heroe- I'm sorry it lost credibility. Second point it wasn't well written. When I finished I thought that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2007
I was excited when I first heard that former Secretary of Defense Cohen was writing a novel that would give readers a glimpse into the inner workings of the real world of the Intelligence Community, American government and international political intrigue. Now that I've read the book, I'm disappointed to find that the real world of the Intelligence Community, American government and international political intrigue apparently consists of hackneyed clichés, ludicrous scenarios, and improbable plot twists. Either that or Cohen¿s just a crappy writer. You know how some writers 'Tom Clancy' create central characters that are thinly veiled portrayals of themselves, except smarter, braver, and cleverer than anyone else in the universe 'Jack Ryan'? I¿m not saying that Cohen does that. I¿m just saying that if I were a police officer and I wrote a novel about law enforcement and used Cohen¿s style, it would turn out that my character would also really be Spiderman on the side. And governor of the state in his spare time. And elevated to either president of the US or saint ¿ maybe both ¿ by book 3 of the series. I¿m not saying that the book doesn¿t provide any glimpses into real government workings I just want to put it into perspective - Cohen¿s novel is an insight into modern Intelligence agencies and government strategies in the same way Dorf is an insight into the PGA tour. On the one hand, I guess it¿s a bit unfair to be so critical of the book without offering any proof. On the other hand I hate to give any spoilers in case you decide to read the book. But on the other other hand, it¿s not like the plot isn¿t predictable ¿ some writer¿s use foreshadowing, Cohen uses foretelegraphing. It¿s not like you¿re not going to be able to guess what¿s about to happen so I might as well give a bit away. The synopsis on the book jacket will tell you that the book centers on former senator and Vietnam POW Michael Patrick Santini who is appointed as Secretary of Defense following the assassination of the sitting SoD. Cohen, one might guess, is the model for the Santini character. The publisher says that Dragon Fire is a riveting, intricate, ripped-from-the-headlines thriller that is so convincingly written, readers will wonder just how much of it is true. I gotta tell you, I didn¿t really wonder all that much. Might have been when Santini realized that the same evil US-hating Chinese bad guy who is plotting the downfall of the US is the same evil US-hating Chinese bad guy who was his tormentor as a POW that gave it away. One billion people in China and Santini gets the same bad guy twice? So now it¿s personal? THAT¿s not unlikely. Or maybe it was when Santini was rescued by his girlfriend ¿ who also just happens to be the top assassin in the world. For Mossad. Which could make for interesting political intrigue, though I don¿t really recall that particular headline in the daily RippingHeadlines News. Or maybe it was when, after the girlfriend-assassin ¿pfft, Pfft, pfft¿ed three bad guys ¿ and I did at least learn that ¿pfft¿ is the sound a silenced gun makes when an assassin takes out a bad guy in an amazingly rushed plot closer 'pfft, pfft, pfft and then they were all dead. The end' ¿ but it was probably the scene when the pair inexplicably decided to hide the bodies and handle things themselves rather than go to the fbi, cia, and NSA ¿ agencies that would surely mess everything up rather than having supercohen, uhm Santini, personally handle the situation. I won¿t even go into the part about how Cohen ¿ I mean Santini ¿ has to steal an SR-71 supersecret supersonic superhero superjet to fly to China and speak directly with the Chinese president ¿ who will believe him ¿ because the American president, being a lesser being, will not. It¿s a bit of a, well, stretch. More of a streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch, really. Hope I didn¿t give away too much. Hey, at least I didn¿tWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2006
Secretary of Defense Michael Santini struggles with his overextended force fighting the global war against terrorism on the home front and overseas. However, he and his boss are concerned that Germany, Russia and China appear heading to an alliance that could make the triumvirate the most powerful force in the world. Besides the bleak international picture, adding to his concern of where best to station the troops is that the militia operates dangerously free in many states.-------------- Inside the Beltway Santini also has turf battles with other cabinet officials especially at State and within his department from zealots who look for any excuse to start a war and pacifists who seek any excuse to bring the boys and girls home. Still he is a pro working the corridors of DC while also making surprise visits to the troops who are in harm¿s way as he tries to find the pattern to the chaotic madness that seems everywhere.------------------- This exciting thriller written by a former Secretary of Defense is at its best when Santini works the corridors of politics with his boss, the Secretary of State, the opposition party, and the media following his every step and his every utterance. The tale feels a bit disjointed when he works the international intrigue that seems more of a State Department issue yet that also showcases the institutional rivalry between the two most powerful cabinet post leaders and how an appointee must follow the sound bite regardless of belief (think Powell). Readers will enjoy William S. Cohen¿s insightful look at the Sec Def in a world filled with backstabbing global political alliances.------------- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 26, 2009
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