I was very hesitant to buy this book after seeing how evenly divided people were between loving and hating it. But then I realized that some of the best books drive fans to polarize this way, so I gave it a chance.
To me, this book did reach a feverish nightmare quality that felt heightened compared to its predecessors. However, for Harris to pull off the ending, that height was necessary. Yes, it was shocking, but also utterly satisfying, and it couldn't have been accomplished any other way.
I didn't entirely enjoy the middle section in Italy, but perhaps it only made me that much more glad to return to Starling and her action-packed chapters. If you're someone who gets particularly thrilled by a blazing showdown at the climax of a book, I'd recommend this book.
If you're more interested in Harris' craft as a murder mystery writer, this book may have veered too far into ethereal horror territory for you.
But either way, I think it's worth giving it a try.