Unfortunately, this was unanimously the book club's least favourite book so far. No one could see why the book ranked so universally high in reviews on websites such as Amazon and Goodreads. Given the very high level of misogyny and violence and generally demeaning attitudes towards women (even O'Loughlin's wife), perhaps many of the reviewers were men, who were therefore approaching the book from a perspective that this book club couldn't?
The main issues that the book club faced with the book were disappointment that the execution fizzled out after a very promising start, a plot that had many holes,+ a lopsided use of details,* sawdust characters.#
The narrative lost a lot of its tension after its gripping start; although some of the technical details and information were interesting, it was also disappointing that the obvious person turned out in the end to be guilty. All of these factors put together meant that the set piece scenes too fell totally flat.