Patrick Robinson's epic techno-thriller, BARRACUDA 945, should come
with a written warning from the Surgeon General. I have never
before tackled any of Robinson's works, but after reading this
rollercoaster ride of a novel, I must say that this is one genre
that is extremely addicting.
If you're going to read BARRACUDA 945, be forewarned that sleep
deprivation can occur. Other symptoms include nervousness,
inability to concentrate on anything except BARRACUDA 945, and loss
of interest in normal everyday activities, except getting to the
gripping last page of BARRACUDA 945 ASAP.
OK, you've been warned.
One of the remarkable things about BARRACUDA 945 is Robinson's
incredible ability to take the reader's breath away throughout the
entire 440-page tome. The novel begins with Robinson's introduction
of British turncoat Ray Kerman, who incidentally takes sides with
bloodthirsty terrorists who devise a plan to rob a pair of
international banks in order to buy two nuclear powered submarines
from the Russians with aid from Chinese officials.
BARRACUDA 945 also reintroduces Robinson's star character, National
Security Adviser Arnold Morgan, who is making his sixth appearance
in a Robinson novel. Morgan is the epitome of the right wing,
ultra-conservative, take-no-prisoners kind of guy. He not only
devises the plan to retake the Panama Canal from China after the
bad guys ditch the nuclear submarine in the canal after several
attacks on key U.S. oil refineries, he also manages to keep the
Commander-in-Chief from going hysterical numerous times after the
country is besieged by terrorist attacks.
While the main part of the novel takes place in 2008, Robinson does
a superb job in illustrating the importance of remembering that
terrorism against America is still a huge threat and is an issue
that shouldn't be taken lightly. With several key references
relating to the impact of 9-11, Robinson, a former British
newspaper columnist who covered thoroughbred racing for a number of
years, has written a novel that should be required reading for our
country's current National Security Council adviser, Condoleeza
In BARRACUDA 945, Robinson's Hamas terrorists make Osama Bin Laden
and the rest of the infamous Al-Qaeda network seem like a bunch of
disorganized boy scouts. Although the September 11th attacks were
horrific and the images of those planes slamming into the Twin
Towers of the World Trade Center remain burned into my conscience,
Robinson's Hamas terrorists are also what President George Bush
would call "evil doers".
Despite Robinson's attempt at trying to make Kerman, also known as
Hamas Gen. Ravi Rashood, seem somewhat compassionate and humane,
this man is nothing more than a ruthless psychotic killer who stops
at nothing to complete his macabre mission. Even though Rashood
launches deadly ICBM missiles into numerous oil refineries in
Alaska where the death toll is next to nil, Rashood and his band of
modern day pirates turn the entire town of Lompoc, California into
an apocalyptic inferno after destroying the main electricity
facility that powers much of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Another problem with Robinson's novel is his constant
editorializing against former President Bill Clinton. It's apparent
that Robinson despises the embattled Clinton, but to compare his
intellect with his genitals is just downright sophomoric. Plus, I
had a hard time grappling with the notion that Clinton would have
been stupid enough to give control of the Panama Canal to
An additional point worth mentioning is the copy editing of
BARRACUDA 945. Sorry folks, but when a giant publisher like
HarperCollins releases a book, a reader shouldn't have to
experience any misspellings.
Despite Robinson's glaring dislike for Bill Clinton and some
typographical errors, BARRACUDA 945 is just what the doctor ordered
if you're looking for a blistering page-turner packed with
suspense, intrigue and action.
Reviewed by David Exum, who works as an online news editor/reporter for BostonHerald.com and covers NASCAR for the Boston Herald. on January 21, 2011