City banker Pat Kennedy and his friend Tom Barton continue their pursuit of wealth and happiness, each in his own way. Kennedy arrives in Canton where an unexpected encounter changes his life. Barton in Colombia where he discovers an entirely new world.
The background is a rapidly changing political and business environment.
Thwarted by Vladimir Putin's dreams of a Greater Russia, they are faced with falling commodity prices, the annexation of Crimea, and the struggle for power and influence in London, Moscow and Hong Kong.
Together with their friends, John Francis and Pat O'Connelly, they struggle to survive the dangers building up around them in an increasingly volatile geopolitical situation.
Barton opened his eyes, it took some moments to figure out where he was. Daylight filtered through and around the thin curtains. He looked at his watch; it was just after ten, in the morning it seemed.
It took some moments more to recall he was in Bogota. Colombia. He swung his legs out of the bed and sat there trying to recall the reason for being in that South American city. It was a long and confused story.
That stunned feeling that had invaded him over the previous days, pulling him into a black abyss, had faded, replaced by one of space, distance, detachment. It was if he had arrived in a kind of limbo, perhaps awaiting judgement. He briefly wondered what the others were doing: Pat, Michael, John Francis....
He wondered whether he was some kind of rat. Then pulling himself together, he abandoned his sombre thoughts, dressed and found his way to the breakfast room. There he ordered coffee, in English, from the pretty Colombian waitress who invited him to help himself from the buffet. He was alone, the other guests already eaten, they had plans for the day, week, which was more than he could say for himself.
On a table next to the fruit juices several newspapers were laid out; local dailies, all in Spanish. Glancing at the headlines Barton was relieved to discover his relatively sketchy knowledge of the language still seemed workable.
He had arrived in Bogota the previous evening, a couple of hours behind schedule. Bad weather conditions had delayed the connecting flight at Barajas, Madrid. The taxi had taken him to the Villa de los Indios, a boutique hotel for the discerning tourist: small, stylish and discrete according to the brochure given to him by the driver, evidently used to visitors who arrived tired after a long flight and a little lost in a strange new country. A simple glance told the taxista where they came from and the budget they could afford.
He looked at his phone, there was no connection. He remembered he had removed the SIM card earlier the previous day in Zurich. It had seemed like a good precaution. Getting a local card would be one of his first priorities.
After a light breakfast and a couple of coffee refills he felt better. From what he could decipher the headlines in Bogota Times concerned the ongoing negotiations between the Colombian government and the Farc. Then there was a report on a terrorist attack in Paris. He turned his attention to the financial pages where the news was devoted to the ongoing economic turmoil in Russia and the price of oil.
After a quick visit to his room he headed out to make acquaintance with limbo. He had never been to South America, the Caribbean yes, but the Hispanic continent no. Once he got his bearings he could start to think about plans, at least for the immediate future … the next few days.