What Cameron does with characterization is stunning. Three of his major characters are tremendously flawed: an insane killer, an unemployed kleptomani..Show More »ac sponging off his sister, and a looney young woman who killed her father when she was a child. You hate them at the beginning of the novel.
The book begins with a murder told from the point of view of the insane killer. I did not care for the scene, but it kept me reading. Then Peter, the kleptomaniac and the book's main character, is introduced. I disliked him and was tempted to give up on the book. I am glad I did not. He finds himself involved with the murders and you see who he truly is. You see him fall in love. You see him react to and care for the looney girl. You see him become friends with a crusty old cop. You come to understand him, respect him, and you see him grow as a person. Finally, you feel his empathy for the girl and the killer, and because you have seen their lives, you share that empathy with him.
To build such characters and manipulate the feelings of readers so well is phenomenal. Cameron does a great job.