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The Cobra

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  7,069 ratings  ·  552 reviews
An extraordinary cutting-edge thriller from the New York Times-bestselling grandmaster of international suspense.

Meticulous research, crisp narratives, plots as current as today's headlines-Frederick Forsyth has helped define the international thriller as we know it. And now he does it again.

What if you had carte blanche to fight evil? Nothing held back, nothing off
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published August 17th 2010 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  7,069 ratings  ·  552 reviews

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Tony Johnston
Aug 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Sumit RK
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it
When it comes to thrillers, Frederick Forsyth is right up there with the very best. Meticulous research, a compelling story line & unexpected twists & turns being the hallmarks of his writings. His every novel carries the same level of expectations as many of his previous great works.

In ‘The Cobra’ president of the United States declares an all-out war on the Colombian cocaine industry, recruits former CIA officials and with a $2 billion budget, total secrecy and control over a
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Cobra falls short and is disappointing.

The first half of the book isn't bad;the US and British prepare for their covert war against a powerful Colombian drug cartel. It's toward the second half of the book where things slip. Navy SEALs and British SBS soldiers intercept drug shipments on the high seas, and a Brazilian fighter pilot shoots down aircraft carrying cocaine. This happens a bunch of times, over and over again, and each scene is just a repeat of an earlier scene with no new twists or
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: facebook-reviews
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
Dec 18, 2015 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
Pawel Rejdak
Dec 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Elizabeth  Holter
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-books
The cocaine recipe - Loved that part
How the cocaine industry works
The torture methods

The Bad
Character development
Story development
Lose ends
Flat language

Overall - Not a very good book

There, I said it all.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not the best Frederick Forsyth I have read in fact his others are far far better. He has set a such a high bar for himself, it must be hard to reach it each time. Nevertheless still a good read and better than the average thriller writers out there. I quickly finished this one.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book after the amazing experience I had with The Kill List and was expecting a similar exciting roller coaster. Sadly, I was utterly disappointed. The Cobra is written in an almost immature manner, with a very anti climactic climax. The whole story sounds like a hastily put together tale from someone who did not want to write it in the first place, and couldn’t bother to think of a decent way to end it.
Alain DeWitt
Jun 21, 2015 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
Mark Berezin
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fast paced and we'll written. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading The Cobra.
Jill Holmes
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Ravi Sharma
Feb 26, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
Nov 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Oct 05, 2010 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
Eric Wright
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Jan 12, 2014 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
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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.
Karen Potts
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
This book first seemed like an adventuresome man's story with plenty of detail regarding equipment, weapons, political mainlines & sidelines. However, as it concluded it overwhelmed me (in a good way) with things to think seriously about, questions to ask myself & attitude challenges that were entirely unexpected. I am impressed with the author's achievement -- writing a story that is a pertinent to modern everyday life as well as issues larger & more dramatic than daily life ever ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I do not know if it is me or this book... but I was thoroughly bored reading this. All I wanted was this book to get over and me to get on with the next book.
There is more narration and less action in this book. One expects a thriller to be crunchy or at least gripping. This reads more like a government report.
Ben Delaney
Aug 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bernie Ideker
Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very educational concerning drug manufacturing & smuggling; more detail than I need. The author did his research.
Frances Levy
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Carl Alves
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Eric J. Gates
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Ihab Khalil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolina Imhof
Apr 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
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
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Frederick Forsyth, CBE 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, educated at Tonbridge
“mood other than satisfaction and that is rage.” 3 likes
“dispatcher, Alfredo Suarez, had to check the weather.” 0 likes
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