I have now read three of Zafon's books and certainly found this up to his usual standard. It is not quite in the same class as El Sombra del Viento but nevertheless carries one along very nicely. Zafon is a master of language and I find that I can fully enjoy and appreciate his style even though my Spanish is not perfect. My only criticism in this case would be that he seems to digress from the main plot from time to time. Don't expect a neat and tidy solution to all the strange events because Zafon does not provide this.