UG... this was a hard book for me to read because I was expecting sooo much more. Why? Because when read the back, I was expecting a ton more involvement from Billet. I thought they were going to bring in a new agent with Brian Jamison but then he's killed in the first 100 pages... It was just weird. So having that expectation made the book just dragged out. Then having at the end, just having a small cameo appearance by Nell just made it worst. Again I wish that the "prequel" that was included in my paperback book, I had knew to read before I read the book because Cotton is mentioned in that one... It just didn't really fit how this book fit in with the rest of the Cotton series... As for the story, had I not have the expectations that I did, I think I would have liked the book better. I also think if I didn't have the biases against Columbus that I do, it would have also made the book better for me. The mysteries behind who Columbus was is truly fascinating and Berry just fantastic research. So this was definitely not my favorite Berry book and if you realize going in that Cotton is not a part of it and neither is the rest of Billet for the most part, then you might like the story a lot more. I would consider it more similar to Berry's other stand alone novels like The Amber Room or The Romanov Prophecy.