Hard-going at first, this novel really picked up steam and by the final third I was ripping through pages to find out what happened. It's a thriller, and a thriller in my favorite genre -- the wrong man -- where an innocent bystander finds himself embroiled in a mystery. The biggest problem in the beginning is that the actions of the protagonist -- Adam Kindred -- are really hard to buy. The other problem is implicit in the hero's name. This novel doesn't know whether it wants to be a straight-up what's-going-to-happen-next thriller or something more symbolic and Kafkaesque, about the speed with which a human can be stripped of his trappings. Still, when it starts to work, it really works, and that is because William Boyd, without tricks or style, can really write.