When Max Burns leaves his university teaching position to take a job with his future father-in-law, he thinks his future is secure. Suddenly, he’s offered the chance of a life time, designing the expansion of the Panama Canal. Max can’t pass up the opportunity. He leaves England, his new job, and his finacé to go to Panama.
Multiple countries are bidding on the project, UK, US, Germany, and Japan. The teams are surprised that China isn’t bidding. China’s absence leads to speculation that they are planning to disrupt the project. Max puts together a brilliant design working with his old school friend, Godfredo, and his father’s construction company. When the bids are submitted, Max is stunned to learn that they’re the low bidder. He doesn’t believe they can do the project for that amount. What if they win?
Max is a brilliant scientist and a good person. You can’t help, but like him and hope he succeeds against the odds. Godfredo is a likable con artist. He’s completely under his father’s thumb, but he has good instincts and in a crunch doesn’t want to let Max down. Max has a girl friend, Karis Deen, an American working for the Smithsonian in Panama. She is a tough lady, but not as fleshed out as Max and Godfredo.
The book is unique in the thriller genre. There is a murder, but there’s very little violence and the sex takes place off stage. I enjoyed that, but if you’re looking for sex and violence, you’ll be disappointed. The book has a slow start. The author goes deep into backstory for Max and Godfredo, and the political situation. The action doesn’t start until very late in the book. If you don’t mind wading through Max’s early life and the political background, it’s a good read.
I received this book from Net Galley for this review.