Thursday, April 2, 2020

Cybernarc by Robert Cain

by Robert Cain
1991 Harper

"Could a robot...hate?"

Christopher Drake is a Navy SEAL working with the DEA against Colombian drug lords.  He's also participating in a project to program a robot soldier code named RAMROD, or Rod for short, copying his brainwave patterns while he participates in training exercises.

Despite the opening sequence being a direct lift of Robocop, and the title itself coming straight from a thesaurus, the book has a contemporary setting, the project itself dating from the Vietnam era.

Drake's wife and daughter are raped and murdered in an especially nasty sequence.  Afterwards, his hatred and drive for revenge infect Rod's programming.  After a failed assassination attempt, Drake, Rod, and a team of soldiers raid the drug warlord's compound and lure out the CIA traitor.

The plot is a pretty standard military story, spiced up with ultra-violent robotic action as Rod throws tires through faces, punches out spines, and mows down scores of narco-soldiers.  It teases a little bit of buddy cop, robotic literalism humor, but doesn't really commit to it.

Plots involving CIA trafficking drugs were ubiquitous in the 1980s (Above the Law, The Presidio, I think even an episode of Riptide).  I always though it was weird when just a few years later everyone freaked out over the allegations in Dark Alliance, as if they were out of the blue.

Paperback from Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Nothing says late 80s/early 90s trash like Columbian drug lords and "cyber" technology. Sounds like this book combines the two. Must be awful.