I have read all of Skinners adventures and have also brain washed 4 friends into reading them. I love the series and how its basically a soap opera. You do feel for the characters if they die/marry/have kids etc.
The storyline has the usual story arcs and crossovers you come to expect, and as usual engaging. But what made it great was how Mr Jardine had one chapter describing a scene from one persons outlook then the next chapter picked up from someone else's take on the same situation, it was really clever. Each chapter is also written in the style of the character, whether Skinner, Alex, Maggie etc so each had a personal touch to the personalities you have read throughout the series.
There have been many comments on the cliff hanger, but there have been cliff hangers before involving Andy, Maggie, Alex etc so it is nothing new. It has certainly not detracted me into not buying the next one, I loved the end, and I cant wait for the next novel.