Saffire Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 …
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Thoughts on Saffire:
Sigmund Brouwer’s main character in Saffire is James Holt. It’s 1909, and Holt finds himself at the construction site of the Panama Canal. One of the first people he meets is young Saffire, a street child quite savvy in the ways of the world.
Saffire is in search of her mother, and she asks Holt to help her complete her search. The feelings of Panamanians make life somewhat contentious for outsiders. Brouwer manages to drop Holt into a mysterious world which endangers Holt and others, including young Saffire.
Brouwer is a master at writing a good mystery. I’ve read only one other of his books, The Canary List, and I enjoyed it so much I decided to read him again. His plot in Saffire keeps you turning the pages to see what happens next.
The character development in Saffire is somewhat complex. Brouwer does an excellent job of creating people you can either love or hate when it comes to characters. His presentation of the environment in Panama circa 1909 is realistic.
Some narrative bits are long-suffering and you wish they would end, and eventually they do. Other than that, I found Saffire to be an easy read and a story I enjoyed.
Mystery lovers and historical fiction fans will enjoy Saffire. Brouwer’s writing easily brings you satisfaction in the reading of his books and makes you want read him again.