Sunday, July 18, 2010
Review Book: The Cobra by Frederick Forsyth
I won this thriller from GoodReads, requesting it because I remember his earliest books, The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File. Because those were such a long time ago, I approached The Cobra almost as a new Forsyth reader, although I did remember the early ones being exciting page-turners that kept me reading late into the night.
This is entirely different. One reason is the concept for the book. A retired CIA man whose nickname is Cobra accepts a request from the president (Obama since it takes place in 2011) to figure out a way to destroy the world's drug cartels. Impossible, you say? Not to the Cobra. He asks for and receives carte blanche to do whatever is necessary including money to accomplish this task.
He knows it will take a year of preparation, thus we shouldn't be surprised when we are halfway through the novel before anything exciting happens. Even then, despite the cartels and gangs being absolutely ruthless and loving to torture people to death, it isn't really a very scary book. In other words, you must enjoy the details involved in the planning and preparation.
There are twists, and I wasn't really certain what the end point of the process would be until near the end, and even then I was surprised as I reached the end. To me a thriller is like his first two books and I'm not entirely sure what to call The Cobra. However, it is a fascinating book if you are willing to keep track of all the wheels put into motion and all the people involved. To help, you'll find lists of characters and acronyms at the front, and you will need to refer to them occasionally unless you have a much better memory than mine.
I do recommend this book, particularly if you have thought how much better the world would be without these cartels and the vicious gangs who sell their product.