Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the political thriller, The Expansion by Christoph Martin!
Keep reading for a synopsis of the book and for an exclusive extract of The Expansion (publishing today!)
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.
This is the tragic event that changes 16-year-old Max Burns’s safe and well-to-do life, setting him up for some difficult but formative years living in poverty on a housing estate in the outer suburbs of London.
The heli’s rotor blades roared, shoveling icy air. They gained altitude fast.
Expertly, Ed took the craft above the tree line.
“I’ve made arrangements for Max.” He spoke into the lip microphone.
“What arrangements?” Her voice was in his headset.
“He’ll come back to England next week to live with Alan—”
“With Alan?! Are you crazy? I’m not having my son on a housing estate! Do you know what those places are like—?”
“Enough, Helen! You’re not listening! It’s over! We don’t get to choose any more. There’s a warrant for our arrest.” He looked at the well of blackness he knew to be the Surrey forests below, and his stomach lurched. Perhaps there was another way …?
“But this is us, Ed: me and you. We’ll pull through, like we always do.”
“Except it isn’t just us this time, is it? It’s everybody else you convinced to buy into Rupert’s bloody scheme! All of our friends, Helen!”
“I wasn’t to know—”
“No!” He cut her off. “You knew exactly what you were doing.” He turned to her, and an emptiness began to steal over him. “Everything I did, I did it for you. I always loved you so much. I still do.”
She said nothing.
“But everything we have … It wasn’t enough. It was never enough.”
Still, she remained silent, and Ed turned away.
They had reached a flying altitude of three thousand feet.
His fingers found what they were searching for: the smooth, plastic sheath that guarded the engine’s idle shut-off valve.
It would only take a moment.
Numb, he turned to his wife. She had covered her lips with her hand, and he heard a sob. In the darkness, the diamonds at her throat had lost their fire.
“It’s the best way. I can’t let them put you in jail,” he said. “Max will be able to make a clean start. One day, I hope he’ll forgive me—”
“No!” she shrieked, swiveling frantically in her seat. One hand was on the window pane, and her eyes were on the ground, far below them: on the freckled lights of their receding home.
With all his remaining strength, Edward Burns reached for his wife. He drew her toward him, and he hugged her tightly.
Then he pulled the valve.
As the engine died, she fought the cage of his arms.
But it was only a moment.
Then the canopy tore away, slain with disembodied metal blades, and the torque threw them, spinning, pitching, toward the ground.
Edward Burns felt nothing as his skull split open.
Purchase on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Expansion-Christoph-Martin-ebook/dp/B06XKRK9SL/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1492682557&sr=1-2-fkmr1