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The Cobra

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,431 Ratings  ·  415 Reviews
For decades, the West has been fighting the cocaine cartels-and losing- until the president decides enough is enough and asks one man to take charge. His task: to destroy the cocaine industry. His name: Cobra. It is the ultimate secret war. But only one side can win...
Paperback, 413 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published August 17th 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tony Johnston
Sep 12, 2013 Tony Johnston rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. I only read it because I had nothing else and I was duly disappointed.

My guess is that Mr Forsyth has had a few drinks one night and told his agreeable old chums "Bloody governments, no backbone! If they wanted to close the drug trade, they could do it! I could do it! Give me some guns and a budget of a couple of billion! I'd kill the lot of 'em!"

And so he's written up his idea into a page-turning thriller to show how he would do it. In summary, a rogue "Cobra" leading an unfettered SBS/S
Jun 20, 2012 Jerome rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Given Forsyth's standards, Cobra falls short and is disappointing.

The first half of the book is good, as the US and British prepare for their covert war against a powerful Colombian cocaine cartel. It's toward the second half of the book where things go downhill. Navy SEALs and British SBS marines intercept drug shipments on the high seas. A contracted Brazilian fighter pilot shoots down aircraft carrying cocaine. This happens several times, over and over again, and each scene is just a repeat o
Oct 18, 2012 Dipanjan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world does not call Mr. Fredrick Forsythe a master story-teller for nothing. I remember finishing "The Day Of The Jackal" in one night. I remember having left completely dumbs struck with "The Devil's Alternative" and I also remember gasping through the twists and turns in "The Negotiator".

Well, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Forsythe has done it again with "The Cobra".

I must admit that I was purposely delaying this read as I found the name to be very tacky. I mean, it does sound like a C Class H
Dec 26, 2015 Girish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I generally think twice about picking up a Forsyth for the level of detailing on topics that go over my head (literally too, come to think of it..). What normally swings it in favor is the solid story.So, it came as a surprise that The Cobra is a weak story that is shockingly one sided.

Paul Devereux aka Cobra is called out of retirement to wipe out the billions of dollars worth cocaine 'industry'. Armed with a free license and a 2 billion budget, Cobra puts up a team to throttle the Colombian Ca
Pawel Rejdak
Dec 24, 2013 Pawel Rejdak rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Disgusted and dissapointed. Badly...
Putting my hands on a paperback with a "Forsyth" on cover I was more than assured thats Master's imprint will be there, somewhere between the pages.
But I was very wrong.

From the forefront, I couldn't resist the feeling an Author forced himself to write this, and more - he had no idea how to do it.
Boredom, easily suspected twists, cold and flat dialogs finished with childish story brings only to a "bad writing" name.

Most powerful characters from a few of his la
May 15, 2015 Efka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Forsyth'as, labiausiai žinomas dėl savo superhito "Šakalo diena", yra atradęs gerą nišą: daugiau niekas nerašo tokio stiliaus trilerių. Skaitant Forsyth'ą, neretai galima pamiršt, kad skaitai knygą ir įsivaizduoti, kad skaitai kokio nors žinių portalo ar Wikipedijos straipsnį. Trumpai, aiškiai, lengvai, su daug smulkmenų ir techninių detalių, nepersistengiant kurti veikėjų profilius ar motyvacijas. Bet tame ir yra visas jo žavumas - nei vieną sekundę nekyla mintis, kad vyksta kažkas nerealaus, h ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gary-Stu fans, if there are such
Started well, despite the constant lecturing tone lurking under the surface (don't do drugs kids, drugs are baaad!!!) Then at 7% enters Chuck Norris/Gary Stu/Paul Devereaux to singlehandedly beat down da eeevvvvlll terrorists/drug dealers/communists/atheists/you name it. We are treated to a lengthy and rather tiring infodump of his childhood/youth - superrich, nearly aristocratic, at the top of his class/learns languages on a yearly basis (I'm not exaggerating here), singlehandedly brought down ...more
Oct 23, 2010 Atishay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Frederick Forsyth is one of the greatest thriller writers of our modern era and this latest work by the veteran reveals the work of a pure master.
In The Cobra, Forsyth takes on the cocaine industry eating away into the American and European societies. When the President Office of US decides to do away with the cocaine industry once and for all, the executives turn to Paul Deveraux, an ex-CIA veteran, to devise and implement a strategy that can carry out the operation. Deveraux, nicknamed The Cob
Jill Holmes
Oct 11, 2012 Jill Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this isn't my favorite book by the incredibly prolific Frederick Forsyth, I still recommend it because he tackles a subject few would dare. "The Cobra" is the code name of both a man and a project. A former CIA Special Ops master, Paul Devereaux is hauled out of retirement to eradicate the cocaine trade. Given carte blanche by the President and heavily assisted by the British and a Brazilian fighter pilot on a personal revenge crusade, the Cobra hires a former bounty hunter named Cal De ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Vijai rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
Even the masters make mistakes or so I am to believe by this lack luster performance by Mr.Forsyth.

