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The master of the political thriller strikes again.
Strike is a good operative word for the cops and crooks who populate the pages of Forsyth's latest (The Afghan, 2006, etc.), none of whom is afraid to unleash the dogs of war and hurt a lot of people in the bargain. This time the setting is South America, where an impatient U.S. president has decided to heat things up after it becomes ever clearer that the war on drugs isn't going so well for his team. Who's he gonna call? The Cobra, naturally, a spook bad enough to put the fear into anyone who hears the sobriquet. Said Cobra, aka Paul Deveraux, is a tough dude, to be sure, so tough that, says one of the president's aides, he was fired for being "too ruthless"—against the bad guys that is. Devereaux books on down to Colombia, where he's got to go up against the baddest guy of all—"educated, courteous, mannerly, drawn from pure Spanish stock, scion of a long line of hidalgos" Don Diego Esteban. In between Cobra and Don stands a small army of lesser players, from a right-hand man who's thorough but never timid to a Brazilian pilot bent on a kamikaze mission to miscellaneous cannon fodder on five continents. Forsyth's tale drags a little, particularly compared to his first and as yet unbested masterpiece, The Day of the Jackal(1971),at least in part because he takes time out to explain, at some length, the economics and chemistry (horse tranquilizer, anyone?) of the cocaine trade. All those minor players have to have something to do. Yet in the end this is a battle between titans, and it's fought to a bloody end amid heaps of bodies and at least a few unanticipated casualties, as far as the reader is concerned.
Forsyth still knows how to spring a surprise. Not his best work, but a taut, readable and swiftly moving tale well suited to the beach and airplane.
Posted August 18, 2010
This work of fiction was easy to read and it may be because I already had a working knowledge of almost ninety percent of the acronyms used. There is no need to have knowledge of all the acronyms for they are listed in the front of the book and explained as they are used in the narrative. The concept for the novel is rather bold, the president of the United States has decided that cocaine is a clear and present danger to the country; though those exact words are not used. An old school Central Intelligence Agency operative, Paul Deveraux, who was retired from the agency because of his violent yet effective methods is summon to accomplish the task.
From the formulation of the basic desire of the president and with an executive order in hand Mr. Deveraux begins his prep work of building the organization he will need to combat the world cocaine trade and try to stop it. The book does go into detail on this organization building and research performed on the cocaine trade. We the reader are also introduced to the inner workings of the cocaine trade from the inside and can watch the actions and reactions of both sides as the book progresses. The realistic action in the book spans the cocaine using world.
All the above mentioned background is told in great detail and takes about half the book to get us where most readers of action want to be, the actual operation. The reader is privy to the operations as they take place and the cocaine organizations response as these operations to destroy the cocaine industry unfolds. A calculated plan of action with a plot that is easy to read. The background of the inner details we learned earlier about the formation of the anti-drug teams and the drug cartel bear fruits as the story unfolds. A rich yet violent work of fiction that is filled with accurate facts on existing governmental agencies and their capabilities.
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This emotionally charged, fast-paced story starts in 2010 with the current administration in the White House where the president, troubled by the death of a staff worker's grandson to cocaine, asks for a comprehensive briefing on the cocaine trade. Thus The Cobra plan.What a concept! What a brain to be able to think this plan through!
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Posted January 17, 2011
...and is an insult to Forsyth's earlier works. Why was this called "The Cobra?" We barely met that character while we primarily followed the exploits of Cal Dexter. The plot and dialogue are shallow, almost non-existent. The editor ought to be fired for allowing so many grammatical errors as well as a book full of acronyms. I felt as though I was reading through a documentary/report on the drug trade rather that a novel.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 15, 2010
I really didn't care for this book at all. I endured and read it to the end but I think the author spent way to much time in the boring build up phase before the "action" began. The "action" wasn't even exciting. One thing I did find a bit shocking - the president in this book is of Kenyan descent and married to Michelle. The Kenyan I'm familiar with doesn't have the moxie nor the ability to pull off a war on cocaine. That was kind of a laugher!
2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I was quite excited to receive this book, other Forsyth books had been quite engrossing and excellent "reads". Unfortunately this one does not meet the standards of his prior novels.
If you are looking for a fictionalized report on the cocaine industry, you will love this book. I, however, was looking for an engaging novel with good character development and an interestingly complex plot. I received none of my expectations.
