I am still amazed at how much hardcore history Berry puts into his books, and this one is no exception. While the historical perspectives provide for a rich background for the plot, and gives Berry a nice playground to try certain fictional ideas along with it, the characters to me are just not quite as strong or compelling as one would expect in a truly great novel. The idea of the U.S. willing to expose that Queen Elizabeth was actually a man during her 16th century reign, thus voiding all land treaties of Northern Ireland today, as blackmail to prevent the Lockerbie bomber from being released to Libya was very interesting alongside the history revealed in this book. However, Berry needs to have characters strong enough to exist in this vehicle. He falls just shy here.