The plot is clever and the book is generally well written. Unfortunately, the author has a problem with writing characters who are more than 2-dimensional. It is difficult to believe in any of the major figures in this book - too many beautiful graceful people who are about as interesting as a shop mannikin. It would help if the characters could have some complexity in addition to that necessary for the plot. Also Perez-Reverte insists in all his books in making the rich people attractive and the poor stupid or maladjusted. The Flanders Panel is even worse in this respect. However, elsewhere Perez-Reverte writes well especially in evoking Seville. It certainly made me want to visit the place again.