I am not saying it is bad, it just does not register even a blip on the Forsyth scale - an instrument of fiction writing awesomeness that all other action thriller writers will be measured by - this is the man who wrote Devil's alternative and the Fist of God for crying out loud.

I am a noob here and doling out details of the plot seems to be considered a cardinal sin here so I will keep it releva
Eric Wright
Shocked by the death of a young man through a drug overdose, the president of the US determines to do something to eradicate the scourge of cocaine. He calls together a high-powered group and asks what can be done. A radical and relentless operative, Paul Devereaux, former leader of Special Ops of the CIA is called in and tasked with the destruction of the cartels. This man, the Cobra, demands time and resources and ultimate authority to do whatever it takes. He is given these powers, reluctantl ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Herlock rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
For about 70% of the book, all I knew about the story was that the Columbian cartel was being run as a corporation, pure cocaine is "cut" 6 to 7 times before being used, the profits are astronomical (ASTRONOMICAL!), there are 2-3 routes cocaine takes into US and continental Europe, and the people involved are very violent. The reason why I knew that? Because that information was repeated every 10 pages or so.

All in all, the story feels repetitive. And the bigger problem is that the story of a we
The story was very detail orientated, nearly to the point of boredom. The idea was a good one, but I didn't care for the execution. So many things were said several times that I became very annoyed with them. I personally didn't care for this story and wouldn't recommend it.
Ihab Khalil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alain Dewitt
Jul 01, 2015 Alain Dewitt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Pitiful, just pitiful. How far Mr. Forsyth has come since 'The Dogs of War' and 'The Day of the Jackal'! I guess he must have needed money to pay for the upkeep of his yacht in Monaco and so he phoned in this lackluster thriller (which contains precious few thrills).

The story is about the decision by the US President to dismantle the Colombian cocaine cartels (well, cartel since in this putative future the cartels have been consolidadated into one supercartel) using unconventional means.

To do th
Elizabeth  Holter
Want to know how the cocaine industry works? Read The Cobra. Want suspense and/or character development? Look elsewhere. But getting to know how an industry whose end product wreaks nothing but havoc and sadness has some merit - and at least kept me reading.
Ravi Nirmal
Feb 26, 2015 Ravi Nirmal rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
He was my favorite author and when I read Devil's Alternative, I thought he was God.

But Cobra? Come on!

It just reads like a government paper that is against the government.

It is a one sided war which Cal Dexter wins with so much ease that you begin to wonder how come the drug world even exists. There is simply not a single scene in which the Drug World has the upper hand. The police, the drug world seem just a stupid bunch of fools who play into the hands of a smart ass, hard to believe characte
Carl Alves
The premise of Cobra is that the president of the United States has decided that he wants to eliminate Cocaine trade in the United States. The laughable part about that is that the president is described as a black man whose father is from Kenya and his mother is a white woman from Kansas. Hmm…I wonder who they could be referring to. The laughable part is that this is the premise despite the fact that the Obama administration is incredibly soft on drug crimes. At any rate, he assigns the task of ...more
Frances Levy
Feb 15, 2011 Frances Levy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the reviews I've read elsewhere, I think a lot of readers don't have the patience for a nuanced plot or taste for detail that are necessary to fully appreciate a Forsyth novel. If Christopher Reich or James Patterson is more to your taste, that really is fine; just know that you probably won't enjoy Frederick Forsyth's novels.

