In politics and big business, truth is a matter of opinion.
Straddling the storyworlds of Panama, Washington and London, The Expansion follows British-born geomatic engineer Max Burns, whose revolutionary water-saving system wins him the esteemed position of head engineer for one of the 21st century’s most politically contested megaprojects: the expansion of the Panama Canal.
For Max it is a dream come true: not only is he able to work closely with construction giant and old high-school friend Godfredo Roco in one of the most beautiful tropical environments, but it’s the kind of job Max has been working toward his entire career.
Yet in the arena of global trade and diplomacy, stakes are high, and when a senior official of the Panama Canal Administration is found dead, Max finds himself in the frame for sabotage and murder, and at the centre of a web of political intrigue and betrayal that reaches far beyond the idyllic shores of Central America. The only person Max can trust is his new-found love, Karis Deen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Except Karis herself holds a secret that could not only destroy Max, but could change the entire balance of world power.
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About the Author
Christoph Martin is the writing team of Christoph Martin Zollinger and Libby O’Loghlin. Christoph Zollinger is a Swiss entrepreneur whose career spans legal, military, corporate and private enterprise. Christoph graduated with a law degree from the University of Zürich, after which time he went on to live and work in Panama in corporate and private enterprise for more than a decade. In 2012 he returned to Switzerland with his wife and children. He divides his time between his home in Zürich and a tiny Alpine village in Graubünden. Libby O’Loghlin is an Australian novelist and prize-winning short story writer who has a career in narrative media production, including film and television, as well as print and digital publishing. She has lived in the UK, USA and Malaysia, and she now lives with her family in Switzerland.
This is the first time Max sees the intriguing tropical setting of Contadora Island, which is just off the coast of the mainland of Panama.
As the helicopter lost altitude, Max saw the deep azure of the Pacific give way to shallower waters. Luxury yachts of all sizes were clustered periodically along the shoreline, and a short runway, running north to south, neatly dissected the tiny island, whose lush landscape was now taking shape.
Even as Max watched, the sun started to dip toward the horizon, casting the already orange sky blood red.
“Contadora Island, my friend!” Godfredo spoke into the lip-mic as he turned to look at Max from the cockpit. “Welcome to Paradise!” The last rays of light caught the side of his face, and he gave a broad smile.
“This is where we’re staying?” Max asked.
Sprawling sandstone villas could now be seen amid lush vegetation and the fiery pinks and whites of bougainvillea, fronting slender beaches.
“I dunno, Fredo,” Max teased. “Looks like it’s going to be rough down there.”
“You don’t know the half of it!” Godfredo laughed. “The island is a lot of fun.” Max eyed the arc of a broad and serene sandy cove. “What happens on Contadora stays on Contadora!”