4 out of 4 stars
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The Expansion by Christopher Martin is an exceptional thriller. It follows the story of British geomatics engineer, Max Burns and his role in the expansion of the Panama Canal. Max is invited by his childhood friend, Godfredo and his father, Paco to come work on a bid to expand the Panama Canal. Max helps the British team win the bid to expand the Panama canal after coming up with a brilliant design. Winning this bid marked a turning point in the life of Max Burns. He is forced to leave behind his girlfriend and a well paid job as he moves to Panama to work on the expansion project. Plans for another canal in Nicaragua puts into question the motives of the Chinese. The Americans who also have vested interest in Panama would do anything to win the bid. Intelligence agencies are monitoring all parties involved and back door deals are being struck everywhere. Max somehow always finds himself at the center of all these sagas.
The story is well-written. The plot and characters are well developed. Though the story is multidimensional, it centers around Max Burns. Each character has a critical role to play in the development of the plot. Most, if not all are very human. Most people would relate to them at different levels. The strained relationship between Godfredo and Paco is a good example. Most people would understand how complicated family relationships can be especially when it's intertwined with business. It is the nasty side of people like Godfredo and Paco, the sleaziness of the Chinese and Americans that provides an intriguing twist to this book
This book is interesting. Top on the list of interesting things would be the presence of espionage. I am a big fan of action and I believe espionage is a form of action without brute force. The Americans, Chinese and intelligence agencies really spiced up the narrative. This book dipped my toes into the cutthroat world of business, the intrigue of clandestine agencies and the sleazy nature of corporate espionage, all of which are centered on the expansion of one of the most important waterways in the world: The Panama Canal. This book is fast paced and I was hooked from the very first page.
I could barely find anything negative about this book. The only problem I had with this book was the fact that the story ended in a cliffhanger. For a not so long book, I would expect the author to just conclude the story. Nonetheless, I would be diving at the next book in the sequel as soon as it is made available.
I would rate The Expansion by Christopher Martin 4 out of 4 stars. The book was interesting and fast paced. This book would appeal to a wide audience. Those who love action, thrillers, espionage and even to an extent, history would find this book appealing. I would also like to mention that there is a touch of romance though it does not involved any sexually explicit scene. This just made the book even more appealing to me.
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