When I purchased the book the reviews were nothing but stellar -- I couldn't wait to dig in. The author's attention to detail is exquisite; he often creates a beautiful picture of what is happening. Other times the amount of detail is simply too much. At around page 250 I found myself skimming the longer passages, and there were many of them. By the end I was only reading to see if I guessed right on ""who did it,"" with little care for the rich detail or wrapping up lose ends in the character's lives. Perhaps because of this my rating for the first half is a solid 5 stars, second half would be 2 1/2. Perhaps reading 2 other books alongside this was too much of a distraction.