This was certainly an engrossing read. It had a lot going for it: it was rich in language and details, the time period was adequately portrayed, and you're first led into a plot to stop a murder after it's all ready happened--exciting right?I think there are two key points that make or break this novel for the reader: the story being split into three (inter-connected but still separate) sections, and the author/narrator will break the fourth wall throughout. I wasn't exactly bothered by either, but I do think there could've been a compromise. I did find the narrator uncomfortable at times, but I recognize that Palma was daring in this style choice, and I do commend that. I think I would've preferred the three parts not to be so segregated from each other, for me the best part was putting the pieces together and seeing old characters again, but I don't necessarily see how the novel benefited from this choice. The novel meanders around, and when you think you're on the right track you turn right around again. I was a little disappointed in some story points, what I thought was happening--I don't know I preferred the fantasy.This is a hard book to rate, it was certainly stronger than a 3 or even 3.5 but if I could I'd still rate it below a 4. I guess a 3.75 if that was possible?