"At a guest house in the beautiful Franschhoek wine valley, a famous English mathematician is kidnapped and his two bodyguards are killed. It's clearly a professional hit, and the spent shell cases offer a chilling clue: Each is engraved with the head of a spitting cobra. Meanwhile, in Cape Town, a skilled young thief is using his talents to put his sister through college. Then one day he picks the wrong pocket, grabbing the wallet of a young American woman visiting South Africa to deliver some very valuable and dangerous information. Before the day is done, five more are dead thanks to the Cobra, the sister is kidnapped, and the thief is on the run. With the help of his colleagues in the Hawks, South Africa's top police unit, Captain Benny Griessel attempts to identify and find the missing man, save the girl, and track down the Cobra. And then the intelligence services step in, ordering his team to turn over the investigation. Powerful people are involved, possibly the CIA. But the Hawks aren't going to let it go, aren't going to let corruption rot the new South Africa, and aren't going to let the Cobra get away with murder" --From publisher's web site.