Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Expansion by Christoph Martin

Review by JJ Marsh

What we thought:

A fast-paced thriller set in the world of international politics and big business, this book stands out from its peers for two reasons. One, its complex characters and their choices. Two, its fascinating setting – the eponymous expansion refers to the Panama Canal.

Max Burns, geomatic engineer, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when an old schoolfriend asks him to head a bid for the hugely competitive project of expanding the canal. He’s got his work cut out, not just in outperforming the other countries in the running, but dealing with his employers’ unusual managerial style. With parties, prostitutes and politics, he’s out of his depth.

When he meets Karis Deen, Smithsonian researcher, his feet touch bottom. She’s different, someone he can trust. But Karis is not exactly who she seems.

A crackling global adventure which dives into the murky waters of geopolitics, the business of construction, environmental effects, human greed and weakness. Add to this a colourful supporting cast of not-all-good-or-bad guys who alternately exasperate and delight, and you are onto a winner.
This demands to be read in one heart-thumping go.

You’ll enjoy this if you liked: The Expats by Chris Pavone, Deception Point by Dan Brown or The Fear Index by Robert Harris

Avoid if you don’t like: Complex plots, international finance, surprises

Ideal accompaniments: Gasoline tea, fried plantain and a warm breeze blowing through the curtains

Genre: Thriller

Available on Amazon

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