The Sacred Sands: a novel
Sacred Sands by Vahan Zanoyan is a fantastic political thriller dealing with the secretive world of oil trading, the most powerful industry in the world. The plot revolves around James Blackburn, an energy consultant who is tasked to infiltrate deep into OPEC to expose a vast conspiracy to bring down the US and world economies and to further destabilize the already fragile Middle East. As Blackburn deals with backroom negotiations, he gets an upfront view of the collusion between OPEC and world governments. To further complicate things, Blackburn falls in love with an OPEC assistant as well as another woman, and his romance has the potential to jeopardize his mission.
Zanoyan, himself an energy consultant, writes a very plausible scenario. While this book has more to do with negotiations between various actors, it is nevertheless an enjoyable read. Because of that, the plot may seem like it’s moving at a slow pace; however, character development is very strong. Each major character has their own agenda, and it is sometimes hard to figure out what it is until the end.
Reading Zanoyan’s book, I learned a great deal about the secret world of the oil industry, how its deals are struck, and how OPEC manipulates various governments for its own benefit. I would highly recommend Sacred Sands to anybody who is fascinated with the behind-the-curtain world of politics and industry.