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3.7 out of 5 stars26
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 September 2004
Barracuda 945 showcases all thats right and wrong with Patrick Robinson.
The story is very much more of the same. Real fans will love it, while those who aren't so keen may think they've read it before. In a nutshell, an Arab born SAS man (Ray Kerman) is sickened by Israeli actions in Hebron, defects to HAMAS and masterminds several strikes against Israel. So far so good... what better terrorist than an SAS man? It almost like a gamekeeper turned poacher.
Then he goes to Iran and masterminds a brilliant strike against the US using a Russian nuclear submarin (the Barracuda type 945). At this point you have to suspen your disbelief. While an SAS man would be great at infiltrating Israel, you've got to wonder what he'd really know about subs. His masterplan involves getting Iran (on behalf of HAMAS) providing a submarine crew and money. The Chinese buy the sub from Russia and give it to the arabs to attack america. When the US get a little angry everyone will deny ever having the sub.
As with Robinson's previous Ben Adnam books (Nimitz class, HMS Unseen) the idea of having a terrorist with a sub is great. He's realised that his fans like reading about mass distruction wrought from the sea by master terrorists & as a result Kerman is the major character in the book. Unfortunately the whole plot is a bit too much like HMS Unseen to be considered original.
Many reviewers have complained that Robinson is very right wing. He is. His criticism of Bill Clinton is very accurate.. only the most die-hard democrat would claim that Clinton didn't weaken the US military. Certainly he allowed the Panamanians to give control of the Panama canal to China (without spoiling the plot this is quite important) and allowed China to get access to some very powerful US missile technology. Unfortunately rather than being satisfied with making the point once he has to reinforce it again & again & again.
As with his previous 5 books Robinson's main advisor is Falklands task force leader Admiral Sandy Woodward. While I have great respect for the Admiral, Robinson seems obliged to highlight his every achievement. I refuse to believe that any US admiral would ever say "A nuclear submarine is the most destructive weapon on earth. This was shown in December 1982 when Admiral Sandy Woodward torpedoed the 13,500 ton Argentinean cruiser Belgrano 182 miles off the coast of the Falklands". 5 pages later "thats ten times more explosive than Admiral Sandy Woodward used to sink the 13,500 ton cruiser the Belgrano". As with his politics its about as subtle as an A-bomb. If (British born) Patrick Robinson is so proud of the Royal Navy then why doesn't he write about it rather than than focusing on the americans so much? In his books the only real role for the Brits seems to be breeding terrorists!
Without spoiling too much it all ends like every one of Robinsons books. SEALS blowing things up & the "damn chinese" defeated. It sets things up nicely for a sequel. All in all this is an easy to read page-turner. If you've read his previous books you'll like this. If Bill Clinton is your favourite presidnet of all time, don't bother.
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on 22 January 2004
Barracuda 945 sets out with the interesting idea of the continental United States coming under attack from a cruise missile carrying nuclear submarine. This could have developed into a pretty good book with a Red October style game of cat and mouse at sea and a look at the social, economic and political impact such an attack might have in the States. Ok, so it was never going to win the Booker prize, but it could still have been an excellent thriller.
That’s why Patrick Robinson’s decision, seemingly made about half way through the story, to turn this into a party political broadcast for the Republican party, is so unfortunate. Minor issues like plot and character development are cast to one side as the book becomes nothing more than a platform for an extraordinary series of crass and utterly irrelevant attacks on all things Democrat with poor old Bill Clinton, in particular, really getting both barrels.
If Mr Robinson insists on enlightening the rest of us with his devastating political insight, perhaps he could do so with a letter to the Washington Post or something like that rather than ruining a potentially good book. If you’re looking for an intelligent and enjoyable thriller try Tom Clancy’s early work or anything by Gerald Seymour.
