Although there are numerous characters, many plot twists and a great deal of suspense the book is well-paced and cleverly written (Bauer’s experience working in film and television is obvious). The compiling of evidence (including significant DNA analysis), the exposure of lies and the revelation of motives is absorbing. Cavanaugh’s personal life, friendships and relationships with his colleagues are fleshed out too. This knowledge makes him a well-rounded character and the assistance given to him by his friends in the police force and the FBI in investigating the crime is convincing as a result.
The ending is both ingenious and unexpected even though some aspects could be seen as a bit far-fetched. There were also a couple of continuity problems that should have been picked up in editing. But overall, existing Bauer fans will not be disappointed and newer readers should be inspired to read the earlier Cavanaugh books.