Atrocious cover art notwithstanding, this book is quite an accomplishment. Pessl has created worlds within worlds. What are those Russian dolls called? Nesting dolls, I think. Pessl is aware of her plot construction and uses the images of those dolls herself to much better effect.

This is a marvelous genre-defying story. There are twists and turns, action and reflection. Pessl has an eye for the telling detail. That she can stretch an image too far at times or neglect a practical detail or two are aspects of the book that are easily forgiven.

She is persuasive in her rendering of a male voice. The ending, the internal one for the male protagonist, comes off as not completely earned. I could have used more about Scott’s life prior to this latest investigation. I think such a move would have helped make the ending more resonant for me.

This is an extremely frightening and visually evocative book. Someone’s going to make a disastrous film version of it one day.

A fast and worthwhile read.

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