The Cobra
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The Cobra

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  3,186 ratings  ·  330 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 Signet (first published 2010)
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Tony Johnston
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...more
Dipanjan
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...more
Jerome
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...more
Susan
Jan 12, 2014 Susan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
Atishay
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...more
Jill Holmes
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
Vijai
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...more
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
Pawel Rejdak
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...more
Frances Levy
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...more
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
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
Herlock
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...more
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
Pete Marchetto
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...more
Jeanne
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.
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.
Ramaa
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.
Leigh
I received this as an ARC through GoodReads. I liked the concept, and found a lot of the information about the cocaine trade to be interesting, but the myriad of characters bogged down the book, rather than enhancing it.
John Sisson
This was a rotten book; every possible sad old cocaine gang, south american corruption, cheap violence, subfusc ex-military takedown cliche was trotted out in a dreary series of low-action episodes culminating in a general failure of courage by cardboard leaders. A second-rate hash of acronyms and stale quasi-contemporaneous military tactical patterns is used to divert attention from the low quality plotline.
It's like the cube root of a decent old Clancy novel from the far distant time when he a...more
Bouchra Rebiai
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doc-mok
I won this as a First Read from Goodreads and it is very engrossing so far. I haven't read a Forsyth book in years (totally loved The Dogs of War), and this book is what I remember Forsyth to be: intelligent, complex, and fast paced.

OK, so I'm done with the book now and find that it was a typical Forsyth, in that there is an incredible amount of research and detail that went into a lot of the book -- more than I could really take in (different kinds of planes, helicopters, and ships described in...more
VaultOfBooks
By Frederick Forsyth. Grade: A

The cocaine industry is worth billions of dollars a year to the drug cartels who spread their evil seed across Western society. Its usage causes incalculable misery, poverty and death. Slowly, gradually, inexorably it is spreading. One man, Paul Devereux, intellectual, dedicated, utterly ruthless and ex-CIA special ops, is given what seems like an impossible task: stop the drug barons, whatever it costs. At his disposal, anything he wants – men, resources, money. He...more
Jerry
Forsyth is one of our favorite authors, so we were looking forward to this, his latest. Even though it was clear the plot involved an all-out war on the cocaine cartel of Columbia, and the worldwide distribution of that dangerous drug, once we got beyond the tutorial on how the cocaine market works, the book settled down into actually a rather light adventure yarn about double-crossing on the land, on the sea, and in the air. The research was clearly deep, and the use of technology quite intrigu...more
Neil Wright
Freddie’s latest thriller, released at the back end of 2010. I didn’t intend on tackling another one of ‘Forsyth’s saga’s’ for a while but I got this as a present so I got stuck into as soon as I could, making the most of the quiet holidays to give it my full concentration, which is always a help with his detailed plots and threads.

Now, as book reviews go, this is one sided and biased. Fred is a personal favourite of mine and quite rightly deserves his title as ‘The Master Storyteller’, as well...more
José Luis
Comentaba más arriba que tenía reciente El poder del perro y lo cierto es que aunque el tema de ambos libros está relacionado con el mundo de la droga ambos libros tienen poco que ver. Mucho más duro el de Winslow, Cobra va más al meollo de la cuestión, es más directo y como es habitual en su autor está profusamente documentado. La historia es de las que enganchan, aunque no me ha gustado demasiado la separación que hace por capítulos pues me ha resultado un tanto anárquica. En cualquier caso me...more
Joseph Grinton
A lot of people reviewing this book seem to have been reading free copies. I bought mine as an audio book. I needed something to replace another audio book, a spy story set in Afghanistan -- not Frederick Forsyth's The Afghan, but something by another writer altogether -- which was turning into a very tedious 22 hours.

The Cobra is only 11 hours and it is very concise. There is a lot of information packed in here. Freddie calls upon all his training as a journalist. We only get the essential fac...more
thewanderingjew
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 det...more
Quentin Stewart
I just finished Frederick Forsyth's new novel The Cobra. I found the book to be an easy and fast read because I am a fan of international thrillers and this book fills that category. To some readers the preparation for the attack on the bad guys by the forces of the US may seem long and drawn out, but that is necessary to show the intricacies of planning such an attack against the drug cartels must entail. It is also a way to introduce whom I believe to be the main character, Dexter.

The book sh...more
Barbara Mitchell
I won The Cobra from GoodReads. Although I hadn't read a Forsyth book for years, I remembered his thrillers as being exciting page-turners and I looked forward to reading this one. What I read is different from what I expected but still a good read.

In this story, a retired CIA operative who is known by the nickname Cobra is asked by the President of the United States (Obama since it takes place in 2011) if it is possible to destroy the international drug cartels and thus the drug business. After...more
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From Wikipedia:

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.

The son of a furrier, Forsyth was born in Ashford, Kent. He...more
More about Frederick Forsyth...
The Day of the Jackal The Odessa File The Fourth Protocol The Dogs of War The Devil's Alternative

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