In a play on words, this is a truly incredible tale made up of hugely credible sub-plots being brought together with skill to form a very robust and readable whole.
Proceeding with break-neck speed across Europe and Asia, a set of individually intriguing and totally credible stories unfold, stitched together in an increasingly global (and cyber) world. Costa's style reminds one of Ken Follett in "The Edge of Eternity", subtly merging real life events and characters we are all familiar with, with huge leaps of imagination that create a wonderful yarn. It's difficult to see where fiction joins reality - they are both part of an exciting continuum.
And yet, as the book unfolds and draws to its unexpected climax, one cannot help but ask a nagging question..."and what if it's true?" Building on his past-professional career as Italy's most senior international civil servant, sitting at the top table of global institutions known to us all, the author builds credibility through a blow-by-blow account of the 2008 euro crisis, the incredibly timely description and analysis of the Ukrainian situation and Russia's current view of itself in today's world. He concludes by pulling the tale to Asia and to the world’s now largest economy -- China -- in a startling and entirely plausible conclusion.
Wonderful reading -- think-tanks beware !!
Brussels. December 27th, 2014
PS: I just finished reading the book for the second time. It needs a double-read, there is so much (credible) content that the reader misses much the first time round, impelled to turn the pages quickly. So when is the film?