The Cobra is true-to-form Forsyth: the protagonists spend a lot (I mean, a LOT) of time on research and strategy, formulating their plan and carefully implementing its
Eric Gates
Frederick Forsyth’s books are all immaculately researched in exquisite detail and ‘The Cobra’ is no exception. Whilst other novels have used this research as a firm basis to carry a solid tale, in this case the narrative is dominated by the factual research to such an extent that it reads like a fictionalised documentary. I was disappointed by this approach; Forsyth could have made this story far more interesting with a little more effort. All writers are cautioned to ‘Show not Tell’ in their no ...more
Tim Niland
Dec 07, 2010 Tim Niland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
Not lacking in ambition is Forsyth's thriller which takes the "war on drugs" to the farthest possible conclusion. The president becomes so angry with the influx of cocaine into the US and Europe that he looks for the only man who can stop it. A retired CIA agent code named Cobra is given carte blanche in terms of the military and intelligence apparatus of the United States and is ordered to crush the cocaine cartels. So basically the deal is that cocaine production and smuggling is declared a te ...more
Forsyth takes one what is usually misnamed drug trade but ought to be properly referred to as narcotics, and Forsyth does not mix the terms, to be fair - drugs include those that are in fact legitimate sold in a pharmacy with or without prescriptions from medical authority, and the term ought to be reserved for that part of substances, whether abused or not. For instance in poorer social strata people have been known to abuse fuel meant for stoves (less refined variation of petroleum) or glue, a ...more
Pete Marchetto
May 14, 2014 Pete Marchetto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The underlying premise of 'The Cobra' is sweeping. A thinly-disguised President Obama is told that a member of his household staff has lost her grandson to cocaine addiction. The President decides to hand the task of combating its smuggling completely to an ex-operative known as the Cobra who assures the President that, with sufficient resources, he can eradicate it completely.

The basic premise has holes, that much is obvious. However, that aside, and one inexplicable scene in which the Cobra fi
Omar Foster
Feb 05, 2016 Omar Foster rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for Christmas. I've never read any books by this guy but he came well recommended. However, I was seriously disappointed. First of all this book is so boring, it's so linear and nothing really deviates from the supposed pattern. Forsyth writes very detailed paragraphs full of facts but there was no feeling. I wasn't emotionally invested in any of the characters. Moments perfect for emotional growth were just skated over. The book seemed to take a birds eye view to the whole situa ...more
Peter Herrmann
Nov 23, 2015 Peter Herrmann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Should merit 5-stars as a page-turner, but 1-star as literature. Average would then be 3-stars, but people on this web-site more likely to read a 1-star or a 5-star review. It fails as literature because it all the characters are stereotypes and it was sloppily written: many sentences or paragraphs I had to re-read because they didn't make perfect sense on first (or even second) reading, simply due to carelessness or lack of precision; e.g, too many pronouns and so uncertainty which person the p ...more
Carolina Imhof
Apr 27, 2015 Carolina Imhof rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a dissapointment. For me, Forsyth was always above average for this genre. I guess he did his research for this book, but that is what he wrote! a report! no story line, no characters... and an absurd idea that with the right investment you can end drug trafficking. As "Don Diego" took over Pablo Escobar, somebody else would take over after him, as long as it is a highly profitable business, risky as it is. Well, not even the research was that good: for example, he assumed that a Colombian ...more
Mar 15, 2013 Jeanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great listen!! The author had a very well thought out story line that was delivered to perfection. Especially towards the end, I had a hard time getting out of the car because I couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen next!! The ending was unexpected, but actually the perfect conclusion for this exciting novel!! 9 out of 10 here.
Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2015 M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh! I stayed up late to finish this thing just so I could get it over with. The first half was interesting, though repetitive, but gave me hope that the thrill was on the way. But the second half, instead of picking up the pace, fell apart. I slogged on, because this is, after all Forsyth, only to get smacked with horrific, over-the-top violence, and an absolutely preposterous ending.

It saddens me to see successful writers used by their publishers as ATMs, by encouraging them to add their name
May 30, 2013 Ramaa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A jig saw puzzle...both strategically and operationally sound, yet there is something amiss in the story telling department. Certainly not Forsyth's best but then, if you are a fan, like I am, you will overlook the flaws and enjoy the book.
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Frederick Forsyth, CBE (born 25 August 1938) is an English author and occasional political commentator. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan, and recently The Cobra and The Kill List.

The son of a furrier, he was born in Ashford, Kent, educ
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