4 out of 4 stars
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The Expansio , by Christoph Martin, is a fast-paced espionage novel and is filled with surprises and tension. Max Burns is a British engineer who is working on the expansion of the Panama Canal. He ends up working with his longtime school friend, Godfredo Roco and his rather shady father, Paco. The reader is introduced to several characters that are difficult to keep straight at first. They are all traveling through different countries and have different obstacles to overcome.
Max has worked hard to become head engineer for the expansion of the Panama Canal. He is in one of the most beautiful tropical places in the world and is pleased with his working team. How could he know he was to become involved in sabotage and murder?
Paco's CISCO Construction represents Britain in the bidding for the project. Some illicit deeds are soon to be discovered, as the groups each try to undercut the other in their bidding war. CISCO wins the bid, and almost immediately tensions seem to grow. A United States agency believes that someone is attempting to sabotage the project and threaten America's national security.
While working in Panama, Max is introduced to Karis Deen, a research scientist also working in the area. Karis is one of the strongest characters in this book. It is interesting to see how her mind works and how she works her way through her dilemmas. It seems that Karis is the only one that Max can trust. But Karis has her own agenda.
After a surprising murder, Max finds that he is not only a scapegoat for Cisco's sudden dire financial straights, but also is suspected of involvement in the murder. Max has stayed with the Panama project even though he has seen warning signs of possible problems.
This novel is a relatively quick read filled with twists and turns. I enjoyed that the chapters were all fairly short. There was always a good stopping place, even though you wanted to keep on reading. The characters are believable, and you easily associate with their dilemmas.
I rated this book 4 out of 4 stars even though I did come across two or three errors. Definitely a great read for mystery lovers. The ending is unexpected and leaves you longing for a new story to come. I look forward to another Christoph Martin mystery.
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