The back jacket description of this as a book the turns the detective novel on its head is true but a bit of a red herring. Yes, there is a detective story element to this - Galip on a search to find his vanished wife and (by default) her half-brother, a famous newspaper columnist who has gone underground or vanished too. This quest threads the novel together as a whole, but really it is a strange, skewed look at identity and obsession. Pamuk seems to be writing about how anyone can define themselves as 'them' - probing uncomfortably at self-definition and perception - and also nagging away at themes of Turkish identity, history and nationality. I say 'seems' because the book is very densely written, often impenetrable, and while I could not put it aside I'm not sure what it ultimately said. If this sounds off-putting, it isn't meant to be - the book is very arresting, darkly written and quite gripping. The doubt it raised in my mind was an interesting doubt!