I was keenly anticipating this book from Frederick Forsyth after having read The Afghan sometime back, needless to say The Cobra did not disappoint. Of course being a prolific reader of books and specially fiction stories, I have developed a habit of becoming a new reader every time I read a book of an author with known ways of writing and I would advise the same to others too.
Forsyth revisits his favorite haunt, the CIA, for yet another ex-CIA operative adventure, this time to combat a much larger menace – the drug empires of South America, the largest “exporters” (read smugglers) of cocaine worldwide. This time the President of the US (not surprising as many such orders come from the Oval office, it seems) the reclusive Cobra, an ex CIA operative, is brought in to know whether the drug cartel can be destroyed. Well, according to him, yes…only that he demanded a crack team of men, some of the best war machines and of course money – a lot of money!!
The Cobra now brings in his best skills to prepare for a covert war against the global Cartel leader Don Diego Esteban, who very vehemently proclaims his reach and ready global customer base of 500 tonnes of cocaine! So not only does the Cobra have to fight the actual producers of this drug and the drug lords of multiple countries, but also has to get hold or eliminate the resistance from among corrupt government officials in the various countries where Esteban’s cartel operates.
The flow of the story follows in preparatory trail in the initial half of the book, so you have the tendency to hurry through…advisably – don’t……unless you want to miss out on small nuances of the covert game. The later half though gets pacier and takes the typical twists and turns a-la- Forsyth. One more thing to remember – there are many characters in the book, but then there is also a reference list of all those characters at one end of the book, just in case you may forget who that person is. The many sub plots in the story may lead to thought congestion, and that is why this list helps a lot to those who may not have a good memory!
The overdose of killing may get on to you especially when Diego Esteban starts an operation to kill all his henchmen and the gang wars to control all the cocaine that is left. For the ethically bound, killing of cocaine smugglers may seem okay – they deserve it – one may say. However, that is not how the story ends! The end is unexpected and very practical going by the global scenarios and the thought process of political setups!