4 out of 4 stars
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This book focuses on the expansion project for the Panama Canal. An event of this scale has surely attracted the attention of the big players. And by saying big, I mean enormous, as big as it can get, as the most influential countries get involved in the competition of proposing the best project and getting over the control of the Expansion. Yet the story doesn't only build up around this.
Strategic decisions, political strife, illegal hidden agreements, difficult business decisions, use of authority and power for one's benefit, law, finance: all these notions are interrelated and develop around the story of love, passion towards your work, friendship, difficult parenthood and simple human relations: and if you still doubt whether this book is cool, I have 2 words for you: Secret Agents
Enter Max Burns, the intelligence of the project, yet a naïve pawn on the chess board with 4 main players: the American Government, a newly formed Secret Organization, the Chinese Ambassador, and Francisco Paco Roco, the CEO of CISCO and a tyrant father of Max's spineless friend Godfredo. The latter is the reason Max is even involved with the expansion project in the first place. Yet Max and his colleague Alexandra Wong is here to get things done and doesn't really care what happens on the other fronts.
I wonder whether he would have said these words if he knew what was going to happen towards the end of his story. Yet... No spoilers. don't worryI only know as long as you work the best you can, the rest of it? It's just... It's just the rest of it.
Organized in 73 short chapters, the styling has slightly reminded me of that of Dan Brown, if he was writing about a different topic (although he's not alien to writing about Secret Agencies). There are several parrallel stories told from different character's name. All are organized around the same subject and build up the atmosphere for the consensus. I remember seeing an opinion, that the book only opens up towards the end. I couldn't disagree more, as the book never got boring. Each chapter was where it was meant to be and gave some information, that would later be used in the storyline. I wouldn't also say, that the things got tense in the end. To me the tempo was constant and the story was being told consecutively.
However, this book was not a quick read for me. I need to give Christoph Martin credit: the language wasn't full of boring and complicated terminology one can expect from a book full of scientific and legal aspects, not even to mention the secret agencies and politics. The editors also did a great job, as the book could be read flawlessly. Yet, the intertwined topics, switches between the big players, complicated storylines to follow: all this requires some focus if you want to truly understand and enjoy the read. Which I absolutely did, thus I give this book 4 out of 4 stars .
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