Author: Sigmund Brouwer
Category/Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
My Star Rating: 3/5
"I reminded myself that once you start to defend someone, it's difficult to find a place to stop. But I went ahead and took that first step anyway. For President Teddy Roosevelt, controlling the east-west passage between two oceans mattered so much that he orchestrated a revolution to control it. His command was to 'let the dirt fly' and for years, the American Zone of the Panama Canal mesmerized the world, working in uneasy co-existence with the Panamanian aristocrats. It's in this buffered Zone where, in 1909, James Holt takes that first step to protect a mulatto girl named Saffire, expecting a short and simple search for her mother. Instead it draws him away from safety, into a land haunted by a history of pirates, gold runners, and plantation owners, all leaving behind ghosts of their interwoven desires sins and ambitions, ghosts that create the web of deceit and intrigue of a new generation of revolutionary politics. It will also bring him together with a woman who will change his course or bring an end to it. A love story set within a historical mystery, Saffire is brings to vibrant life the most impressive and embattled engineering achievement of the twentieth-century"
This was a remarkably researched, intelligently written piece of historical fiction that places the reader right in the middle of politics and corruption (the two tend to go hand in hand, don't they?). The author does an impressive job pulling the reader into the time period and the setting - the Panama Canal was such a complicated place! Holt was the best part of the novel, to me. I loved that he was haunted just enough to make him interesting but not the center of it all. The intrigue, however, stopped there for me I'm afraid. I found the story to be rather slow moving and it was difficult to stay concentrated on the pages.
*I received a complimentary copy from Blogging For Books*