The book has virtually no dialogue, endless descriptive paragraphs(not actions)(pretty bad when the most "readable" part of the book was a mock "report" from the DEA!), and little plot development until the last few pages when, finally, a small plot twist occurs. In other words, I found it BORING. If you just have to have it (why I don't know), at least save some money until it's in the bargain bin or out in paperback!
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Posted November 6, 2010
Posted November 2, 2010
The inside look that author Forsyth gives us into the workings of the cocaine trade is like a primer in the drug business. It's fascinating. the plan to take the druglords down is interesting, but not as fascinating. The fact that the police never seem to catch the higher ups is often attributed to their desire for statistics, but The Cobra makes it clear that the guys higher up have insulated themselves pretty well from the law.
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Posted September 2, 2010
Posted October 4, 2013
If you like intrigue novels, this is a good read. I have read many of Forsyth's books and this certainly kept my attention throughout. It makes you think about the potential of what could happen in today's world. Not my favorite Forsyth book, but certainly worth reading. It keeps you guessing until the end.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 20, 2013
Posted March 3, 2013
The story was well thought out, and as in other Forsyth novels very detailed. The only weakness was the story of the current president taking on evil people! He'd rather take on law abiding citizens in his own country!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2012
Seems to be a direct ripoff of Tom Clancy's book. The American President decides cocaine is a clear and present danger to the US...
Same premise and Clancy did a MUCH better job telling the story.
Posted May 3, 2012
Posted January 20, 2012
Being a big fan of Frederick Forsyth since his debut book, The Day of the Jackel, I was looking forward to reading his latest, The Cobra. However, much to my surprise, The Cobra is a major disappointment and, in my opinion, Forsyth's worst book to-date by far. To Forsyth's credit, the premise of The Cobra is an interesting and timely one. The premise is that the President of the U.S has decided to destroy the cocaine industry once and for all, and paves the way for a man called The Cobra (who used to run Special Ops for the CIA) to develop and execute a plan to accomplish this assignment. The Cobra is given carte blanche for anything he needs to accomplish this assignment -- no boundaries, no rules, no questions asked. Unfortunately, Forsyth's book reads like a boring, overly detailed chronicle of the events taken to carry out the President's decision rather than a suspenseful story with good dialogue and well-developed characters. Forsyth wrote The Cobra in a style that is highly narrative, with dialogue kept to a minimum, making the book very slow-paced. And, The Cobra, unlike many of Forsyth's previous books, is virtually devoid of character development, which contributed to my feeling that I never got to know any of the characters well enough to like or dislike them. I imagine that many of you who read my review and are fans of Frederick Forsyth will be skeptical that this author can write a book as bad as I'm describing. All I can say to you is that I hope you heed my advice and not read The Cobra. I'm sure you have better ways to spend your time and money.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2011
Perhaps if I had read the book and not listened to it in the audio version, I would have liked it better. I found it hard to give it my full attention and often drifted away, lost in my own thoughts. With 11 CD's devoting a significant portion of the disc to explanation, it became overwhelming and difficult to remain engaged. I found it tedious, at times, since it had too much detail and explanation, as it attempted to describe every aspect of the drug cartel and its methods and every minute detail of the effort to destroy it. It lacked in action because it was steeped in detail.
The book begins in Washington DC. The President and the First Lady are hosting a small dinner reception and one waitress is reduced to tears while working; Is is soon learned that her grandson has just died and his death is related to cocaine. When the President learns this he becomes disturbed and decides to begin an investigation into drug trafficking in an attempt to stop it, once and for all. Consequently, he requests a report on the cocaine industry and hires John Devereaux, the Cobra, to conduct a clandestine, top secret effort to destroy the industry.
(The President is a man of color which leads one to believe it is based on Obama; also, one of the code names is Michelle and his adviser is a man closely resembling Rahm Emanuel, in personality)
When riots erupt, as the effort nears a successful fruition and drugs disappear from the streets, the White House decides to end it despite its success, and the agent is highly disappointed. He believes his government, that he had devoted his life to, risked his lift to protect, had now betrayed him. There is somewhat of a surprise ending which may or may not disappoint the readers, depending on how involved they become with the novel. For me, the end could not come too soon.
Posted March 13, 2011
Pretty much the same as the review for The Afghan
Forsyth became the permier action/adventure writer with "Day of the Jackel" and followed it up with the exciting "Odessa File." He's been coasting since then. This title shows his penchant for detail without bogging the story line down, but it lacks the tension of those two works. You never connect with the characters and the ending is a let down.
Posted December 26, 2010
Posted November 13, 2010
Posted October 10, 2010
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Posted February 27, 2011
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