Let's get one thing out of the way: it's too long. I'm not sure all the tangents are necessary, though they do help paint a clearer picture of the times (in the whole US, not merely in Idaho). Despite this length, Lukas somehow manages to make it tense. You keep reading through the diversions because you have to know what happens. Even though the chapter heading gives it away, I was still dying to know the verdict. I mean dying. Whenever I read something tense like that I have to cover the lower part of the page so I don't cheat and I had to here. I can't remember doing that with another non-fiction book, at least recently. And yet, through all this, he appears to be the picture of objectivity. Which makes the ending so brilliant, as he leaves it open to the reader but at the same time manages to suggest a very likely scenario without for a moment seeming to take sides. A pretty incredible book.