The fifth book in The Palliser series. When I started this I thought it was going to be the best book to date but the story fell away at the end. The main character Ferdinand Lopez is a wonderful villain. He's immoral, manipulative but in some instances oddly vulnerable. This is the only book in the series to date where a male character has overshadowed his female counterparts.
I found many of the characters surrounding Ferdinand to be gullible and a bit irritating, particularly Ferdinand's wife Emily Wharton. Also felt that there were shades of "Can You Forgive Her" on offer here regarding Emily, Ferdinand and Arthur.
Did enjoy catching up with characters from the previous novels, particularly the delightfully scheming Lizzie Eustace.