4 out of 4 stars
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The Expansion introduces the reader to a world of international finance, power plays between countries and construction projects of national and international importance. It exposes us to the depth of intrigue and the lengths security agencies of competing countries will go to achieve their national aims including murder, corporate sabotage and fraud. It is both a thrilling and chilling insight into the mind sets of those who work covertly and overtly in governments and those in the private sector who put profit over principle.
We are first introduced at the beginning of the book to Helen and Edward Burns who meet an untimely death through a shocking suicide in a helicopter. Their son, Max, survives this childhood disruption and after attending a private school in England becomes a well-respected Geomatics engineer who is engaged to be married and about to start an important job with his future father-in laws’ company.
Max’s best friend at school, Godfredo, contacts Max after many years offering him a position of a lifetime as head of a project to expand the Panama Canal. Godfredo and his father, Paco, own and run a company called CISCO which will coordinate the expansion project. Max leaves his fiancée and new job in England to join the new project in Panama. CISCO wins the bid for the project and construction is underway. Then the drama begins.
I could not stop reading this book. It is a true thriller written in a smooth, flowing conversational and very descriptive style. You are sent jettisoning from page to page trying to find what is going to happen next. The scenes are beautifully described as are the important characters such as the beautiful American agent Karis Dean who is posing as a scientist and the exotic girlfriend of Godfredo, Sophia.
There is romance here but it is presented in a respectful and non-graphic manner. There is murder and mayhem, betrayal and loyalty and corrupt governmental officials both from the United States and Panama. It made me aware of the intricacies of big international business and the potential for payoffs or worse.
The only minor shortcoming of this book is that the reader is “left hanging” at the very end but this was so insignificant that I gladly give The Expansion a four out of four stars rating and highly recommend it to everyone interested in mystery and thriller genres.
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