4 out of 4 stars
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In the novel The Expansion by Christoph Martin, Max Burns is a brilliant German engineer with a troubled past. Living with his fiancé in Germany, Max is set up for a perfect life, working for his future father in law's company. Everything changes when he picks up a call from his old friend from grade school named Godfredo. Godfredo has become a partner in his father's construction company, and the company is putting together a bid to expand the Panama Canal. Could Max come to Central America and be the bid's chief scientific officer?
Max gets a gut feeling that this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and takes the offer, leaving everything behind in Germany that he had grown accustomed to. As Max works incredibly hard to secure the bid for his friend's company, he starts to notice that things don't feel quite right. Is Godfredo's company corrupt? Are Godfredo and his father setting Max up to be implicated in a major crime? Only time will tell in this thriller that captivates from start to finish.
I enjoyed this book immensely and thought the writing flowed well. The author does a wonderful job painting the backdrop to the story, and introducing each character slowly and thoroughly into the storyline. I especially liked the United States Special Agent Karis Deens, who is a good officer of the law working to eliminate corruption. Karis and Max have a strong physical attraction, and this romantic element to the book is an excellent one.
This story was slow to build tension but was written well enough to not be bored. This novel is three hundred pages long, making it a good afternoon read. It was suspenseful enough that I was upset when I had to put it down when necessary. The author has an excellent knowledge of structures, and I felt I learned something about the mechanics of construction while reading this book. The technical language used when explaining the expansion of the Panama Canal was both insightful and exciting. I understand technical writing is normally a difficult task, but the writer does an excellent job making the canal expansion not only the main storyline, but the canal itself became an interesting character in the novel.
I give The Expansion 4 out of 4 stars, for its professional editing, excellent storyline, and vivid imagery. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an international thriller with money, corruption, and violence as main themes.
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