I found the plot and narrative of this thriller good and captivating. The author's language and descriptions are, however, quite bland, and the characters are somewhat shallow, cardboard figures. The narrator is entirely disappointing and has a very limited repertoire: four or five characters have the same voice, more or less, and one character (Rycart) comes off sounding like a mix of Irish, Scottish and Russian (which I don't think is the intention). I just find him (the reader) very amateurish. I like Robert Harris' books. I will make sure to steer clear of Roger Rees as narrator in the future.
I struggled to get into this book and finish this book. The book as whole was ok, but I was a little disappointed in the ending.
The title suits the book well. It is a ghost of a book. The most boring book I ever read. Where is the mystery? Where is the suspense? One has to read 11 chapters out of 17 to start getting a hint of a plot!
Harris is a good writer. I've listened to a few of his historical novels and they are quite good. This is an interesting book, but the ending was predictable in some ways. I guessed at it long before it ended, probably the result of having listened to so many conspiracy and suspense thrillers. The author does write great description, but the story could have done with more suspense in the plot. I would like to have seen more in the plot involving Lang's antagonist. The paranoic angle of the story's narrator could have been played up more, too. Also, there is a statement by the story narrator at the beginning that contradicts the ending. If you listen to the story, you'll probably figure it out. The reader has a good voice and is worth listening to. As for plausibility, well, it is a conspiracy fiction novel after all. Try not to get wrapped up in tying it to the real world and you may enjoy it more.
I like Robert Harris' books. I have read most of them either in print or in audible format. He has a way with words that makes even simple descriptions of forests in the rain seem memorable. And the reader of the book does a great job in rendering voices and characters. I should have enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed his other books.
All books of this type require a suspension of belief, however I found the underlying premise of the plot of this book beyond belief. If you believe that the US government and its agencies are out to control (not influence, but control) other nations, even our friends, then this is the book for you. If you find that premise hard to credit then you may want to pass this book by. Even given its wonderful writing and reader.