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on 18 June 2003
A British SAS soldier (Ray Kerman)who was raised as a Brit find himself in the middle east on a mission when his memory of who he truly is returns, and he finds out that his parents have lied to him his entire life. He is an Iraqi. While on his mission in the middle east, Kerman kills 2 of his SAS platoon while 'protecting' one of his fellow 'people'. Kerman then goes on the run with the woman he 'protected' and subsequently falls in love with her.
Kerman then decides that he will take revenge on the USofA and the rest of the world for oppressing his 'people' and hooks up with a 'movement' who have connections and money and arrange to buy a nucleur submarine from the Russians, who oddly enough don't care who they sell that sort of thing to as they need the money. only they don't just buy one submarine, they buy two. Thus a trail of rampage and destruction is left behind by Kerman who is keen to seek revenge against all those countries that have contributed to the oppression of his people and to the oppression of Iraq.
Hot on Kerman's trail is of course Admiral Arnold Morgan and his trail of rudeness and wit, with newly promoted Lt. Cmdr Jimmy Ramshawe helping him figure out where Kerman will srike next after hitting several key oil installations in the US.
Robinson brings out only one book a year, and I am always waiting in eager anticipation of his next, and this was no exception, other than the fact that this book is by far his worst and least enjoyable. The characters are flat and feel lifeless, and never seem to venture out of the office. Arnold Morgan once made me laugh out loud with his wit and rudeness, and now I find it tideous and boring. The punch lines just weren't there this time round, and Ramshawe's character just seemed to piece the puzzle together with seemingly inconsequential evidence to save the day.
Given that Robinson has had a year to write this book, I found it thoroughly disappointing and lacking in any real excitement. Even the ending where the Navy SEALS track Kerman to his hide out is lack lustre and dull. This book isn't a patch on Nimitz Class or Kilo Class - truly classic Robinson.
I truly hope Robinson can come up with something better next year. Perhaps it's time to retire these characters and create new ones.
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on 6 August 2011
This is a very poor example of Robinson's work. It is the start of a series devoted to the exploits of an SAS man turned Islamic terrorist, who conceives a plan to buy a Russian submarine to use against US oil and electricity facilities, thereby encouraging the US to abandon interference in the middle east. However, the writing quality is dull, with huge amounts of pure description, lack of narrative drive, and simply boring prose. The protagonist is not particularly believable - and neither is his wife! The text is full of the usual anti-Islam prejudice but is particularly anti Clinton to a quite ridiculous degree. Robinson has produced much better work of this type eg Nimitz Class and HMS Unseen.
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on 28 December 2012
Brilliant! Very typical Patrick Robinson. Military machinery all accurately described, intense story lines, and genuinely believable characters who you fell like you've known all reading days! I love all things Naval, and these Sub heavy thrillers just keep getting better. Robinson's way of unfolding political stories without coming across as biased towards any makes it truly refreshing to read and really gets you thinking and pondering about the world! Another great book from Mr Robinson.
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on 25 March 2012
great book , nearly finished, read all the previos books by this author, i find when i pick up a book by patrick robinson , they are very difficult to put down. as for the kindle i wish i had bought one sooner. keep up the good work.
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on 9 February 2004
Potentially unfairly, I started this book off the back of the latest Gerald Seymour and yet after the first 100 pages was so hooked into the potential of the story I would have ranked it even higher.
The presentation of ideas well thought through and systematically linked set the scene for a memorable 'battle' between the practical General and the strategic Admiral, although the annoying introduction of the wunderkind Lieutentant scored negatively for me.
Imagine my surprise therefore when the author decided that as he himself couldn't distinguish who would triumph between the pair, he would instead write the conclusion for a completely different novel!
The disappointment I felt was compounded by the fact that the start was so good but I also believe that I should discourage anybody else from purchasing this book and thus avoid a similar feeling of time-waste!
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on 12 November 2013
Read the whole series and what a great run of books. The characters all work really well together and Mr Robinson has a great way of telling a story. Simply brilliant books.
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on 11 March 2014
The book was bought to add to a series written by the author and to add my collection of his novels..
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on 24 June 2015
A good read but story line a little weak in comparison to Nimitz class and other Robinson books.
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