Have you read a lot of mystery novels? Can you guess "whodunnit" before the final chapter? If so, try your wits against this book. Written from several different perspectives, bridging not only gaps in point of view but time and geography as well, this novel will make you want to bang your head into the wall. Taibo's work, however, is well worth the all the confusion, because once you have a vague idea of what is going on, the work's machinations are fascinating. While Four Hands can be read as an exercise in disinformation, in the creation of history, it can also be read as the construction of a mystery. In other words, reading this novel is like seeing the cogs turning in Agatha Christie's head. Taibo supplies all of the necessary ingredients for a good mystery novel: the killer, the victim, the mastermind, and of course, the detectives (Greg and Julian, two journalists). The construction of the mystery then proves more important than the mystery itself; the reader waits and waits for all of these ingredients to come together. The character of Alex, the crazy agent in charge of the intelligence agency "SD" ("It is not especially clear who maintains the SD either. One time someone suggested their paychecks came directly from the National Security Council"(11)) is Taibo's mad artist figure, pulling all of the mystery's factors together. Alex, however, tries to plan the outcome of this mystery, and so there is potentially no mystery at all, but just the manipulations of an intelligence agency. Can all mystery novels be seen as the result of such careful and meticulous calculation? Is there any such thing as the unknown anymore? Luckily, there are enough twists and turns in this complicated narrative to keep every reader happy. In fact, if you can keep up with what exactly is going on, then you deserve a gold medal. My advice is to just enjoy this "mystery-in-reverse" and to appreciate the kind of thought and energy that goes into creating traditional mystery novels.