The Cobra – Review

Book: The Cobra
Author: Frederick Forsyth
Year: 2010
Bookhad Rating: ❤❤❤

Abroad is such a convenient place for violence.

Although this line comes towards the end of the book it is the one line that stands out in the entire book. Not to say that the book was bad; it was good, but there are very few lines that I could pick and call it quotable.

The story follows the activities, predominantly at least, of a certain Paul “Cobra” Devereaux and his accomplice Cal Dexter. Paul is a veteran of the Vietnam War and an ex CIA operative. Apart from the fancy medals, being a decorated war hero and a formidable nemesis he is also a man who is known to be ruthless and unforgiving when it came to serving his country. It was this no nonsense approach that makes him the one person the President of USA could turn to when he needed the almost impossible done.

The destruction of the Cocaine Cartel and to rid America of the drug abuse problem once and for all. Yeah, the President decides to go against all odds and call for the total destruction of a drug that was maiming the youths of his country.

The catalyst for this exceedingly preposterous mission is the death of his staff’s grandson, aged 15, by drug overdose.

After this, the story goes in an overdrive and smacks of the typical well researched (sometimes impossible to believe in) and well described Modus Operandi that I, as a reader, have come to expect from this story teller. The workings of the two main characters and the pulling of strings across the world is amazing. It is this amazement, coupled with the writer’s insane drive for in depth analysis the internal structure of government agencies, which makes up most of the book.

Cobra gets in touch with his one time arch enemy Cal Dexter in a show of “doffing-ones-hat-to-your-enemy-once-you’re-old-enough” and brings few other “players” on board. The President gives in rather too easily to Cobra’s demand for complete and unquestionable authority for Project Cobra. Perhaps this is, in an underhanded way, Forsyth trying to show the President as a loving and a compassionate man to the ends of such absurdity that he gives in to such a request. The plot is the basic USP of the novel. When you’re reading something along these lines you don’t usually expect the characters to run the story and so it isn’t a surprise that there are very few dialogues in the book.

The plot is mainly driven by the planning of Cobra and the execution by Cal with the help of the elite forces of USA and UK. The mastery of Cobra lies in his planning. He intends to beat the mob bosses where his loss is the biggest and the collateral is at the lowest. Cocaine is “cut” to 6 to 7 times it’s pure weight and sold at rates which make the crime cartel richer by billions of dollars every year. Cobra intends to cut them off at the point of exchange so the “clients” don’t get their fix and the Colombian lord loses out on his extensive lordship.

With sophisticated weapons and immensely complicated planning the teamwork of Cal and Cobra make great advancements into the territory of the enemy. They succeed in becoming a pain for the Don and are ready to face retribution. The end of the books is something I loved. It made me pause and say this: WOAH!

I have read only three books by Forsyth and all three of them amazed me with the level of detailing and planning. It is said that he researches very hard for his books and it has almost gotten him killed once.

The Cobra is an engaging read and is worthy of your time if these kinds of book interests you. It does complete justice to the genre it belongs to.



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